The Jackson County History Center (JCHC) is located in Brownstown, Indiana, the county seat. Located across the street from the county courthouse, the expansive JCHC campus includes three museums, a genealogy library, Pioneer Village, Circus Wagon, WPA Wagon, and a historic outhouse! Annually in April and May, the JCHC hosts every fourth grade student in Jackson County to learn about Jackson County and Indiana history. With around 800 students, teachers, and parents on campus for the event, the program lasts for 6 days with 30 volunteers each day from the JCHC to present the program. In May each year, 120 eighth grade students and teachers visit for one day for a Civil War program.
This tour will introduce you to the buildings and resources of the JCHC and provide information for the students who visit each year. During this tour you will get to know the original livery barn and learn why this is located across from the Court House; the Ball Museum, which was once a blacksmith shop; the Heller Museum, which houses guns, arrowheads and a phone booth; the Pioneer Village, which has four log buildings; the Stardust Drive-In Theater Ticket Booth from Seymour; and the old city cemetery.
Moving historic buildings to a single location like the JCHC is a common practice around the United States because it allows for buildings that might otherwise be destroyed or neglected to be preserved and enjoyed by future generations. Taking buildings out of their original historic location removes part of the story of the buildings but allows them to be preserved. Are there relocated buildings in your community that tell the history of the community? What stories are told by these buildings? Are any important stories left out?
The JCHC was formed in 2010 through the merger of the Jackson County Historical Society (formed in 1916) and the Jackson County Genealogical Society (formed in 1982). The JCHC is staffed entirely by volunteers and is open year-round on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9am-4pm and Thursday from 9am-8pm.