Visitors to Vincennes will definitely want to see the local historical areas of Knox County, