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February 12, 2012

Terre Haute museums keeping history alive

TERRE HAUTE — Even if you don’t have a mystical Egyptian tablet that brings museum inhabitants to life at sunset like character Larry Daley in the “Night in the Museum” movies, history can come alive for you, your friends and family at the many museums in the Wabash Valley.

It could be Stiffy Green, the nationally famous and reportedly loyal bulldog, said to haunt Highland Cemetery in Terre Haute, who captures your interest as he sits beside his owners’ mausoleum replica.

It could be the development of the Coca-Cola bottle with its distinctive curves — one of the few packages ever granted a trademark — created by the one-time Terre Haute Root Glass Co. in 1915 that fascinates you.

Or it could be the men and women of the railroad industry and the tribute paid to them for their past, current and future contributions locally and nationally.

Or the ghastly Holocaust experience that actual survivors share on a daily basis that draws you to the past and helps to shape the future.

Whatever your interest, the Wabash Valley abounds with remnants and pieces of our local and global past. And at little cost or no admission fees at all, a weekend at the local museums makes a perfect stay-vacation.

Our 28th President, Woodrow Wilson is quoted as saying that “A nation which does not know what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do.”

All of the local museums display artistic, historical and scientific objects that testify to our local and national past and help us realize where we have been yesterdays and yesteryears ago. Several museum officials testify that the exhibits make history come alive much more than reading from a book. So get started searching for your past.

Vigo County Historical Museum

The Vigo County Historical Museum, 1411 S. Sixth St., has a mission to collect, preserve and share Vigo County’s past and how it relates to all parts of the country, Assistant Director Barbara Carney said.

Along with the famous Stiffy Green and Coca-Cola bottle displays, another major drawing card to this museum is the Military Room, Carney said.


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    March 12, 2010