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June 9, 2013

Genealogy: Any community can take advantage of cultural tourism

TERRE HAUTE — Cultural tourism is a subset of the tourism industry that focuses on a region’s cultural heritage, lifestyle, history, geography, art and architecture. We may think of it as something elaborate and grand, like traveling to Europe or Africa to experience the culture of our ancestors, but it can take place in almost any community.

One example of a small community I visited several years ago is the Pendarvis historical site at Mineral Point, Wisc. This restored location was named after Pendarvis, in Cornwall, England. Historically, it was settled by many Cornish miners in the 1830s and 1840s. Since I am descended from Cornish miners who came to Clay County, I was interested in Pendarvis.

The site included tours of old Cornish homes, with interpreters dressed in period costume, information on the lead and zinc mines that had been in the area, and restaurants that featured Cornish pasties. (These are little pies that often have meat and vegetables in one end and a fruit dessert in the other. They were convenient for the miners to take down into the mines with them because they were a complete meal that could just be picked up and eaten without utensils).

Any community can take advantage of cultural tourism, even Terre Haute. The Cultural Heritage Tourism group suggests that a community follow the following five principals: 1.) the collaboration of various community groups on the goal of cultural tourism; 2.) finding the focus for the particular community; 3.) making the community sites and programs come alive (“on average, visitors will remember 10 percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they read, 50 percent of what they see, and 90 percent of what they do); 4.) focusing on quality and authenticity, making the destination worthwhile for the tourist to visit; and 5.) preserving and protecting the community’s cultural, historical and natural sites.

The group also outlines four steps for implementing cultural tourism in a community: 1.) assess the potential; 2.) plan and organize; 3.) preserve and protect your resources, and prepare for visitors; 4.) market for success.

Some of Terre Haute’s resources include: the river, coal mining history, the railroads and canals, a local saint, three universities, libraries for genealogical research, the site of Fort Harrison, and the homes of Paul Dresser, Theodore Dreiser and Eugene V. Debbs.

So much of our heritage has been thoughtlessly torn down over the years. Vacant lots take the place of buildings. Chances have been lost. Let’s do something about this.


Seeking information on Moses Reid, born March 28, 1831, in Miami County, Ohio, and died Dec. 19, 1897, in Vermilion County, Ill. He married Mary Jane French on March 16, 1854, in Vermilion County.

She was born Feb. 14, 1837, in Illinois, and died May 14, 1915, in Vermilion County.

 I think his parents are listed on the 1850 census for Eugene Township, Vermilion County, Ill. Moses, age 19, was living with James Reid, age 60, and wife Lydia, age 50, both born in North Carolina.

Any information about this family and especially the parents, is appreciated. I would like to know where and when they died, and where they are buried. Thank you. Please contact Terry Lee Reid at song


If you have a query, please send it to or to Genealogy, Tribune-Star Publishing Company, P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808.


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    March 12, 2010