This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A couple of meetings about history and tourism

The County Council met last night for a very short meeting. They tabled one item, approved an appropriation for ambulance service, and approved the budget of the new Tourism Commission. The tourism budget is $95,000 and this is financed with an innkeepers tax. $40k is earmarked for marketing including spending in on-going festivals, $10k for special events, $15k for administration, and $30k for partnerships. The Tourism Commission needs a logo and a slogan--what do you think would work? "There is more than corn in Jasper County" probably will not work.

The people council along with two commissioners who were at the meeting all seem to be frustrated with the lack of information about the upcoming air show. The South Shore CVB is working with the Newton County officials--the air show is in Newton County--but not with Jasper County officials. Because the air show is so close to Jasper County, the local officials want to know if and how the event will affect our county.

The meeting was over in about twenty minutes, so I decided to see if the presentation at the Jasper County Historical Society was still in progress. I arrived as a film about the excavations at Collier Lodge was being shown. The Collier Lodge was a hunting lodge, and it is located at a point where it was easy to cross the Kankakee River, so digging down archeologists from Notre Dame have found lots of artifacts. Videos of some of the excavations as well as of the Aukiki Festival held there every August can be found on Youtube.

After the meeting I learned that I had missed a presentation about the history of the museum's building. In the 1840s a splinter group of Methodists who called themselves Methodist Protestants (MP) preached in our area. They were congregational, rejecting the hierarchy of the traditional Methodists. The first formal building that they erected in our area was the building that is now the Historical Society's museum.

Our area was served by a circuit rider named Helenor Alter Davisson.  In 1866 she became the first woman ordained by the Methodist Protestant Church and by any Methodist denomination that is now part of the United Methodist Church. The Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) wants to apply for Heritage Landmark status, the highest recognition the UMC offers, for the entire MP circuit that Helenor traveled. That circuit included bits of Newton, Jasper, Pulaski, and White counties.

Update: Here is more info on the Helenor Alter Davisson story.


Anonymous said...

How about "The Jewel in the Corn"? ;)

Capouch said...

Helenor Davisson was the wife of Thomas Davisson, son of Jasper/Pulaski County pioneer Moses Davisson. Her father was Rev. John Alter, a local pioneer and founder of the Protestant Methodist Church at Carpenter's Grove (Remington).

She is buried in Sandridge Cemetery in Jasper County.