• Washington Co. Land of the Indians Pt. 2 – The Blue River Legend of the Shawnee Princess Eva

    As previously mentioned, in segment 1 of the Indian history, we do not have very much information on the era of time the Shawnee Indian tribal bands occupied the southwest sections of our county.  It is believed they migrated north prior to the end of 1810, so there would not have been much of a pioneer population […]

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  • Seeking County Racing History

    During our period of display renovations, we will be expanding the Washington County Racing History Display in the upstairs gallery and would greatly appreciate donations from any time era representing the sport in our county. Examples of desired items are; photographs or memorabilia from any of the county speedways/raceways; the Salem Speedway, Thunder Valley or […]

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  • This Friday Indiana Turns 199 Years Old!!

    Friday December 11, 2015 at 1300hrs/1pm; the Washington County Board of Commissioners would like to extend an open invitation to all of our county’s citizens to attend a public gathering on the North side of the Washington County Courthouse, to honor the 199th anniversary of Indiana’s admittance as the 19th state of the Union.  The Washington County Historical […]

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  • HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

    Thanksgiving is our national holiday to celebrate the year’s harvest season and has been immortalized in the teachings of American History, with the first Thanksgiving celebrated, at Plymouth, between the pilgrims and the Indians, in 1621.  However, the holiday took one long, strange and grinding journey to gain its federal recognition. After the initial celebration, the […]

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  • A Brief History of Our Namesake

    John Hay was a great American statesman, diplomat, author and poet, whose political career spanned over 50 years.  He was born in a small brick home, on College Avenue, in Salem, Indiana, on October 8, 1838.  John was the fourth of five children, born in the house, to Dr. Charles Hay and the former Helen […]

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  • The Legend of Dead Man’s Holler

    There’s a hollow out along Cox Ferry Road that many generations of county residents say will inspire eerie and foreboding feelings, even if you visit during daylight hours.  Something about the location is just a little off or creepy.  Some claim it is haunted by a horrible, unspeakable spirit of a bygone era, while others will tell […]

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  • A Tribute to Local Racing Legend, Roy Robbins Jr.

    The Washington County Historical Society is mourning the loss of our native son and legendary, professional race car driver, Roy Robbins Jr., who passed away on Friday, Oct. 16th, at 88 years of age, at his home in Little York.  Breaking into the sport, just after World War II, as an auto racing mania was […]

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  • The Honorable Judge Benjamin Parke

    In 1822, Judge Benjamin and Elizabeth (Barton) Parke, along with their two young children, moved to the east side of the Salem Square from Vincennes.  The couple would quickly become very influential members of the community.  Benjamin was the United States District Judge of Indiana, appointed by President Madison, from the onset of Indiana’s acceptance […]

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  • Indiana’s 1st Lt. Governor Lived on the Salem Square

    Christopher Harrison was born circa 1780, to an affluent family in Cambridge, Maryland and graduated from St. John’s College.  Afterwards, as he began to study law, he went to work, clerking, for the president of the Bank of Baltimore and soon began tutoring the bank president’s daughter, Elizabeth Patterson.  Over time Christopher and Elizabeth became romantically involved […]

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  • County’s 1st Settlement

    The first pioneer settlement, in what would become Washington County, formed around a squatter, who migrated here somewhere between 1800 and 1805.  He built a little cabin on poles, in Section 15 of Washington Township, on the forks of Blue River, where there was a salt lick and began a mining operation.  In the pioneer […]

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