Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference coming to Kokomo

PHP Conference logo

The 2015 Preserving Historic Places: Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference will be held in Kokomo on April 21-24, 2015.

A variety of educational sessions, workshops, and local tours will be offered featuring local, state, and nationally recognized preservationists and guest speakers.  A few highlights will include the IDHPA annual preservation awards dinner at the Kokomo Country Club and dinner and tours at Kokomo Opalescent Glass, America’s oldest art glass company.

Conference sessions and workshops will be held in unique historic buildings in and around Downtown Kokomo, and will be “full of new ideas for old places!”  To register or to find out more information, visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/historic/4463.htm.

The conference is hosted by Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (IDHPA), Indiana University, and Indiana Landmarks.

Downtown Kokomo Train Depot honored with historical marker

The L.E. & W. Railroad Depot was recognized as a community landmark last week with a historical marker, serving as a visual reminder of Kokomo’s once bustling railroad industry.  It is the only remaining train depot in Kokomo.

The depot was built in the Craftsman architectural style around 1910, which later became home to Norfolk & Western Railroad and then Central Railroad of Indianapolis.  Recently acquired by the city of Kokomo, the building is currently being used as the location for the Kokomo Downtown Winter Market, now open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. through December 20, 2014.

Howard County Historian John Morr talks about the historic train depot after the historical marker was unveiled

Howard County Historian John Morr talks about the historic train depot after the historical marker was unveiled

 

Train depot, circa 1910, in Downtown Kokomo

Train depot, circa 1910, in Downtown Kokomo

Check Out the Auto Indiana Exhibit at the Seiberling Mansion!

Seiberling Mansion

Seiberling Mansion

The Seiberling Mansion has two new exhibits on display!

First, the Howard County Historical Society is hosting Auto Indiana, a traveling exhibit from the Indiana Historical Society, during the month of September.  With this exhibit, visitors will take a ride through Indiana’s rich automotive past as they discover the Hoosier State’s prolific contributions.  From inventors and innovators like Elwood Haynes and Ralph Teetor to automakers like Studebaker and Duesenberg, Indiana has left an indelible mark on the industry for more than a century – and vice versa.

The exhibit illuminates ties between the automobiles and the development of many other economic opportunities for the “Crossroads of America,” such as the iron, steel and glass businesses.  It also explores how the automobile became part of American Dream and popular culture, from movies to making personal memories.  Auto Indiana is made possible by Kroger and is located on the 3rd floor of the Seiberling Mansion.

Here are some photos I took last week:

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There is also a new permanent Delco Radio exhibit on the 2nd floor.  Make sure you check it out on your next visit!

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Don’t forget about the Mobile Device Tour!  Stops are located throughout the Seiberling Mansion.  Listen to an audio tour, see additional historical photos, and stream videos (depending on what type of cell phone you have.)  Be on the lookout for these signs:

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The Seiberling Mansion is located at 1200 West Sycamore Street in Kokomo.  For more information about these exhibits or the mobile device tour, call (765) 452-4314 or visit www.howardcountymuseum.org.  To learn more about the Indiana Historical Society and its programs, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

Plan a Summer Getaway to Kokomo!

Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

 

Kokomo is a short drive for a fun (and very affordable) family-friendly weekend getaway.

Spend the day enjoying high-energy water slides, riding on the lazy river, playing in the splash pad, and swimming at Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center.  Admission is only $5 for adults and $4 for youth (ages 2-11.)

For a local experience, make sure you visit one of Kokomo’s local restaurants. Several are located Downtown in unique, historic buildings!  These include The DistrictFoxes TrailCook McDoogal’s Irish PubDrakes Bar & GrillPepperwhistle Bakery & CafeMain Street Cafe, and Jamie’s Soda Fountain.

Learn more about Kokomo’s rich history at the Elwood Haynes Museum, Seiberling Mansion, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory, or Kokomo Auto Museum.  Or explore the Historic Downtown Architecture Walking Tour!

Elwood Haynes Museum

Elwood Haynes Museum

Check out fun-filled festivals and the Summer Concert Series at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion in Downtown’s Foster Park.  Enjoy FREE admission to all concerts and festivals!  Many genres are represented with a great line-up of talented musicians and well-known bands, including rock, country, and blues.  For a list of all concerts this summer, go to www.KokomoSummerSeries.com. Upcoming festivals include:

Haynes-Apperson Festival – July 3-5, 2014
Parade, car show & cruise-ins, food, fireworks, rides, and concerts featuring Molly Hatchet, Here Come the Mummies, and 38 Special.  To see a full schedule of events, visit their website at www.haynesappersonfestival.org.

WeberFest – August 2, 2014
Food, medieval festival, and afternoon KidsFest.  Evening concerts will feature Cracker along with several opening bands.

Taste of Kokomo – August 16, 2014
Enjoy the tastes of local Kokomo cuisine from over 30 restaurants, beer garden, food competitions, kid’s activities, and concerts featuring American Idol winner David Cook.

While visiting Downtown, take time to explore local shops and trails.  The Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence and Industrial Heritage Trail are perfect for walking, running, and biking.  Don’t miss the colorful murals created by local artisans located along the trails and throughout Downtown!

Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence

Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence

Love comedy?  Laugh House Kokomo just opened this month bringing premium, live comedy to Downtown Kokomo.  Upcoming summer shows include Donnie Baker, Steve-O, and Jamie Kennedy. Visit their website for ticket information.

To plan your summer getaway, call the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau at 800-837-0971, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or download the free Visit Kokomo mobile app!

Angels are coming … to the Seiberling Mansion!

Christmas at the Seiberling MansionThe Seiberling Mansion is about to be home to one of the largest gatherings of angels ever seen in Howard County – big angels, tiny angels, glass angels, and paper angels are appearing in every room of the Mansion!  They’re part of the traditional Christmas at the Seiberling celebration in Kokomo.

Lighting Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 30, 2013 from 6-9 p.m.  Come witness the official arrival of Santa and countdown to 6 p.m., when the glorious display of outdoor lights is illuminated.  After the lighting, visit the Elliott House (located next door) to warm up with cookies & wassail and give the kids and grandkids the chance to see Santa.  For the first time this year, take your own picture with Santa for free.  Be sure to bring your camera!

In the Seiberling Mansion, tour a true vision of holiday beauty, created by dozens of volunteers.  Twenty rooms on all three floors are decorated, and the third floor ballroom features ornaments from the former Blasius Christmas Tree House in Kokomo.  Vote for your favorite room!

Christmas at the Seiberling stairs

There will be musical entertainment and a contest for kids 12 & under: “How Many Angels Are in the Mansion?” Opening night tickets are available in advance for $7 or at the door for $10.  Kids 12 & under are $3 and Howard County Historical Society members are free. Advance tickets are available online.

Christmas at the Seiberling holiday tours will continue through December 22, 2013.  Hours are Tuesday through Sunday 1-4 p.m.  Daytime tour admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, and $2 for kids 12 & under.

The Seiberling will also be open on December 6th from 6-9 p.m. during First Friday.  Enjoy an evening of holiday fun with Mansion tours, along with many family-friendly activities in Downtown!

Carriage rides will be available on both November 30th and December 6th from 6-9 p.m.  The cost is $50 and includes up to six people. Advance reservations are required.

The Seiberling Mansion is located at 1200 West Sycamore Street in Kokomo.  For more information on tours and special events, call (765) 452-4314 or visit www.howardcountymuseum.org.  See a sneak preview of the angels at www.facebook.com/hchistory!

 

Kokomo CVB Sign Grant Program Assisting Downtown Businesses

Pepperwhistle Bakery & Cafe

Pepperwhistle Bakery & Cafe

New signage is popping up around Downtown Kokomo.  Local businesses are partnering with the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau’s Perpendicular Sign Grant Program to enhance business signage, as well as the look of Downtown.  The grant program is designed to offer financial assistance to downtown businesses wishing to install perpendicular or blade signs to storefronts to increase visibility to visitors and residents and improve the quality of place.  Up to 50% of the total cost of sign production and installation may be granted up to a maximum of $1,000.

Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe and the Law Office of Corbin King have both installed perpendicular signs this spring after receiving grants from the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau.  Both signs were designed and installed by Huston.  For more information about the sign grant program, call (765) 457-6802 or visit our website.

Law Office of Corbin King

Law Office of Corbin King

Howard County Historical Society to Participate in Blue Star Museums

The Howard County Historical Society announces the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012.   The Howard County Museum is located at 1200 West Sycamore Street in Kokomo and is open Tuesday-Sunday from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

“The people of Howard County have a long history of military service to America, and we’re proud to celebrate and support the contributions of the men and women of the armed forces.   This is one small way that we can say ‘thank you’”, said Dave Broman, Executive Director of HCHS. “We’re pleased to be able to share our community’s heritage with a group of men and women who’ve made such a strong commitment to our national heritage.”

More than 1,500 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative, including more than 300 new museums this year.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find out which museums are participating, visit http://www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.

Howard County Museum

The Howard County Historical Society is the custodian of the county’s unique heritage. The organization operates from a campus on West Sycamore Street in Kokomo, which includes two turn-of-the-century mansions and their carriage houses. The history museum is located in the remarkable Seiberling Mansion, a brick Victorian house built in 1889. The Elliott Carriage House contains the HCHS Local History Archives, and the Elliott House is a rental facility for meetings, receptions, and parties. Information on the organization, museum, and archives can be found at howardcountymuseum.org.