Indiana is celebrating 200 years of statehood with a number of fun events commemorating the state’s past. The Bicentennial Torch will travel 2,300 miles through all 92 Indiana counties, beginning in Indiana’s first state capital, Corydon, on September 9th and culminating with a celebration on the statehouse grounds in Indianapolis on October 15th. The torch will be in Ripley County on Saturday, September 17th, 2016.
Like the state of Indiana, Ripley County was founded in 1816. Ripley County is home to the Milan ’54 Hoosier Museum, which celebrates the basketball team that inspired the movie “Hoosiers.” Indiana’s second largest state park, Versailles State Park, is located in Ripley County. Ripley County is 446.43 square miles and the most recent census (2010) reflected a populations of 28,818.
Ripley County is hosting a number of bicentennial events. This year’s Versailles Pumpkin Show will have the theme of Indiana 2016. The theme will be implemented throughout various Pumpkin Show events, including floats and entries in the event parade that feature the state bicentennial.
The Batesville Area Historical Society is hosting a Bicentennial Luncheon at Knights of Columbus Hall on September 13th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the Batesville Area Historical Society or by calling (812) 212-9382.
A granite monument will be built to honor Ripley County’s namesake, Brigadier General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley. He was a hero in the War of 1812 and later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. This monument will be located in front of the Ripley County Courthouse Annex in Versailles.
ETC is broadcasting a daily “Indiana Bicentennial Moment” to highlight Hoosier history and fun facts. The city of Batesville is hosting a community celebration on September 17th in the Village Square downtown. Festivities include a pioneer exhibit at the public library, historical society displays, and more. A number of other bicentennial celebrations will take place throughout the county and the state, so keep an eye out for more Hoosier events!
The Schuerman Law office building at the corner of Main and Tyson streets in Versailles is an important piece of Ripley County history. Built around the year 1860 at the corner of Main and Water streets, this historic home was scheduled for demolition in 1983 before John Schuerman purchased it and moved it to the present location to restore and refurbish it. The building initially belonged to Fernando G. Taylor, husband of Mary Malvina Hunter; her father John was one of the founding fathers of the town of Versailles. After years of research and effort, the home appears much as it did when initially built.