Friday, 5 April 2013

465 – Conner Prairie

Card no 465 - Norma 
Conner Prairie 
Country Card Sent From: USA 
Place that Card Sender Lives: Muncie, Indiana 
Date Received: 3rd April 2013 
Distance Travelled: 3,778 miles 
Time Taken: c12 days 

 Conner Prairie is "the nation's finest outdoor living history museum", based in Fishers, Indiana. When you explore Indiana’s past at Conner Prairie, history comes alive. Dial back two hundred years, and you would find William Conner living in a log home beside the White River with his Lenape Indian spouse and five children. To make a living, he bought furs from Indians who trapped the rich forests of this state. In 1823 he built a grand house on a hill overlooking a flood plain that came to be known as "Conner’s Prairie." He became a major land owner, a statesman and a wealthy businessman.

In the 1930s, Eli Lilly, then president of the pharmaceutical company, stumbled upon Conner’s house, forgotten and falling down. Lilly believed history to be an essential cornerstone of American democracy, so he bought the Conner Homestead in 1934 and immediately began using it as the centerpiece for historical reenactments to "connect people with history in ways books cannot." Always a champion of education, Lilly opened the site to the public so people could see their heritage brought to life.

 In the 1970s Museum Director Myron Vourax worked with renowned Folklorist Henry Glassie to create a "living history museum." A place where staff dress, act and speak as if in the time period they portray.

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