I got to accompany the 4th graders on their visit to several historic sites in Vincennes earlier this week. Since I'd been to some, and often pass right by them running errands, it honestly didn't sound too exciting. However, we had a really good time. I learned something new at each place we went, including the ones I'd previously visited. For instance, how could I have forgotten that our own Knox County once reached all the way up to Chigago. As it is now, we are the 5th largest county (by area) in the state. Can you imagine it stretching all the way up to the top of the state?
Our first stop was the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park. The monument is having major repairs done, so we didn't get to go inside. However, we went to the visitors center, which I'd never done before. We watched a movie all about Lt. Col. George Rogers Clark and learned how the park was established as a National Park by Congress. I found it pretty fascinating, but then again, I was a social studies ed major. :)
Our next stop was at the Old Cathedral Catholic Church. I have driven by, and even walked the grounds many times, especially every 4th of July. However, I'd never been inside and WOW! It is beautiful!! They recently went through a major renovation, and although I have nothing to compare it to, it is really something to see!
After having lunch at Gregg Park and letting the kids run off some steam, our trip continued on to Grouseland. This was the home of Gov. William Henry Harrison before his short term as President. Although I had been here before, it is fun to go through it again.
Our last stop was the buildings right behind Grouseland. Here, we visited the Jefferson Academy. Pres. Jefferson established schools for ages 14 and above, where they learned geometry, geography, and Latin. This was pretty serious schooling, and many kids this age were learning a trade instead. There was still a stool and dunce cap sitting in the corner! Next, we saw the Indiana Territory Capital Building, which was recently restored. We got to see where to Territory Representatives met and how they passed laws. Our final stop was to Elihou Stout's Print Shop. We saw where he spent over 40 years printing the news of the day and what a chore producing a newspaper was back then. The Western Sun he published is the Vincennes Sun-Commercial as we know it today.
This concludes our little lesson of historic Vincennes. Thanks for indulging my inner-nerd and enjoy some pics of the sites.
Indiana Territory buildings
George Rogers Clark Monument