Rare autos, machines of all kind on display at third annual Festival of Machines

Machines of all kind, including more than 20 vintage automobiles, will be displayed at Conner Prairie during its third annual Festival of Machines Sept. 17-18.

Staff Report
In just more than three weeks, machines of all sizes and types will be displayed at Conner Prairie. The third annual Festival of Machines is Sept. 17-18.

The festival’s intent is to share Indiana’s rich history of transportation innovation. Its centerpiece will be more than 20 one-of-a-kind, vintage automobiles with their owners on hand to discuss the history of their cars and their work to restore them and share them with future generations. Continue reading

Preparations under way to open Apple Store at Conner Prairie Sept. 1

Conner Prairie Alliance volunteers will be hard at work during the next couple of weeks, preparing the Apple Store at Conner Prairie for its 31st season. The store opens at 11 a.m. Sept. 1.

Staff Report
August is a busy month for about 100 women who support Conner Prairie – not as busy as the two months that follow but still pretty hectic. And stressful.

That’s because floors need mopped, walls scrubbed, shelves wiped down and windows cleaned. There’s thousands of products to order, display and inventory. Then, there’s training – a lot of training – to make sure the Apple Store at Conner Prairie is a success in its 31st season. The store was created in 1985 by a very dedicated group of women who make up the Conner Prairie Alliance.

Continue reading

Rare-breed Conner Prairie Ossabaw hog part of national research program

The genetic code of one of Conner Prairie’s rare-breed Ossabaw hogs is being included in a national research program aimed at preserving species.

By Hannah Kiefer
Earlier this summer, one of Conner Prairie’s rare-breed Ossabaw Island hogs was taken to Purdue University for use in a research program. Semen from the boar will be entered into the National Animal Germplasm Preservation program.

The purpose of the program is “to gather as much range of genetic diversity among all the species and get it preserved primarily for security, in case of some sort of future disaster” like disease, said Terry Stewart, professor of Animal Sciences at Purdue.

All of the germplasm is stored at a U.S. Department of Agriculture site in Fort Collins, Colo. Stewart said Purdue helps collect the samples with a focus on swine, beef cattle and dairy cattle. The program is funded by the federal government and began in the 1970s for seeds and the 1990s for animal germplasm. Continue reading

History collides with reality: Prairietown wedding interpreters to marry in real life


Laura Carter and John Mortell will be the bride and groom in Prairietown’s upcoming McClure-Cox wedding. The couple will also be getting married in real life in November.

By Hannah Kiefer
For many years when she was a youth interpreter, Laura Carter played the groom’s younger sister in the 1836 Prairietown wedding every summer, when characters Ada Noreen McClure and James Cox get married.

This summer, however, she’ll be playing the role of the bride. And Laura’s real-life fiancé, John Mortell, will be waiting for her as the groom. It’s the first time in recent memory that a real-life couple has been fake-married in the Prairietown wedding.

“I think it’ll be fun,” Laura said. “It’s good practice,” John laughed. Continue reading

2 interpreters to entertain youth at weekend theater festival

Conner Prairie interpreter Jason Adams, along with Taylor Coonce, will perform this weekend at the Children’s Theatre Festival at the Fort, a benefit for local youth.

Staff Report
Two Conner Prairie interpreters will be active this weekend, acting in plays and performing other pieces at a special Indy Fringe theater benefit for youth.

The Children’s Theatre Festival at the Fort will be from 2-7 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday at Fort Benjamin Harrison, located at 8920 Otis Ave. in Lawrence. The two-day theater festival is a benefit for local youth interested in the arts, especially acting and performing. Continue reading