The Marshall County Historical Society received a fully funded Heritage Support Grant from the Indiana Historical Society, made possible by Lilly Endowment, Inc. The grant and matching funds will be used to update and expand the Transportation Hall, one of the museum’s most popular exhibits.

The grant will expand the current exhibit at the historic crossroads, adding a Native American stories station created in partnership with Oklahoma’s Citizen Potawatomi Cultural Heritage Center. The new exhibit will include a life-size wigwam and an interactive Potawatomi language. It will also tell the story of the evolution of the natural landscape and how the first settlements developed along the roads.

A third new history station will provide the history of local migrant families written in collaboration with some of their descendants. The expanded exhibit will explain how agriculture in the county evolved and provide details on the growth of transportation and tourism-based businesses and industries. A fourth new station will talk about the county’s aviation history.

Originally created in 2011, the Historic Crossroads exhibit tells the story of transportation in Marshall County and why it is the foundation of our history. Beginning in the 1830s, the Michigan Road followed an Indian trail and ran through the heart of our county. It was joined about 75 years later by four historic highways: Lincoln, the Grand Army of the Republic, the Yellowstone Trail, and the Dixie Highway. Marshall County is the only place in the entire country where all five highways intersect.

The grand opening is scheduled for fall 2023.

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Other recipients are listed below:

Daviess County Historical Society – $50,000 to help fund the final phase of the renovation of the museum’s ground floor to use as collections and museum programming space. The renovation will allow the historical society to provide programming in a more accessible space and have an area to evaluate and process collections items.

Friends of T.C. Steele in Brown County – $12,000 to fund Phase I of a virtual experience-based historic trail of sites related to the life of Hoosier artist T.C. Steele. The app will provide access to a variety of individuals and educational institutions.

Goshen Historical Society in Elkhart – $35,840 to replace deteriorating and damaged windows on the existing storefront and to retrofit the front door with an automatic door opener. The work will allow the museum to better protect its exhibits and provide improved accessible entry to the museum.

Historical Society of Ogden Dunes in Porter County – $50,000 to install a vertical platform lift. The lift will allow the organization to better serve visitors by increasing accessibility to museum spaces.

Hoosier Heartland Trolley Co., Howard County – $40,000 to electrify Interurban Rail Car No. 429, enabling the car to move and stop under its own power, marking the first time an Indiana interurban rail car has done so within the state of Indiana in more than 80 years.

Irvington Historical Society, Marion County – $26,881 to make preservation upgrades to the Bona Thompson Center. The grant will fund UV protection on multiple museum windows, improving protection and better preserving collections objects.

Jackson County Historical Center – $40,750 for work on the 1890 Ball Museum, including interior and exterior brick walls and completing the final phase of building repair and restoration.

Jane Ross Reeves Octagon House Foundation Inc., in Hancock County – $5,860 to fund the installation of a handicap ramp and handrail, improving access to the building to serve wider audiences.

LaGrange County Historical Society – $30,000 to restore and re-install a stained-glass window, which will replace a temporary window covering and provide a more secure building envelope.

Monon Civic Preservation Society in White County – $17,340 to microfilm early editions of the Monon News and to purchase a microfilm reader. The project will preserve the newspaper content and allow the organization to prepare them for digitization.

 North Manchester Historical Society in Wabash County – $10,000 to fund an accessibility study of and make changes to the current museum restrooms. The project will provide better facilities for museum staff and visitors, as well as help the museum plan for future accessibility projects.

Union Literary Institute Preservation Society in Randolph County – $50,000 to fund the first phase of the foundation replacement for the 1860 building. The project will help stabilize the building and prepare it for further work with the goal of creating public programming as well as exhibit and archive spaces.