Friday, June 19, 2015

Up, Up and Away!

Before The Colonel drove up to Indiana to visit, pick me up and begin our trip back to Florida in early June, Yam flew to Indiana with me in late May, so that she could visit her Grandma for a couple of days before having to fly back to Florida for work.

Yam also wanted to visit Conner Prairie and I really wanted to take her there. I had taken Spud there about three years ago and last year The Colonel and I went to Conner Prairie. Now the whole family can say they have experienced it.

Conner Prairie is an interactive history park. It has been open to the public since the early 1970s. In 1823, William Conner built this red brick home for his second wife and it is open to those who visit Conner Prairie.

Conner's first wife was a Delaware Indian woman named Mekinges. After the Treaty of St. Mary's in 1818, which in part stipulated the removal of the Delaware tribe to land west of the Mississippi River, Conner's Indian wife and six children left with her tribe. William Conner stayed behind and later remarried a white woman.

When I was younger, my family participated in the re-enactment of the leaving of William Conner's first wife and children at Conner Prairie. My mother had sewn all of our outfits and my father had grown a beard. Our family made the local paper and I am sure my mother still has a copy of that article somewhere in her house. This is a picture of us taken in front of my parent's house all those years ago (I'm in the red dress). Family genealogy on my father's side shows that I have some Delaware Indian blood running through my veins. So maybe it was fate that my family portrayed the leaving of Mekinges and her children.

Back to Yam and I...We arrived at Conner Prairie a few minutes before it opened. We wanted to be the first in line for the 1859 Balloon Voyage Experience. As soon as the doors opened we went through them and bought our tickets for the park. We had to buy the balloon ride tickets at the balloon area. We made a bee-line to the balloon and were the first and only ones there. We had a short wait before our ride. There were a lot of hands-on things to do to keep us busy while we waited.

We had a private ride. It was very nice being the only passengers along for the ride. It was my third time up in the balloon. Yam loved the experience. This is our view of William Conner's farm from 350 feet above.

Once we were back on terra firma Yam and I made our way to the Lenape or Delaware Indian village. This is one of their dwellings.

We also visited the 1836 Prairie Town. Yam particularly enjoyed our time spent with the doctor. He told us that his leeches came from Belgium. Young girls there would go into leech infested waters and allow themselves to be covered with leeches. The leeches then would be removed and sold to doctors around the world. The doctor asked Yam how old she was and she answered that she was 23 years old. He told her she was too old for leech harvesting. I think Yam was very much okay with that. Girls around 7 to 11 years old were used for harvesting leeches.

We saw some very cute baby animals too. The twin lambs were only a week old. So sweet.

My favorite house in Prairie Town...

And I love the scene I captured of the two ladies visiting one another...

Yam and I time traveled to 1863 and experienced Indiana in the Civil War. That part of Conner Prairie is very interactive. 

We walked along some pretty paths on the grounds. We saw old wheels in the woods and Yam stood inside what once was a huge tree (she told me to hurry and snap the picture, there were things crawling around in the wood).

As we walked about we were being followed by a Robin. Maybe he was our Indian spirit guide. It seemed everywhere we went the Robin was there too.

I always enjoy myself when I visit Conner Prairie but visiting it with someone (especially my daughter) who hasn't experienced it before makes it one hundred times more enjoyable. What great memories we made together that day.

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