Building on history: Despite low turnout, event organizers look to future


An organization collecting and preserving the history of Jackson County and its people attempted to share some of its efforts with the public this past weekend.

Although the turnout for the second Heritage Days event at the Jackson County History Center wasn’t as good as expected — especially considering near picture-perfect weather — it’s something to build upon for the future, one organizer said.

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Speaking near the end of this year’s three-day celebration Sunday afternoon, Margo Brewer of Brownstown said there were some positives to take away.

“The music was good,” she said. “There wasn’t a lot of people here to listen to them, unfortunately.”

The schedule featured a variety of performers, including country and gospel music bands, line dancers and cloggers.

The history center also had food available for purchase in the livery barn, which serves as the headquarters for events. The livery barn also holds wagons and buggies along with other transportation-related memorabilia.

“Our ham and beans has always been a wonderful fundraiser, and our pork burgers went well,” Brewer said. “We have had a lot of people in here.”

Brett and Melissa DeBord brought their 5-year-old daughter, Skyy DeBord, to Heritage Days to check out the museums and the John Ketcham Pioneer Village, which features a stockade, a trading post, a meetinghouse and a cabin.

“It’s educational for the little one,” Melissa said.

Sunday’s visit to the center at the corner of Walnut and Sugar streets across from the courthouse in Brownstown was the first for Brett.

Melissa, however, said she had visited the Ball Museum when she was in school.

“I just think it’s amazing to learn about history, and I think it would be so cool to revisit years and years ago,” she said.

Part of the purpose of Heritage Days is to promote the history center, which also includes a genealogy library, Brewer said.

“All of our buildings are open, and there is someone in all of the buildings to talk to people about them,” she said.

Volunteer Adam Disque of Norman spent his time Sunday afternoon talking about the Works Progress Administration wagon that belongs to the center.

That wagon contains a display of uniforms from veterans of past wars, including a couple of Disque’s grandparents.

Disque’s son, Jaden Disque, 10, and his friend, Grant Killey, also 10, spent part of Sunday afternoon learning how to play a game featuring a metal hoop and a golf-like paddle from volunteer Ray Bachmann of Brownstown.

Grant said trying to roll the hoop with the paddle was really fun, while Jaden said it was a little hard at first.

“Once you try to get it going, it gets easier,” Jaden said.

Except for the turns, Grant said.

“It’s hard to turn around with the stick,” he said.

Bachmann said he wasn’t sure if there was a name for the game.

“I call it the hoop and paddle,” he said.

Brewer said the plan is try to build on this year’s event and make it bigger in the future.

“We need more volunteers,” she said. “So if anyone wants to, they can come in and help us do different things.”

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The Jackson County History Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, so membership dues are tax-deductible.

Membership dues are $15 per year and may be mailed to the Jackson County History Center, 105 N. Sugar St., Brownstown, IN 47220.

Information: 812-358-2118