Museum interpreter receives distinguished Hoosier Historian award

Eddie Grogan, a popular fixture in Prairietown as he portrays the esteemed and talented Dr. Campbell, has worked at Conner Prairie for 34 years..

Staff Report
Long-time interpreter Eddie Grogan has received the prestigious Dorothy Riker Hoosier Historian Award from the Indiana Historical Society.

Each year, the organization recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations whose efforts have enriched the lives of others by conveying awareness and appreciation of Indiana’s history on local, regional and statewide levels.

The award was named after Riker, who was a 50-year employee and editor for the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau.

Numerous letters of support accompanied the award nomination, detailing how Eddie contributes to the overall visitor experience as an interpreter in Prairietown, educates visitors, entertains guests at many of the museum’s popular special events and more.

He and other winners will be honored at the Indiana Historical Society’s annual Founders Day Dinner in November. Eddie began interpreting at Conner Prairie 34 years ago this month.

Set up, preparations under way for weekend’s Festival of Machines

Gail Brown, who manages the annual Festival of Machines at Conner Prairie, guides a vehicle from H&L Pool Management to its designated area Friday.

By Ephraim Rudolph
Now entering its fourth year, Festival of Machines was borne of Conner Prairie’s traditions of holding separate showcases for vintage steam-powered vehicles and classic cars from decades past. The annual event was the brainchild of Gail Brown and the events and programs team.

“Historically, we’ve always done the power show with the steam engines and the tractors,” he said. “But we were like, ‘How do we bridge those with the classic cars?’ So we said, ‘Let’s explore everything with transportation.’”

That exploration resulted in Festival of Machines, which since 2014 has allowed guests to get up close and personal with vehicles from every era of transportation history. “I call it our ‘Big Machine Petting Zoo,’” laughs Brown, joking that “a lot of other people call it ‘Touch-A-Truck.’”

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Classic cars, machines of all kinds to fill Conner Prairie’s grounds Sept. 16-17

Nearly 6.200 people attended last year’s Festival of Machines at Conner Prairie. This year’s weekend-long festival is Sept. 16-17.

Staff Report
Classic cars, antique tractors, steam engines, heavy-duty machinery, fire trucks, military vehicles, vintage aircraft and more will fill Conner Prairie during the fourth annual Festival of Machines.

Nearly 6,200 people attended last year’s festival. Continue reading

Simple recipes featuring Apple Store products perfect for fall suppers

The Apple Store opens for its 32nd season on Friday, Sept. 1. The ladies of the Conner Prairie Alliance have created four recipes utilizing the store’s fresh apples. 

Staff Report
On Friday, Sept. 1, the Apple Store at Conner Prairie will open for the season. That means everyone’s favorite fall treats will be back, including caramel apples, apple cider slushies, apple fritters, and more, along with plain apples perfect for cooking.

The women of the Conner Prairie Alliance selected four different recipes utilizing fresh apples from the store. Follow the recipes or click the link embedded in three of the four titles to see a YouTube video with instructions on how to make each recipe. Enjoy!

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Youth spinning program creates future leaders with high STEM skills

Conner Prairie employee Sue Payne (right) leads the museum’s growing youth spinning program, which culminates each year by competing at the Indiana State Fair.

By Hannah Kiefer
At the Indiana State Fair earlier this month, four teams of Conner Prairie youth volunteers were faced with a seemingly impossible task: Make a scarf – from unspun wool to finished product – in just four hours.

Several times a week for months or even years, the youth train for the “Sheep to Shawl” competition, practicing all of the steps over and over, from carding the wool to spinning the thread to the actual weaving.

“They have to really prove themselves to be focused and hardworking to make it to the fair,” said Youth Manager Sarah Morin-Wilson. Continue reading