While enjoying the Mayberry in the Midwest Festival, we were able to duck into the Hendricks County Historical Museum in Danville, Indiana for a peak. My daughter and I both are total history buffs, so a stop at the museum was a must. What I was not expecting was the amazingly large collection of artifacts in the museum and the jail--yes, the jail--in the basement!
The Hendricks County Historical Museum is housed in a charming, brick 1866 residence of the Sheriff and his family. Besides being his home, the house also served as the Sheriff's place of employment since the jail was located in the basement. I am not sure how I would feel about having a jail in my basement but it was pretty interesting to walk through!
Amazingly, the jail was in use until 1974! Visitors may feel the hair raise on the back of their necks while observing some prisoner graffiti. Additionally, rumors indicate that none other than Charles Manson may have been held in the jail at one time. Talk about chills!
The jail was certainly a blast but the collections throughout the entire museum were just as impressive. Each room had a theme and was totally packed with artifacts fitting that theme. Many of the rooms truly opened up treasure troves to us just like we walked straight into a home being lived in. We first entered the parlor and felt immediately welcomed into the home.
Close to the parlor, we found the Sheriff's Office that looked ready for the Sheriff to take a seat and get a little work done.
Of course, the children's room was one of my daughter's faves! Just looking around, you can truly appreciate the detailed collections at the museum. So much to look at and see!
Civil War artifacts, childhood toys including ones our parents and we ourselves played with, a 1950's kitchen and more at every turn really unfolded little snippets of history right before us.
During the festival, the museum also had another building open with more artifacts--mainly showcasing items that would be used in the home. I loved, loved this precursor to the modern day crockpot trio! It truly shows you not only how much we can learn from our past but also how we come full circle.
The Hendricks County Historic Museum is normally open 11AM-3PM on Saturdays, so you will want to keep that in mind when planning your Hendricks County, Indiana journey! The museum is free, donations welcome.