Admission is always FREE – Donations are accepted.
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 10am – 4pm
Our Newest Exhibits Have been installed!
On display Feb 6 – Jun 28
In 1904, Bartholomew County was home to 24,000 people. With Columbus’ population at about 8,000, the county had most of its people living in rural, agrarian communities. 300 miles away in St. Louis, Missouri, Bartholomew County was well represented, despite a smaller population, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition; also known as the 1904 Worlds Fair. Today, the St. Louis Worlds Fair is regarded as being a turning point in American culture. Where new technology, innovation, and scientific discoveries were on full display for average people to see and interact with. With attendance at over 20 million people, Bartholomew County was on full display at the fair. Whether it be through over 20 building projects done by Columbus’ own, Caldwell & Drake Ironworks, or through Reeves Pulleys showing the potential for a mechanized future. Fair attendees might also have seen the elephant from the Irwin Home, or perhaps the old soda fountain which now sits at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor. To encourage locals to go to the fair, Columbus even had a temporary office erected in downtown for curious folks who might want to attend the fair via the Philadelphia railroad line coming right through Columbus.
On display Feb 6 – Feb 29
Explore the rich and inspiring history of the local African American community in two exhibits; “And Still We Rise” and “Soul of Philanthropy.” Immerse yourself in the stories, achievements, and resilience of African Americans in our community, depicted through captivating exhibits that showcase their enduring spirit. Join us in celebrating the diverse narratives and contributions that have shaped our local history. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the remarkable journey and impact of African Americans in our community. Visit the exhibit and be a part of the collective appreciation for the “And Still We Rise” and “Soul of Philanthropy” showcase.
GET HANDS ON
Get hands-on experiences with programs and classes that introduce and share our fascinating community history! (Let’s plan!)
PLAN A VISIT
Visit us in downtown Columbus to view the exhibits, research your family history, or get answers to all your questions! (Let’s discover!)
LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Historical Society museum includes both permanent and rotating exhibits throughout the year, so residents and visitors of all ages are able to experience what life in Bartholomew County was like in our past and to connect these stories with our lives today. In addition, you can explore historical documents and do genealogical research.
See the 16 HP Reeves Steam Traction Engine in action!
WHY STUDY HISTORY? HERE’S WHY…
FUN FOOTNOTES IN COUNTY HISTORY : PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU & ME
This Third Street scene was taken many years before the Commons was even a dream. These buildings were located between Washington and Jackson Streets. It is believed the man in the photo is Mr. Beatty.