Ghost horse at Conner Prairie? Lilly’s horse may haunt grounds

Eli Lilly’s prize horse, Jeb Stuart, is buried on the grounds of Conner Prairie somewhere near the Lenape Indian Camp. 

By Ephraim Rudolph
Every day, visitors to Conner Prairie’s Lenape Indian camp unknowingly pass by the grave of Jeb Stuart.

The precise location where he lies has long been forgotten, as there has been no tombstone above his burial site for many years.

It’s said that on certain evenings, when the air is deathly still, Conner Prairie staffers in the Lenape area have heard strange noises that can only have been made by the ghost of Jeb Stuart: Ghoulish hoofbeats and disembodied winnying.

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New tales from the grounds: Is Conner Prairie haunted?

Ghostly sightings in the woods, strange sounds in buildings and other odd occurrences have been observed by several Conner Prairie employees through the years at various places on the museum’s historic grounds.

By Ephraim Rudolph
Ghost sightings, eerie noises and other inexplicably spooky phenomena have been woven into the fabric of life at Conner Prairie for decades, particularly during the Halloween season.

Some stories have become legend among employees.

The following tales, which all occurred in the past two years, are in no way part of an ever-growing collection of evidence that Conner Prairie is haunted. Or are they? Continue reading

Conner Prairie sees record attendance on annual Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

A record number of visitors enjoyed free admission Sept. 23 during Conner Prairie’s annual Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

Staff Report
A record number of visitors enjoyed free admission to Conner Prairie on Sept. 23, which was the museum’s annual Smithsonian Museum Day Live! Day.

On that day, 4,871 visitors discovered Conner Prairie at no charge. They toured the museum’s historic grounds, took flight in the 1859 Balloon Voyage, experienced indoor exhibits Create.Connect and Discovery Station and Craft Corner, and shopped in both the Conner Prairie Store and the Apple Store. Continue reading

2017 Festival of Machines shatters previous attendance record

More than 10,800 people attended .this year’s Festival of Machines at Conner Prairie, smashing the previous record of the four-year festival of 6,200 people.

By Ephraim Rudolph
The fourth year of Conner Prairie’s Festival of Machines is in the books – indeed, the record books, for its record attendance. The two-day, weekend festival Sept. 16-17 drew 10,809 guests. By comparison, about 6,200 people attended last year.

Membership sales were strong as well – 149 new members signed up Saturday and 133 on Sunday for a total of 282 new memberships.

In a preview story published on Conner Prairie’s blog, Program Manager Gail Brown said that with the good weekend weather forecast and the addition of new machines, attendance numbers might double from last year. They almost did. Continue reading