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Historical society comeback

Historical society comeback
Historical society comeback
Karen Gleitz

Karen and Roger Gleitz of the Fountain neighborhood have breathed new life into the Harrison County Historical Society. They are both keenly interested in history and genealogy, and when several people asked them to reactivate the society last year, they jumped right in, on many fronts, with the help of several committees of volunteer helpers.
In the past few months, the society has:
‘ Started having quarterly meetings at the Wright Interpretive Center in Corydon with relevant topics and attendance that averages 60 people.
‘ Produced a 2005 Calendar of Historic Buildings featuring Corydon photographer Larry M. Ray’s black and white photos of Corydon’s nine historic buildings plus the Constitution Elm.
‘ Produced an attractive, professional-quality booklet called ‘Historic Corydon, Indiana, From A to Z, A Guidebook to Corydon’s Historical Sites.’ It has Ray’s photographs, this time in glossy color, and Karen’s descriptions of all 27 sites.
Close to 500 copies were distributed to all fourth grade students and their teachers and school libraries in Harrison County. (Karen, a former teacher at St. Joseph School in Corydon, produced a 115-question quiz to go with it.)
‘ Had eight state historic markers refurbished. Two have been put up at Mauckport telling where Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate Raiders crossed the Ohio River into Harrison County during the Civil War, and where Squire Boone’s last home was.
Other markers have been restored for the First State Treasury, the Corydon Post Office, the Lanesville Post Office (honoring Walter Q. Gresham), the Thomas Posey House in Corydon, the Wright Interpretive Center, and the old county jail in Corydon. (This was made possible by grants from the Harrison County Community Foundation and the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
‘ Installed a stone monument for Civil War soldier Joseph Lynch at Ray’s Chapel Cemetery in O’Bannon Woods State Park.
‘ Found graves and markers of Civil War soldiers in local cemeteries.
‘ Added interpretive signs for the Flags Over Corydon.
‘ Sponsored a ‘cemetery stroll’ and gotten grants for restoration equipment. The society’s cemetery committee is looking for volunteers who want to help with cemetery restoration and burial documentation.
‘ Looked in south Corydon for the burial site of Edward Smith, Corydon’s first citizen, as well as a lost African-American cemetery.
In the meantime, Karen Gleitz, the society’s publicity committee chair, and her husband have been working on:
‘ A mini-booklet on the Battle of Corydon (which will be reenacted along with Morgan’s Raid on July 8 and 9). The booklet will contain a map and a fold-out photo album.
‘ A Flags Over Corydon coloring book.
‘ A Harrison County family history book, in conjunction with M.T. Publishing in Evansville.
‘ A 2006 Calendar, featuring Harrison County’s 12 townships.
‘ Flag poles for the Battle of Corydon Park.
‘ Documentation of the site of all the cemeteries in the county.
‘ A marker memorial project with the Hoosier Elm chapter of the DAR at Hancock Chapel.
Roger Gleitz has been doing research to find the homesite of Peter Glenn, a minister who died during Morgan’s march on Corydon in July of 1863. Gleitz believes he has located the graves of nine people at the edge of the Battle of Corydon site.
Gleitz, 53, is working on a wire rod dousing method that, he believes, enables him to locate bodies and tell their height and even the gender.
The ‘Historic Corydon’ booklet is for sale for $5.95 plus tax at the Harrison County Public Library, Friends of the Corydon Capitol Gift Shop at the Wright Interpretive Center, Corydon Visitors Center, Rays of Light at 717 E. Walnut St., or through M.T. Publishing (
The society produced the ‘Historic Corydon’ booklet with a grant from the Harrison County Youth Philanthropy Council through the historic society and the Blue River All Stars 4-H Club.
The historical signs were refurbished with funds from the Harrison County Community Foundation and the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Karen, 48, is looking for help with the family history book. If you want your family history included in the 8-1/2-by-11-inch coffeetable-sized hardbound book, ‘take the time to write and submit it,’ she said. Anyone who has ever lived in or has connections to Harrison County is invited to submit a 500-word family biography along with a photo at no charge.
The ‘pre-order deadline’ for a reduced price is Aug. 31.
Informational fliers about the society were included in this week’s Shopper (June 20), which goes to all Harrison County households.
The society is looking for a good place to house Civil War and artifacts from other eras that were removed from the Thomas Posey House in Corydon after it was purchased last year by the state. The environment has to be climate-controlled. One possibility is the Westfall House on High Street, now owned by former Corydon resident and television newsman John Butte.
The July society meeting topic will be old records preservation, and the October meeting will be about Ohio River riverboats.
The society’s board of directors are: Roger Gleitz, Missi Bush-Sawtelle, Cheryl Proctor, Chris Fisher, Angelia Barger, Dan Bays and Marjo Howe.
For more information, call Gleitz at 738-2828 or e-mail her at [email protected]