2017 Society Summary

It is time once again for us to ring in a new year, and what a year it has been for the Indiana County Historical Society. We have done so much this past year and we take this time to reflect on what we have accomplished. We held a number of programs and workshops that we hope to continue in 2018, so be on the lookout for dates of those events. This year was a year of fundraisers and cooperation with many different organizations in the area.

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The Historical Society once again worked with the Indiana Art Association, sponsoring the Open Arts Show, that is exhibited at the Society from November to early January. We have also worked closely with IUP to bring interns to our Museum. Internships help students learn about how a museum operates and it also enables the Society to use young talent to expand our outreach. Thanks to the Evergreen Garden Club, the Silas Clark House is always beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. Along with decorating the Clark House at Christmas time the club also creates and maintains the garden at the point of South Sixth Street and Wayne Avenue during the Spring/Summer season.

This past year also bring with it new partnerships, including one with the Young Professional Organization (YPO). The YPO is a subgroup of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce comprised of individuals from 18-40 years old with the purpose of promoting networking between local businesses. This past October they sponsored the Haunted School Spirits program that brought approximately 75 people into the museum, along with funds paid by attendees. Also, this past September/October the Society worked with the Paranormal Society of IUP who investigated the Museum, Clark House and grounds for possible spirit entities that may still be roaming the buildings. The activities ended with a reveal of the investigations.

In addition to these big events, the Society also works with the Rainbow Diamond Glass Club, the Horace Mann Elementary School, and showcasing exhibits at the annual Air Show at the Jimmy Stewart Airport. Further, Board members and volunteers have given presentations at the Indiana Free Library and the Blairsville Historical Society. It is important for organizations to work together to expand our horizons; if you know of an organization that would like to work with the Historical Society please contact us at ichistoricalsociety@gmail.com or by phone at 724-463-9600.

A few closing notes about our 2018; we have many fun programs, events, and fundraisers planned so stay tuned to our various social media accounts, or consider becoming a member to learn about member exclusive events. Also, we have the following closings for 2018: March 30-31; July 3-4; November 20-24; and December 22-31.

We want to wish all our readers, followers, and members a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year. We hope to see you at the museum in 2018, either to visit the museum, attend one of our programs, fundraisers, or other events, or to volunteer. We will be closed until January 2, 2018 to give all our staff and volunteers a much-needed vacation.

Haunted Indiana 2017

Our October Halloween themed events went incredibly well. We ended up either selling out or having a full house for many of the events. There was plenty of collaboration between multiple organizations to make all things possible. The month was a fun one between the investigations, School Spirits, and the Specters Reveal. Needless to say October was an incredibly active month at the HGSIC.

The School Spirits event was a collaboration between the Historical Society and The Young Professionals of Indiana County (YPO). The lecture presented the evidence of the paranormal that has been collected at the now demolished Keith and Leonard Halls on IUP’s campus. The YPO spearheaded the creation of the event and donated a sizeable portion of the proceeds to the Society. We are grateful for their generous donation and look forward to working with them in the future. Special thanks to Crisp Entertainment for providing a superb video and audio setup. The quality equipment made the evidence that much more chilling. Due to the success of this event, the Society already has future programs in the works with the YPO. It is great to see a group take interest in the preservation and presentation of history in Indiana County. Stay tuned for more to come!

Haunted Indiana
Laurel Black giving a presentation about paranormal activity at Keith and Leonard Halls.

The Society was also thrilled to work once again with the Paranormal Society of IUP (PSIUP) and Ghost Researchers in Pennsylvania (GRiP). Both groups contributed the content, equipment, and personnel for the paranormal investigations that took place, as well as the reveal on October 28th. Participants were able to investigate both of the Society’s historic structures while utilizing proper ghost hunting equipment. At the conclusion of the investigations, Dr. Laurel Black from IUP provided multiple lectures for both the School Spirits and Specters Reveal. We are grateful for her contribution and are thrilled at her willingness to work with the Society. With October now over, the ghosts will need to wait another year for investigators to once again make their ways through the Society’s halls.

The happenings this month were all enjoyable, however, the Society also believes in supporting other community organizations. With that in mind, a portion of the ticket sales from the investigations and the reveal will be donated to the women’s imaging center located at IRMC as in previous years. It was great to work with other community organizations and we look forward to collaboration on future events. With that being said, the spirits of the Society can rest for another year, until the chill of October once again brings visitors back to explore the spookier side Indiana has to offer.