BCHS logomark
BCHS logomark

December HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 4pm

Admission is always FREE – Donations are accepted

The museum will be closed December 22 – February 12, 2023.
Research is available by appointment, phone 812-372-3541, to schedule. 

Visit our 5th annual Christmas Trees Through Time/Christmas Memories Exhibit

Through Dec 22, 2022

Christmas through time exhibit - stairway
Christmas through time exhibit - lady tree
Christmas through time exhibit - place setting
Christmas Memories exhibit - art 1
creche from Xenia Miller collection
Christmas Memories exhibit - art 2

Christmas Memories is an annual holiday exhibition featuring uniquely decorated trees, displays, and items from the permanent collection that transform the Museum for everyone’s favorite time of year.

Meet the Lady in White, a tree decorated like a scene from the movie Frozen, don’t miss the Winter Visitor, and a Dickens Christmas Village. Tablescapes enhance the themed trees, providing holiday decorating inspiration for guests.

Enjoy a selection of crèches from the collection of Xenia Miller, created by artisans in countries from around the world in a variety of media.

‘Twas the Night before Christmas features large panels of original artwork depicting scenes from the famous poem. Columbus artist and teacher, Susie Signorino, created the illustrations used for the panels.

Free admission – donations accepted.


Get hands-on experiences with programs and classes that introduce and share our fascinating community history! (Let’s plan!)


Visit us in downtown Columbus to view the exhibits, research your family history, or get answers to all your questions! (Let’s discover!)


Imagine, a barn and grounds you can rent for all types of occasions from casual corporate events to your special wedding day. (Let’s go!)


The Historical Society museum includes both permanent and rotating exhibits throughout the year, so that 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 In addition, you can explore historical documents and do genealogical research.

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See the 16 HP Reeves Steam Traction Engine in action!


You are an ancestor: Listen inside and you’ll hear the voices both of your own ancestors and of the ones who will follow you; they’ll help you make good choices. – ERIC UTNE
The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours. – ALAN BENNETT
You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. – JAMES BALDWIN


History is far more than numbers and facts. History is people, just like you and me – a wild menagerie of fascinating, amazing, inventive people – people finding their way, making do, and carving out their own personal history, sometimes in ways that impacts and improves their communities, and their world. You will do well to learn from them, admire them, appreciate them.

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.