Q&A with craft beer aficionado: Where you should be Friday night

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Bradford Douglas (second from left) with friends at last year’s History on Tap at Conner Prairie.

By Melanie Hayes
Communications Specialist

Members Bradford and Kelly Douglas love bringing their children to Conner Prairie. The Anderson couple also looks forward to alone time.

Friday evening, they’ll lovingly kiss their son and daughter goodbye for the night and leave them in the great care of grandparents so they can enjoy their adults-only evening out at History on Tap at Conner Prairie. And this year, they hope to take an evening flight on the 1859 Balloon Voyage balloon during the event.

Bradford, an avid craft beer fan, has attended the event with his wife and friends since its inception. What does he think about History on Tap and Indiana breweries? Read for yourself. Continue reading

Getting set for History on Tap: Fun facts about beer’s history

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Guests enjoy samplings of craft beer at last year’s History on Tap at Conner Prairie. A few tickets remain for this year’s event on Friday (May 29).

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

Friday night is the fourth annual History on Tap at Conner Prairie. We’re set to welcome more than 1,000 guests for this year’s event. To prep for this unique experience on our grounds, you should know some fascinating, historical beer-related facts.

Ready? Enjoy your history lesson after the jump. Continue reading

Father remembered for service, wartime letter writing, helping others

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John and Patricia Stark were the parents of Conner Prairie employee Nancy Stark. He served in World War II in the Navy.

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

Serving during World War II created lasting memories for John Stark Jr. He worked as chief radio technician on a Navy ship during furious storms. He feared imminent Kamikaze attacks in the South Pacific. He wrote letters to a young woman he had never met but soon fell in love with.

John was the father of Nancy Stark, Conner Prairie’s education director. She honors and remembers him on Memorial Day for his heroism and for the life his military experience led him to have – to meet and marry her mother and create a family. Continue reading

Passionate members remember family experiences with support of new exhibit

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Robert and Joy Elzer recently gave $50,000 gift to support the Treehouse nature experience, a new outdoor exhibit that will open in 2016 at Conner Prairie.

By Melanie Hayes
Communications Specialist

For decades, Robert and Joy Elzer have had an evolving relationship with Conner Prairie. They began visiting with their two daughters in the mid-1980s and have been members since 1990.

These days, they remain involved by bringing their almost 3-year-old granddaughter to Prairie Tykes classes. They attend adult programs throughout the year. And they’re financially supporting a new exhibit that will open in 2016. Continue reading

New during Civil War Days: Stories about women in uniform, serving as spies

0516-blog-photoRose O’Neal Greenhow, a Confederate spy. Photo courtesy the Granger Collection, NYC via Smithsonian.com.

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

Today and Sunday during Civil War Days at Conner Prairie, two new programs focus on the different and often forgotten roles that women played to aid the war effort: female soldiers and spies.

Women were prohibited from joining the army during the Civil War. Even though it was considered illegal, many still cut their hair, take on a male alias and posed as men to fight in both the Union and Confederate armies. This year, Conner Prairie recognizes the hundreds of women who chose this course of action in new play, “Secrets and Sacrifice: Women in Uniform.”

Performances will be at 12:15 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. both today and Sunday. Audiences will learn about Elizabeth Wakeman, who assumed the identity of Jack Wakeman to join the Union army for the chance of staying with and fighting alongside her fiancé. Her story is one of courage, love and patriotism. Wakeman will explain the demands of a soldier’s life, talk about the risks she takes as a woman fighting in the army and share how her motivation to fight changes throughout the course of her enlistment. Continue reading