The Sun Has Set On Our 2022 Season

We'd like to thank all those who visited and supported us during this special 50th Anniversary year, including who everyone who attended our Annual Old-Fashioned Christmas at the Farmhouse event this past weekend.

We would also like to send a special thank you to all of our wonderful members & dedicated volunteers! Without you none of what we do is possible and we sincerely thank you!

We hope to see everyone again in 2023.

May there always be a lighted candle in your window.

Happy Holidays everyone!

 


 

Annual Christmas Dinner

The Orange County Historical Society (OCHS) held its Annual Christmas Dinner on December 1st at the historic Lingle Room in Paoli.  OCHS President Robert F. Henderson gave the welcome with Chris Lindley providing the invocation.   The tables decorated festively for the occasion with a delicious meal being catered by Jerry Wall.  

  

A brief business session followed dinner with President Henderson highlighting some the historical society’s activities from this past special 50th Anniversary year. 

Officers and Board members for 2023 were installed and they are as follows:

Exec. Committee members:

Robert F. Henderson, President
Roger Moon, Vice President
Gary Spear, Recording Secretary
Carolyn Clements, Treasurer

Board of Directors:

Terry Cornwell, Chair, Carolyn Clements, Jeff Lane, Janet Newton and Brenda Cornwell.

Henderson expressed appreciation for the many things accomplished by the Society and its members noting the sizeable undertaking taken on by the group for the Paoli Historic Newspaper project.

Traditionally, the group does not meet during the months of January and February.  The Society typically meets the fourth Tuesday of each month 7 p.m. at the Paoli Library from March through November.

Henderson related a brief history of the 1897 legendary editorial, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Kirby Stailey performed a program of Christmas music for the closing out portion of the meeting.

Those persons wanting information on the OCHS, becoming a member and/or any of their activities should contact Henderson at 812.653.1212.

 


 

50th Anniversary Celebration

Orange County Historical Society members and guests celebrated the Society's 50th Anniversary during their last regular meeting of 2022 held November 22nd at the Paoli Library.  The present-day historical society was formed 50 years ago in November, 1972.

Those on hand for the celebration included left to right Charter Member and Board Member Janet Newton, Vice President Brenda Cornell, Board Member Jeff Lane, President-CEO Robert F. Henderson, Longtime OCHS volunteer Duane Radcliffe, Treasurer Carolyn Clements, Past President Chris Lindley and Board Chair Terry Cornwell.

 


 

Old-Fashioned Holiday Event at The Historic Lindley House

 

The Orange County Historical Society will once again play host to an old-fashioned holiday event at the historic Lindley House in Paoli this coming Sunday, December 4th 2022 from 2 to 4 pm.

The nearly 170-year-old farmhouse will be decorated downstairs in part to reflect a simple 1860s Christmas past and will be open for informal touring. Robert Henderson, president of the Orange County Historical Society, said volunteers will be present to share information related to the house. The musical group “Wildflowers & Weeds” will perform period music in the front parlor of the house that afternoon as well. 

Hot Cider and cookies will be served.

 


 

Orange Historic Museum Holiday Open House November 20th

The Orange County Historical Society will host its annual “Holiday Open House” at the Orange County Historic Museum in Paoli Sunday, November 20th from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is being held in conjunction with the annual Paoli Merchants Christmas Open House being held that same day.  The Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.

Artifacts and items of historical significance of Orange County’s 200 years of rich and interesting history can be viewed during the event at the Museum located on the northwest corner of the Courthouse Square in Paoli. Admission will be FREE; however, donations are accepted to help with the museum’s upkeep. This will also mark the last official day of operations for the museum this season.

The Museum Gift Shop will have a number of unique and interesting items for sale that day for the “history buff” including the Society’s new 2022 Christmas ornament celebrating the historic Monon Trestle at Paoli. A limited number of the Paoli Historic Newspaper “History Mystery” Totes will be available as Commemorative Bundles of historic Paoli papers of the past.

In addition, local author Kevin Tower will be signing copies of his latest book, Early French Lick West Baden Valley Hotels, Clubs, and Boarding Houses, which will be available for sale in the gift shop.

For more information on the Orange County Historical Society or any of its activities please contact President Robert F. Henderson, 812-653-1212.

 


 

Help Us Save Paoli Historic Newspapers!

As the sorting and inventory process has continued, Orange County Historical Society members have announced some new offerings in the popular “History Mystery” packets of old Paoli newspapers presently being made available to the public. The suggested donation for a History Mystery packet is $10.

Society President Robert Henderson said the following options now are available, with opportunities for picking up History Mystery totes being Friday, Oct. , 14 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Orange County Museum on the Paoli square:

1. A tote with 12 randomly selected newspapers from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s.

2. A tote with 12 randomly selected newspapers from the 30s, 40s and 50s (four per decade).

3. A tote with 12 randomly selected newspapers from the 1960s.

4. A tote with 12 randomly selected newspapers from the 1970s.

A tote of 12 newspapers from the 1980s or the 1990s, is also available upon request.

In addition, Henderson said that Society members will also be set up outside at the old JSI building on hospital road on two Saturdays both October 15th and October 22 from the hours of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for anyone wishing to purchase one of the totes. Also, for the first-time individual commemorative type issues may be obtained on these two dates only for anyone wishing to have a specific dated paper related to a birthday, graduation, anniversary etc. Note: Some years are very limited and, in some cases, may not exist or be available. Henderson encourages those interested to please try and have specific date and year for the paper they wish to obtain. Individual copies will be available for a suggestive donation of $5. This will be a very limited type offer. Proceeds from the commemorative paper sales will benefit the historical society’s Historic Paoli Newspaper Preservation Project.

 


 

September OCHS Meeting - Historic Lick Creek Settlement

Thanks to everyone who came out for the regular September meeting of the Orange County Historical Society held at the Paoli Library. Tesa Villalobos, Heritage Program Manager with Hoosier National Forest was our presenter this month. Tesa gave an interesting and informative program on the historic Lick Creek Settlement.

 


 

2022 Paoli Fall Festival

The Orange County Historic Museum in Paoli will be open in conjunction with the upcoming 2022 Paoli Fall Festival.  The festival's general theme this year is "Hoosier Heritage." The Museum, which is located on the NW corner of the historic Courthouse Square will be open for visitors on both Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th of the event from 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Admission is FREE; however, donations are accepted to help defray cost of upkeep of the museum and historic collection.

 


 

Lick Creek African American Settlement Exhibit

New at the Museum is a special temporary display on the "Lick Creek African American Settlement".  A number of related rare items and artifacts are presently on loan for display purposes from the Indiana State Museum, in cooperation with the Hoosier National Forest.

 


 

Last Civil War Veteran Buried in Orange County Honored

Ceremonies were conducted at Ames Chapel Cemetery on August 28th to formally rededicate the grave of Thomas Jefferson Cave (1844-1940)-Last Civil War Veteran to be buried in Orange County. The brief ceremony included a biography of Sgt. Thomas J. Cave, a presentation of wreaths and a full musket salute by Civil War Reenactors. The event was sponsored by the French Lick West Baden Museum, in conjunction with the Sons of Union Veterans, John W. Foster Camp.

 


 

OCHS Will Host IHS’s Traveling Exhibit Faces in the Crowd: Indiana and the Political Process

FacesCrowdShow.pngThe Orange County Historical Society (OCHS) will host Faces in the Crowd: Indiana and the Political Process, an Indiana Historical Society (IHS) traveling exhibit that shows how Indiana has entertained debates on issues and candidates throughout the state's history. From August 16th through September 20th, the exhibit will be on display at Orleans Public Library, located at 174 N. Maple (S.R. 37). 

Society President Robert F. Henderson said “Faces in the Crowd is not the story of the candidates behind the microphone, but of the individual citizens in the crowd—each of whom play a crucial role in ensuring the electoral process works.” “Since the early years of the electoral political system, Hoosiers have attended rallies, expressed their opinions and participated at the polls. They have supported and opposed candidates, and of course, run for office themselves.” 

“We are grateful to our community partners at the Orleans Library for allowing us to showcase this educating and informative display in their main reading room.” Henderson added.

The included images have been collected from across the state, showcasing Hoosiers at a host of campaign events throughout history. The IHS collections images that appear in the exhibit were placed in context with support and cooperation from The Indianapolis Star, the Calumet Regional Archives and the University of Southern Indiana.

For more information about this exhibit, call 812-653-1212.

 


 

August Monthly Meeting

Attendees at the August meeting enjoyed a fun Historic Music Presentation presented by Becky Sprinkle, Marty Mundy, Randy Tuell, Eric Harmon, Sarah Calhoun and Gary Spear. The group performed a variety of songs both traditional and folk stretching from the Civil War through modern day while also sharing tidbits of history behind the music and some of the instruments.

Tuell shared the background on one of his Dulcimers, handmade by Jim Fox created from historic wood dating back to tree cut about 1757.

 


 

May Monthly Meeting

Author Bob Moody was the guest presenter for the May 24th Orange County Historical Society meeting held at the Paoli Library. Bob held attendees fairly spellbound while sharing the strange story and tragic death of Professor Wilbur at the Orange County Fair in 1871. Bob also presented some new interesting and informative research about events leading up to that tragedy and beyond.

 


 

 

Orange County Historical Society Meeting - May 24th

Special Guest - Author Bob Moody

The Orange County Historical Society (OCHS) will meet for its next regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 24th 7 p.m. at the Paoli Public Library.  Author Bob Moody will be presenting a program on the 1871 strange and sad fate of “Professor R.H. Wilbur.”  The event once again placed Orange County in the National Spotlight.   The public is welcome to attend.

 


 

 

Orange County Historical Society To Host IHS’s Traveling Exhibit Faces of the Civil War

Civil War history will come alive for visitors who experience Faces of the Civil War, an Indiana Historical Society (IHS) traveling exhibit. From May 25th through June 22nd, Orange County Historical Society (OCHS) will host the special exhibit at the Paoli Public Library, located at 100 W. Water Street in Paoli.

Society President Robert F. Henderson said the exhibit brings to life the stories of many Hoosiers whose lives were touched, and in some cases taken, by the Civil War.  “Not all are well known or revered—many were just everyday citizens fulfilling their duties to their friends, family, state and country,” He added.  Rather than focusing on statistics and large-scale battles, the exhibit illustrates how regular people coped with the tragic experiences of the day—all from an Indiana perspective.

“We certainly appreciate our partnership with the Paoli Library and staff and their wiliness to allow us to display this interesting and informative exhibit.” Henderson said.

About IHS Traveling Exhibitions

Historical societies, museums, libraries, schools and other nonprofit organizations in Indiana can book this and other traveling exhibits through IHS’s Local History Services department. Exhibits may be borrowed for approximately four to five weeks at a time. To book an exhibit, please contact Karen DePauw at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 233-3110. For more information about the traveling exhibit program, visit www.indianahistory.org.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

 


 

 

 

Old-Fashioned Holiday Event at The Historic Lindley House

The Orange County Historical Society will once again play host to an old-fashioned holiday event at the historic Lindley House in Paoli this coming Sunday, December 5th 2021 from 2 to 4 pm.

The nearly 170-year-old farmhouse will be decorated downstairs in part to reflect a simple 1860s Christmas past and will be open for informal touring. Robert Henderson, president of the Orange County Historical Society, said volunteers will be present to share information related to the house. The musical group “Wildflowers & Weeds” will perform period music in the front parlor of the house that afternoon as well. 

Hot Cider and cookies will be served.

No admission will be charged; however, donations will be accepted to help maintain the historic home site.

Due to the lack of ability to adequately social distance masks are recommended inside the historic farmhouse.

The house was the home of Thomas Elwood Lindley, an early Orange County settler and is located just off Hwy. 150 West on Willow Creek Rd. in Paoli

 


 

 

Orange Peelings Newsletter - Spring 2022

Click on the graphic below to download our most recent Orange Peelings Newsletter

 


 

Join us for Living History Day - July 10th 2021 


 

 

Celebrating the Generosity of a Benefactor with a Red Bud Tree

A few years ago now the OCHS planted and dedicated this Red Bud at the historic Lindley House to the memory our friend and benefactor the late Mildred "Mid" Hoke (1915-2006). Mid generously remembered the O.C. Historical Society in her will and her "gift" lives on today in helping us to preserve our rich Orange County history at the Museum and through our many activities throughout the year.

As the tree blooms at the old farmhouse this Spring we are reminded of Mid's example she left for all of us.

Do you know that the OCHS has two Endowment Funds set up through the Orange County Community Foundation?

A gift to one of the OCHS Endowment Funds is a gift to the future, as it provides funding for the Society's work each and every year...forever.

We accept a number of types of gifts, including cash or check. But you could also like our friend Mid and remember us in your will with a bequest to our endowment or provide us with other forms of planned giving.

Check with your financial advisor when deciding how to give, and rest assured that you are preserving the legacy and story of Orange County.

Make a Donation to Support our Mission

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