Conner Prairie, Indiana

Conner Prairie, Indiana

I like to share the background of my work. Sometimes it’s the artistic process, and sometimes the historical background. I find history fascinating, and I hope you do too! If you are not from Indiana, you may not know that we have the equivalent of the living museum Colonial Williamsburg, Called Conner Prairie.

Old map of Indiana shown at Conner Prairie.
An old map of Indiana on display at Connor Prairie.

Conner Prairie is located in Fishers, a short drive northeast of Indianapolis, Indiana. It recreates life in Indiana throughout the 19th century.

Interior of the kitchen of the William Conner house. Available for purchase on my website.
Interior of the kitchen of the William Conner house. Available for purchase.

The centerpiece is the William Conner house. The home was built in 1823 on a hill overlooking a flood plain which came to be known as Conner’s Prairie, hence, the name!

Kitchen garden at the William Conner house. Available for purchase on my website.
Kitchen garden at the William Conner house. Available for purchase.

The home is a two-story, Federal-style and is believed to be one of the first brick buildings built in central Indiana. Besides being a family home, it was the meeting place for county commissioners and the circuit court and contained a post office.

Carpenter’s workshop in Prairietown. Available for purchase on my website.
Carpenter’s workshop in Prairietown. Available for purchase.

Conner Prairie includes an area called Prairietown, an 1836 pioneer community. It’s not a duplication of an actual Indiana settlement but a recreation of what such a settlement might have been like in the early days of Indiana. Prairietown includes a blacksmith, a pottery shop, an inn, a doctor’s office, Whitaker’s Store, a carpentry shop, and a schoolhouse, all open to the public to explore.

Whitaker’s Store. Not available on my site, but contact me if you are interested in purchasing.
Whitaker’s Store.

Another era of Conner Prairie is the 1863 Civil War Journey, which documents the Confederate cavalry raid into southern Indiana, called Morgan’s Raid. It was the longest raid held behind Union lines (Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia) and the most important Civil War event in Indiana.

Visitors walk through a reconstruction of Dupont, a town in southern Indiana that was invaded in 1863. The recreation includes the Mayfield and Nichols dry-goods store, the Porter family home, a telegraph station, a soldiers’ camp, and a field hospital.

I didn’t take this photo at Connor Prairie, but at the Mississinewa, Indiana, 1812 War reenactment. If you are interested in purchasing a print please contact me.
I took this photo at the 1812 War Reenactment in Mississinewa, Indiana.

Conner Prairie has a recreation of a Lenape Indian Camp located on the grounds. William Conner’s first wife, Mekinges, was the daughter of the Lenape Chief Kikthawenund.

The Lenape Indians, also known as Delaware, were among several Native American people who lived in Indiana during the 1800s. Other tribes included the Shawnee, Miami, Wea, Potawatomi, Wyandot, Kickapoo, Piankashaw, and Chickasaw. If you were wondering, “Indiana” means “Land of the Indians.”

A fancy rooster
A fancy rooster at Conner Prairie. Available for purchase.

The Lenape camp has wigwams created from bark and cattail mats, a fur trade camp with a log cabin, and Lenape trades such as pottery, cooking, gardening, hunting, games, beading, and weaving.

Fireplace in the weaver’s studio. This photo is not on my site, but available to purchase upon request.
Fireplace in the weaver’s studio.

Conner Prairie includes animals, demonstrations of weaving, a slavery reenactment experience, and a trip on an 1859 tethered balloon.

The 1859 Balloon Voyage, is one of four tethered air balloons in the U.S. Available for purchase.

Outdoor concerts are held during summer evenings, and seasonal events in the fall and winter holidays keep the kids entertained. And, yes, there are people dressed in appropriate costumes, ready to interact with you in conversations about the era in which they “live.”

Every visit offers a different experience. I especially like to visit in the fall when the leaves change and the number of visitors is less.

Several of these photos are available for purchase on web site, and if you see one you like that isn’t on my site, please email me, and I will make it available for you!

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