Indiana Historical Society Provides Another $2.5 Million to Local Historical Organizations through Latest Heritage Support Grants

Joey Amato | September 30, 2020
The Indiana Historical Society recently announced its support of more than 30 local historical societies and organizations from around the Hoosier state.
The IHS issued more than $2.5 million during its most recent Heritage Support Grants program, an initiative launched in 2015 and made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The current iteration of the program will award $2.5 million to local historical organizations during the next five years.
Heritage Support Grants serve Indiana’s local, county and regional historical societies, museums and sites, and recognizes the critical role these organizations play in upholding the state’s heritage. IHS estimates more than 900 Indiana organizations hold collections totaling more than 20 million historical objects and 424,000 linear feet of historical documents.
“We realize many smaller organizations in Indiana face challenges, such as access to resources, funding and training,” said IHS President and CEO Jody Blankenship. “The Heritage Support Grants program offers not just financial resources, but also fundraising education workshops, tailored coaching and opportunities to experience serving on award selection panels.”
The most recent recipients include:

Heritage Support Grants 2.0 – Project Grant, Cycle A Award Summaries
Adams County Historical Society, Adams County
The Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) has received $35,000 to aid in the restoration of the Charles A. Dugan Mansion, built in 1902 and considered one of the finest homes in Adams County. Restoring and repairing the structure will help ensure the ACHS museum collections are in a safe and secure environment.
Bartholomew County Historical Society, Bartholomew County
The Bartholomew County Historical Society (BCHS) has received $10,000 to fund a historic structures report for the Henry Breeding Farm farmhouse. The Federal-style home built in 1871 currently houses a portion of the organization’s collections and is used for interpretive history events. The report will help BCHS prioritize the preservation needs of the historic structure and plan for its future.
Cedar Lake Historical Association, Lake County
The Cedar Lake Historical Association (CLHA) has received $47,600 to reinterpret several rooms in its Lake County museum. The grant will help CLHA develop an engaging narrative of Cedar Lake history by funding seven new and reimagined exhibit rooms focused on pre-history through the 1920s resort era.
Clark County Museum, Inc., Clark County
The Clark County Museum has received $32,500 to aid in the restoration of the Thomas Jefferson Howard House, one of the oldest structures in Jeffersonville. The restoration will connect the house with current galleries and double the existing exhibit space.
Dubois County Museum, Dubois County
Dubois County Museum has received $10,000 to fund a traveling exhibit pilot program. The grant will help the museum increase its reach throughout the county by creating a pilot exhibit focusing on a significant topic in the county’s rich history.
Freetown Village, Marion County
Freetown Village has received $35,000 to develop an educational outreach program. The program will focus on African American history and culture in Indiana and provide professional development for educators.
Friends of Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum Incorporated, Spencer County
The Friends of Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum has received $8,000 to replace the roof of its entrance cabin. The cabin is part of a 1935 Spencer County Works Progress Administration project and will be used as a space for educational programs and exhibits as well as a tour orientation area.
Historic Eleutherian College, Jefferson County
The Historic Eleutherian College has received $42,000 to restore the roof of its building. The college was founded in 1848 by the Neil’s Creek Anti-Slavery Society, and the current structure was built in 1855 for use as a school. Currently, the building is used for educational programs and tours that highlight the organization’s history and present mission to show education and freedom are the foundations of a civil society.
Hoosier Heartland Trolley Company, Marion County
The Hoosier Heartland Trolley Company has received $8,000 for the operational restoration of interurban No. 429. The restoration will focus on mechanical repairs, intending to bring the 1925 rail car to working condition and to help interpret the Indiana electric railway story.
Indiana Geographic Information Council, Inc., Marion County
The Indiana Geographic Information Council has received $50,000 to fund an online land survey database. The database will make historical survey records of Indiana available to the public through an interactive map with a searchable database.
Indiana Medical History Museum, Marion County
The Indiana Medical History Museum has received $15,000 to organize and store its archival collection using archival quality materials, secure shelves and cabinets. Rehousing and providing better storage for the collections will improve collections stewardship and preservation of the important documents and images.
Indiana State Police Alliance, Marion County
The Indiana State Police Alliance has received $43,746.77 to create a Motor Carrier Inspectors exhibit. The exhibit, housed in a weigh station at the museum, will tell the story of Motor Carrier Inspectors, highway safety and the science behind Indiana’s roadways.
International Circus Hall of Fame, Miami County
The Circus Hall of Fame has received $50,000 to repair the roof of its 1922 American Circus Corporation winter quarter barn. The National Historic Landmark houses a significant portion of the organization’s collections, and repairing the roof will help to protect the artifacts from damage.
