Bunny & Wess Bunny and Wes Riley are  friends from Oregon (and also spend the winter with us in Cactus Gardens in Yuma).  In fact, we were in the same beginning square dance class several years ago in Yuma.

On a cross country trip this summer, they stopped by to spend a couple of days with us.  We met at McCormick’s Creek State Park.  We’re used to being there as camphosts, but this time we returned as campers.

2011 Vincennes - (118)We went on a day trip together to Vincennes, Indiana.  Vincennes, lying on the border of Indiana and Illinois,  is the oldest city in Indiana, dating back to its beginning as a French trading post in 1732.  In 1779,  George Rogers Clark (brother to William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame) led a battle against the British at Vincennes.  Despite tremendous odds and a bitterly cold winter, Clark and his soldiers took the largest land conquest of the Revolutionary War from the British.

A majestic memorial marks the site.

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Inside, impressive mural surrounding the rotunda tell the story of the battle.

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This photo gives you an idea of the scale of the building and the statue of Clark.

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The Indiana Territory, as the area became known, was much larger than the present day state of Indiana.

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Vincennes served as it’s capitol until 1812, when a new building was built in Corydon.

There is a small area preserved in Vincennes containing that first territory capitol.  Built as a tailor’s shop, it is a modest building.

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Standing next to the capitol is Jefferson Academy, founded in 1801.2011 Vincennes - (142)

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Now Vincennes University, it is the oldest public institution of higher learning in Indiana.

Just down from the capitol building is a little white house containing the Elihu Stout Print Shop.  As the new territorial legislatures soon realized, the public had to be informed of their government’s activities, and the first state newspaper was born.

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Other notable “firsts” of Vincennes include:

Site of the First Catholic church in Indiana. (1749)
Site of the First Presbyterian church in Indiana. (1806)
Site of the First Masonic Lodge in Indiana. (1809)
Home of the First bank in Indiana. (1814)
Host to the First medical society in Indiana. (1817)
First county hospital in Indiana. (Good Samaritan Hospital 1908)
First Post Office in Indiana.
First sheriff’s department in Indiana.

If you happen to be in Western Indiana, and enjoy historical sites, be sure to visit Vincennes, Indiana.  For more information, visit this site:

Vincennes Tourism

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