Embracing a Healthy Family: Ever Heard of Vincennes, Indiana?

Ever Heard of Vincennes, Indiana?

I'm a history buff and in fact, I'm in the middle of writing my very first historical novel based on real family events in the late 1700's in Louisiana.  I took one of my nieces home this past weekend to where my parents live.  My dad left year's ago once he joined the Air Force and met my mom in England.  They eventually made it to northern Indiana near Chicago but after spending my entire childhood there, they moved to Vincennes in 1986.  I eventually followed, got married and had my first child in 1990 at the ripe old age of 20.  Now, my baby just turned 22 and is having her own baby. 

While I was visiting, I took my other niece and my middle child to visit the sites in Vincennes because they are not only neat but are very historical.  Here are some facts on the town:



The city of Vincennes is rich in history. As the oldest city in Indiana, previously a French fur trading post, Vincennes has been at the forefront of the development of Indiana and the Midwest.

Founded in 1732, it was George Rogers Clark and his small army who took the largest land conquest in the revolutionary war away from the British in 1779. Greatly disadvantaged in number of troops compared to those inside Fort Sackville, Clark relied on the marksmanship of his troops and the ability to convince the British of a larger army to win the fort. Today, the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes is the site of the largest Memorial Monument west of Washington, D.C. which honors the heroic accomplishments of Colonel Clark and his men. The City of Vincennes is one of only 3 communities in the entire state of Indiana with a National Park within our city limits.

In 1800, the Indiana Territory was formed and Vincennes, nestled along the Wabash River, became its capitol. William Henry Harrison became its first governor and then went on to become the United States ninth president. Grouseland, the home he built and the first brick home in the territory, still stands today and is open for tours daily
Vincennes was at the heart of many of Indiana`s firsts including site of the first Catholic church in Indiana, first county, first newspaper, first Presbyterian church, first Masonic Lodge, first bank and first medical society.

In 1801, the Jefferson Academy was founded. Eventually becoming known as Vincennes University, this is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States.

Vincennes history is also rich in architecture. Many French influenced homes and buildings dot the city. Many of the buildings are built not only around pre-1900s but also closer to the beginning of the 1800s. For instance the Indiana Territorial Capitol Building, considered the oldest major government building in the Midwest, was built in 1805 as a tailor shop.

It's really a nice, quaint town but could do so much more if they invested and built up the historical aspect of it.  The George Rogers Clark Memorial is a national memorial and it's huge!  It's old too but it's magnificent in every aspect.  Inside are huge detailed murals of the events to include Clark.

The entire region is history in the making right down to the beautiful community college they have on the banks of the Wabash River.  The Old Gimbel store is still present and my dad always tells me the story of his mom who worked there when he was a child.

I always said if I were mayor, I'd bring back the old historical flavor of downtown and market it for the value of education coupled with great family fun.

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