Jay County Historical Society, Inc., Jay County
The Jay County Historical Society has received $14,441 to replace its computer system, including audio/visual equipment. The equipment will increase JCHS’s ability to inventory and catalog collections, help with historical research and provide wider access to its programs.
Martin County Historical Society, Martin County
The Martin County Historical Society received $10,000 to fund a historic structures report. The report will assess the condition and infrastructure needs of the 1876 Martin County courthouse, which holds the collections of the Martin County Historical Society.
Perry County Museum, Perry County
The Perry County Museum has received $10,000 to repair building soffits and fund a building assessment. The assessment will evaluate environmental needs of the Perry County Courthouse, which serves as the county history museum and houses its collections.
Switzerland County Historical Society, Inc., Switzerland County
The Switzerland County Historical Society (SCHS) has received $19,226 to conserve the Nelson Burley collection and develop an exhibit interpreting the pre-contact Native American culture of the region. SCHS will work with archaeologists, anthropologists and tribal consultants to care for and interpret the approximately 2,000 artifacts in the collection.
Tipton County Historical Society, Tipton County
The Tipton County Historical Society has received $32,072.07 to digitize their photography collection. Digitizing this collection will provide greater public access and will aid in the preservation of the images.
Vigo County Historical Society, Vigo County
The Vigo County Historical Society has received $10,000 to fund a feasibility study for repairing the roof on the 1895 Ehrmann Manufacturing Company building and home of the History Center of Vigo County. The study will assess the condition of the current roof and provide guidance for its repair.
Wabash County Historical Museum, Wabash County
The Wabash County Historical Museum has received $7,500 to install PastPerfect Online access panels in the museum. The panels will provide greater access to the museum’s image collection by allowing visitors to browse the collection online.
War Veterans Memorial Shrine of American History Inc., Allen County
The War Veterans Memorial Shrine of American History has received $7,000 to fund a collections assessment study. The study will provide a general conservation assessment that includes all the organization’s collections, policies and procedures. The assessment will identify collections care needs and help the organization prioritize and plan for improved collections stewardship.
Heritage Support Grants 2.0 – Mini Grant, Cycle A Award Summaries
Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum, Elkhart County
The Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum has received $4,606 to organize and store their collection. Inventorying, cataloging and rehousing its collections objects will increase the organization’s ability to access and interpret Indiana’s rich railroad history.
International Circus Hall of Fame, Miami County
The Circus Hall of Fame has received $4,950 to update their computer system and purchase collections management software and archival storage materials. The system updates will help the organization inventory and catalog its collections and provide better collections care.
Jackson County History Center, Jackson County
The Jackson County History Center has received $4,999 to replace the computer system for the Heller Museum & Genealogical Research Library. The updated computer system will allow better access for researchers and museum visitors to a wider range of materials.
Kikthawenund Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Madison County
The Kikthawenund Chapter, NSDAR has received $1,000 to organize and store their archival collection. Organizing and rehousing the collection will increase access to the research materials as well as preserve the documents for future use.
Marshall County Historical Society, Inc., Marshall County
The Marshall County Historical Society has received $4,775.08 to conserve county government books and ledgers dating from the mid-19th century. Conserving the materials will ensure the important information continues to be available to researchers as well as the Marshall County community.
Milan 54, Inc., Ripley County
Milan 54 has received $4,999 to purchase a computer system and additional security for the museum. The computer system and security will help ensure the museum collections and exhibits are properly cared for and safeguarded.
Seymour Museum, Inc., Jackson County
The Seymour Museum has received $4,999 to repair exhibit room walls in the Old Federal Building. The repair is part of a phased restoration and renovation project to prepare the building for reuse as a local history museum.
Shelby County Historical Society, Shelby County
The Shelby County Historical Society (SCHS) has received $4,827.16 to fund the purchase of digitization equipment. The digitized materials will be shared online and will increase public access to the SCHS collections.
Starke County Historical Society, Inc., Starke County
The Starke County Historical Society has received $4,312.50 to purchase a computer system and collections management software. The technology upgrades will enable the organization to increase access to its collections through more comprehensive cataloging.
The Beverly Shores Depot Museum and Art Gallery, Porter County
The Beverly Shores Depot Museum and Art Gallery has received $2,350 to fund scanning services to digitize materials held in the organization’s collections. The scanned materials will be used to build digital exhibits focusing on significant historical aspects of the local region.
The Indiana Album, Inc., Marion County
The Indiana Album has received $4,999 to fund a database consultant, a part-time researcher and a data entry assistant. These positions will research and update a database of Indiana photographers and photographic studios to allow for greater access to researchers and the general public.
Guidelines and applications are available on the IHS website at or by calling the IHS at (317) 232-1882. For more information, visit or call (317) 232-1882.