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Indiana Historical Society Provides More Than $500,000 to Local Historical Organizations through Heritage Support Grants

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) recently announced its support of 18 local historical societies and organizations representing 15 Indiana counties.

The IHS issued more than $500,000 during its most recent Heritage Support Grants program, an initiative launched in 2015 and made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The current iteration of the program will award $2.5 million to local historical organizations until 2024.

Heritage Support Grants serve Indiana’s local, county and regional historical societies, museums and sites, and recognizes the critical role these organizations play in upholding the state’s heritage. The grants fund projects that meet high-priority needs in the areas of Collections Stewardship, DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion), Sustainability and Planning. Learn more at www.indianahistory.org/grants.

The most recent recipients include:

Heritage Support Grants 2.0 – Project Grant, Cycle B Award Summaries

Bartholomew County Historical Society, Bartholomew County

The Bartholomew County Historical Society (BCHS) has received $45,000 to support the restoration of the Henry Breeding Farm, built in 1871 and considered to be the last 19th -century farmhouse in the county. Restoring and repairing the structure will help to ensure the BCHS collections are in a safe and secure environment, allowing the space to be used for public programming.

Daviess County Historical Society, Daviess County

The Daviess County Historical Society (DCHS) has received $31,500 to fund the renovation of the museum’s ground floor to use as collections and museum programming space. This renovation will allow the DCHS to create programming in a more accessible space and have an area to effectively evaluate collections items.

Freeman Army Airfield Museum, Inc., Jackson County

Freeman Army Airfield Museum has received $3,500 for a historical marker commemorating the 1945 civil rights protests by Tuskegee Airmen at the Freeman Army Airfield.

Friends of the Knox County Public Library, Knox County

The Friends of the Knox County Public Library has received $26,000 to digitize early Knox County records. Digitizing this collection will provide greater public access and aid in the preservation of the fragile documents.

Friends of the National New York Central RR Museum, Elkhart County

The Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum has received $20,140 to construct and install a playhouse train for use in the new kids zone. This train will provide an interactive space for younger audiences to learn about the function and history of the New York Central Railroad.

Historical Society of Ogden Dunes, Porter County

The Historical Society of Ogden Dunes has received $5,000 to fund a historic structures report. The report will identify the condition and infrastructure needs of the 1932 Hour Glass cottage and assess the building’s capacity to implement accessible features.

Howard County Historical Society, Howard County

The Howard County Historical Society has received $5,000 to aid in the restoration of the 1887 Seiberling Mansion’s porte-cochere. Restoring the structure will help stabilize the building and ensure the museum collections are in a safe and secure environment.

Indiana Jewish Historical Society, Marion County

The Indiana Jewish Historical Society has received $25,000 to fund the Indiana Jewish Preservation Corps pilot program. The grant will help the society develop a program focused on reaching out to Indiana’s historic Jewish communities to collect and document their histories.

Indianapolis Black Firefighters Association, Marion County

The Indianapolis Black Firefighters Association (IBFA) has received $48,000 to aid in the renovation of a 1952 auxiliary fire station to create the Indianapolis Black Firefighters Museum. Creation of this museum will allow the IBFA to curate, preserve and display the historical role of Indianapolis’ black firefighters.

International Circus Hall of Fame, Miami County

The International Circus Hall of Fame received $50,000 to fund renovation of the 1922 American Circus Company office building to use for costume and archival storage. Repairing the structure will help to ensure the museum collections are in a safe and secure environment.

Jackson County History Center, Jackson County

The Jackson County History Center (JCHC) has received $37,500 to repair the walls, siding and ceiling of their 1871 livery barn. Repair of the barn will provide greater protection to the JCHC collection and allow the museum to remain open for year-round public programming.

Jay County Historical Society, Inc., Jay County

The Jay County Historical Society (JCHS) has received $33,900 to replace the electrical system in the Jay County Historical Museum. The updated electrical system will provide a safer environment for the JCHS volunteers, visitors and its collection.

LaPorte County Historical Steam Society, LaPorte County

The LaPorte County Historical Steam Society has received $20,000 to renovate an existing machine shop to develop an interpretive space focused on the evolution of the locomotive and steam-powered equipment.

Milan 54, Inc., Ripley County

Milan 54 has received $50,000 to install a fire suppression system in the Milan ‘54 Hoosiers Museum. The fire suppression system will allow the organization to maintain a safe environment and protect the museum’s collection from harm.

Randolph County Historical Society, Inc., Randolph County

The Randolph County Historical Society (RCHS) has received $10,000 to purchase a microfilm reader to expand public access to the RCHS documents and fund a collections assessment study.

Rome Community Center, Inc., Perry County

The Rome Community Center has received $50,000 to repair the roof of the 1818 Rome Courthouse. Restoration of the former Perry County seat will help protect their collection from damage.

Russiaville Historical Society, Howard County

The Russiaville Historical Society (RHS) has received $50,000 to renovate the interior of their 1912 interurban building for use as a museum and meeting location for the RHS. The renovation will allow the RHS to preserve their collection, interpret the interurban building space and promote the history of the town of Russiaville.

Working Men’s Institute, Posey County

The Working Men’s Institute (WMI) has received $15,000 to fund a temporary Collections Manager position. The Collections Manager will maintain WMI’s records, develop and curate museum exhibits, and support research activities.

Guidelines and applications are available on the IHS website at www.indianahistory.org/grants or by calling the IHS at (317) 232-1882. For more information, visit indianahistory.org or call (317) 232-1882.

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