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Meet Dianne Cartmel

CartmelDianne Cartmel is a native Hoosier. She grew up in Indianapolis, but now makes her home in Brownstown in Jackson County. Mrs. Cartmel served on the IHS Board of Trustees for 11 years and was president when the History Center building was finished in 1999.

What did you enjoy about being a board member?

I loved that everyone came from a different viewpoint and respected everyone else’s viewpoint. We made some pretty big decisions, and we melded as one. I just enjoyed listening to everyone. One big turning point was IHS moving from a small building to a large building, the next one was moving from being a research facility to being a public facility. And now since John Herbst has come on board, the public piece has become even more public!

How did you develop such a love of history?

My interest started with a father that had a lot of interest in history. When we traveled, there were always historical stops, and we had to read about the places we were going. So I was groomed as a young child.

What are your favorite events?

I always love the Living Legends Gala. I love coming to most everything, but I can’t always get up there. It’s great seeing the changes and the enthusiasm.

Do you have any hobbies?

I like gardening and oil painting, and I travel a lot. I’m also busy as an advisor to the Jackson County Historical Society. We’re being proactive – bringing school systems in and putting on more of a public face.

Why do you think connecting to the past is important?

I think that the past helps you understand how you react. I really believe history repeats itself, and so often we don’t pay attention to the lessons learned by other generations. Society is so mobile, and people more than ever need to have a road to their past so they can belong to something. History provides such a wonderful understanding of why people did what they did.

What’s the last book you read?

I’m reading The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson.