Monday, July 23, 2012

Who Needs a DeLorean?

The trip back to Indiana was not all work and no play. When the family business was attended to, Spud and I took the time to do a few fun things to ensure that we did not become a dull boy and a dull girl.

One thing we did was visit Conner Prairie, an interactive history park. I had not been to Conner Prairie in over 30 years (I didn't hardly recognize the place). Visitors to the park are transported to the years 1823, 1836, 1859 and 1863.

Thanks to my baby sister's loan of a sweet ride, Spud and I were able to make this trip back to the, I mean the style.

The first part of Conner Prairie we visited was the Lenape, or Delaware Indian Camp. I have some Delaware Indian ancestry on my father's side of the family, so it was interesting to see the camp. We saw a Wigwam and heard a story or two from a Delaware Indian man.

After the camp visit, we went to the Conner Homestead. It is Central Indiana's first brick home. William Conner lived in it with his family from 1823 to 1837. Conner was a fur trader and his first wife was the daughter of a Delaware chief. They would eventually have six children together. Later Conner would act as a scout, an interpreter, a businessman, a land speculator and politician.

The home faced a large prairie that seemed to go on forever. Before we had gone to the Conner home we purchased two tickets. These tickets helped us travel back to 1859 Lafayette, Indiana on the day aeronaut John Wise launched his balloon.

Below the balloon was a circular metal basket that we stood in during the ride. The balloon was tethered to a cable. It was raised and lowered by a wench. I took the following pictures as we were going up into the air.
Once we reached 350 feet, the balloon operator stopped the balloon and we stayed there for roughly 15 minutes. It was quiet up there (aside from the people talking and snapping pictures). I took pictures of the Conner Homestead and the sweeping prairie that runs before it.

The horizon was a bit hazy that day, but in the distance we could see the city of Indianapolis.

Spud and I enjoyed the 1859 balloon ride. The Colonel was a bit envious when we told him we took the ride.

Our time travelling took us next to the hustle and bustle of a thriving pioneer, prairie community of 1836. We saw a blacksmith's shop, a schoolhouse, a store, an Inn and some homes.

I love interactive history parks don't you? The final stop during our time travel at Conner Prairie was to the year 1863. Spud and I crossed a covered bridge that took us to the small, southern, Indiana town of Dupont and the year 1863. 
We went into the dry good store where we were met by a woman in period clothing and then an interactive media presentation began which told us the story of Morgan's raid on Dupont. Loved it! In the summer of 1863, Confederate General Morgan and his men rode into Dupont, Indiana and burnt the town's warehouse, cut the telegraph lines and ransacked the dry goods store.

In July of 1863, an estimated 60,000 Indiana volunteers answered the call to block Morgan from advancing further north. They felled trees to block roads, gave armed resistance and chased Morgan and his men into Ohio where they were eventually defeated and captured.

Spud and I learned more about Morgan's raid on Dupont during another media presentation. It was very informative and an excellent, engaging experience.

We had a great time, time travelling at Conner Prairie. I was very pleased and impressed with the changes that had been made since the last time I was there. I highly recommend the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park to everyone.

Maybe next time I am in Indiana, The Colonel will be with me and then we can visit the park and he can take an 1859 balloon ride too. I wonder if my baby sister will let us use the Mercedes Benz again?

No comments:

Post a Comment