Two new Indiana county historians have been appointed in both DeKalb and Washington counties, with their terms beginning January 1, 2023.
New DeKalb County Historian Mary Hollabaugh-Diehl lives in northeast Indiana with her husband of 28 years and two children. She obtained her associate’s degree in dental hygiene in 2001 from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and has been a practicing clinical dental hygienist for more than 22 years.
Hollabaugh-Diehl has a deep passion for DeKalb County history and played a crucial role in raising community support and funding to repair and reopen the Spencerville Covered Bridge. She is an advocate for advancing the understanding of the county’s history and is constantly retrieving artifacts that are part of the historical narrative. She enjoys meeting people and connecting them to resources to bring them a better understanding of their own families or the community they live in. She said she is excited and honored to be DeKalb County’s first woman historian, and she looks forward to the opportunity to contribute to Indiana’s rich history and be a part of preserving it for future generations.
New Washington County Historian Stephanie Vines has never known a time when she didn’t love history. Born to a family of storytellers who celebrated their centuries-old involvement in founding this nation, she felt as though she’s always had one foot in the past. After attending Salem High School in Salem, Indiana, she carried her love of history to Northern Kentucky University, where she majored in museum science and served her fellow students in several civic organizations and clubs, including student government.
Vines currently works for the Depot Railroad Museum and Washington County Historical Society and has done so since 2008. She enjoys giving tours and creating programs for the community, thriving in a field that utilizes two natural gifts — her creativity and her love of people. She has more than two decades of experience in the field, including with other nonprofits and the National Park Service. This appointment perfectly joins all of what she loves best about her chosen profession — education, community and preservation. She currently serves as a board member-at-large on the Washington County Tourism Commission. When she’s not at the John Hay Center, she can be found talking about her son Steven, who currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia; watching Cincinnati Reds baseball or Cyclones hockey; driving miles and miles of neglected backroads; or talking to her cat, Rasputin.
In addition, at the close of 2022, the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau reappointed 26 county historians to new three-year terms. County historians reappointed to new three-year terms are as follows:
The Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau are currently seeking nominations for county historians in these counties: Adams, Benton, Daviess, Jennings, Spencer, Tipton and Wayne. Local historical organizations and libraries in each county nominate county historians to renewable three-year terms. If you know an individual who would be a good fit for county historian, please contact your local historical society and/or public library to discuss submitting a nomination. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1981, through an effort to improve the historical communication network in the state, the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau established the Indiana County Historian Program. County historians serve as volunteers appointed by the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau to promote local history in their counties, connect individuals and groups with history resources, promote collaboration between local history organizations and maintain connections with the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau.