October 30, 2013 | 11:23 AM
Plenty of debate can take place about the where, when and how of a Harrison County Museum. What shouldn't be a debate is the fact that the county needs one.
History is the main attraction of downtown Corydon and Harrison County as a whole, and there needs to be a place to showcase all of it in one stop.
Without knowing much about the inside lay-out or if it would even work as a museum, the latest proposal, the old jail/archives building, from a location standpoint, would be the perfect site for a museum.
The Historical Society of Harrison County received the blessing from county commissioners last week to pursue the building which is across Capitol Avenue from the old capitol building, making it the perfect location for downtown tourists, field trippers and anyone else in the area looking to kill some time.
Do you think the old Harrison County Jail/archives building would be a good location for a county museum?
In the spring, hardly a day passes when a school bus or tour bus doesn't stop at the square for a tour. The museum would make for a nice starting point for students to learn about the history of the town and county and then go out and actually see some of the buildings and historical items associated with what they learned.
The site is also near the newly remodeled Posey House (exterior is nearly complete and interior work continues), one of the few buildings still standing from the period when Corydon was the state capital (1816 to 1825). Anyone who hasn't seen the Posey House since the remodel needs to. The contractors and organizer Missi Bush-Sawtelle have made a stunning change.
There's no reason Harrison County — one rich in history, maybe more so than any other county in the state — can't do what's necessary to create a museum. It's somewhat of a surprise the county doesn't already have a one.
The interest in the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Corydon indicates that there will be no lack of interest in a museum. Dan Bays, county historian, also said the "My Brother, My Enemy" Civil War exhibit in the Emporium in downtown Corydon has had more than 1,000 visitors. The exhibit was scheduled to be taken down in July following the battle re-enactment, but interest allowed it to continue to stay open. The Faces of Lincoln traveling display was also recently incorporated with it.
The goal is to have the museum up and running for the Indiana Bicentennial celebration in 2016. Many plans are in the works for the town and county to help lead the state celebration. A website (indianabicentennial.com) should be online some time next year, dedicated to the celebration.
There have been a few fundraisers for the museum, including the "Tied Up in Knotts' show this Friday in the Corydon Central High School auditorium (tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center in downtown Corydon) and a Culver's of Corydon night Nov. 4 (a portion of the sales will go to the museum), to help raise funds to get the museum going but to be able to find a property the county already owns and is in good shape would put the March to the Museum movement in the fast lane.