Monroe Lake open houses to highlight Salt Creek Valley cemeteries


Monroe Lake will dive into the history of several local cemeteries during two open houses.

The events are part of Salt Creek Valley History Week, a celebration of the Salt Creek Valley’s past, that runs Sept. 10 to 16.

The first open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 10 will share information on three small cemeteries that are located south of Monroe Lake in Hoosier National Forest and named after the Hays family.

The open house will be at the Paynetown State Recreation Area activity center, 4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington.

If you have photos, documents, stories or other records pertaining to people buried in one of the Hays cemeteries, Monroe Lake naturalist Jill Vance asks you to bring them to contribute to the park’s history. Vance will be able to digitally scan items during the open house so you can keep your original records.

On Sept. 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., a second open house entitled “Before the Water Rose” will be held at Allens Creek Cemetery, 7650 E. Allens Creek Road, Bloomington.

When Monroe Lake was constructed, seven cemeteries were relocated to create Allens Creek Cemetery. Attendees can walk through the cemetery sections with Vance to learn about where these cemeteries were originally located and how they were moved and hear stories about some of the people buried there.

Susan Snider Salmon, a trained headstone restorer, will demonstrate the proper technique for safely cleaning historic grave markers. Attendees also can talk with Kel McBride, a cemetery coordinator with the Monroe County History Center, who will share the best techniques for photographing gravestone details.

For information and a list of other programs scheduled during Salt Creek Valley History Week, visit

Both open houses are free to attend; however, an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle with an Indiana license plate and $9 per vehicle with an out-of-state plate applies for Paynetown SRA.

Questions should be directed to the Paynetown activity center at 812-837-9967 or email [email protected].

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