The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

This Week in History (St. Joseph County Historical Society)

Posted by iusbvision on October 25, 2006

On October 26, 1867, the St. Joseph County Historical Society was formed. Later it was renamed the Northern Indiana Center for History. The mission of the Center for History is to collect, preserve, interpret, exhibit and teach the heritage of this region and its diverse populations to enrich present and future generations. With the conservation of historical sites in the St. Joseph area, including the Oliver Mansion and its gardens, Northern Indiana Center for History is certainly a treasure.

The Center holds different events each month displaying the passion for teaching and showing people the importance of history.  Travis Childs, Director of School Programs at the Center for History, will give a presentation about historic grave sites of individuals who were victims of or associated with crimes and misdemeanors that took place locally in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The program will take place on Wednesday, November 1, at the Center for History. 

The Center’s school programs get kids to interact with and perhaps become genuinely interested in history. Civil War re-enactors meet with students to tell them about Civil War soldiers’ lives. Also students will have an opportunity to learn about the Civil War through an audio-visual presentation and be able to make a Civil War era craft. 

At another of these, The Fur Trade Program, students will gain insight into the importance of the fur trade in northern Indiana during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They will examine silver shaped into crosses and animal forms to learn how the European explorers bartered with Native Americans for goods.

A view of axes, guns, traps and other household items such as a bone needle used in making clothing will help students understand the self-sufficiency of the fur traders.  Then classes will be taken to Riverview Cemetery to the landing site of French explorer LaSalle in 1679.  From that point, students will walk the portage used by LaSalle and countless numbers of Native Americans, explorers, voyagers and fur traders as they journeyed through this area. The Center for History is a great achievement which only continues to grow as it captivates people who never knew that they liked history before.

Carlie Barr

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