|Silas M. Clark (1834-1891)|
|Silas M. Clark House, built 1869-1870.|
Historical societies are commonly associated with history buffs, but they are actually important to all members of the community. They preserve and collect artifacts significant to the history and heritage of the community. Many are hidden treasures, as is commonly said about the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, it is “Indiana County’s best kept secret.”
Local historical societies fact many issues today, especially financial and technological issues. For the Indiana County Historical Society, they maintain two historic buildings, the Silas Clark House and the Old Armory Building, and the cost to maintain them is always increasing. The Society relies on membership to operate, but donations and volunteers are an important aspect as well.
As technology increases, historical societies face many issues, especially with so many resources online, but it is important to remember that Historical Societies have many things to offer that cannot be received through a computer. For example, there are actual artifacts that can be seen in person, and there are also knowledgeable people readily available to answer questions. With the advancement of technology, volunteers are need to use this new technology, whether that be scanning photographs or entering data into our museum software program, there is something for all ages and all people. The use of teamwork is extremely important for the Society to operate.
It’s amazing how little the community knows about the operations of local historical societies and the work that goes into the up keep and operation of a museum, historic home, and research library. Many people don’t understand why historical societies want to save old things, but it is part of our history and heritage that needs to be kept alive for future generations. To showcase these items the Indiana County Historical Society has many programs throughout the year to educate the community about the past.
I urge everyone – students, teachers, schools, and individuals – to take advantage of this resource that provides education to our community through exhibits and research materials available to them in their own backyard. Together we can turn the Indiana County Historical Society form “Indiana County’s best kept secret” to the “best place in Indiana County to discover the past.”