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.
Conner Prairie is located in Fishers, a short drive northeast of Indianapolis, Indiana. It recreates life in Indiana throughout the 19th century.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Conner Prairie includes animals, demonstrations of weaving, a slavery reenactment experience, and a trip on an 1859 tethered balloon.
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.”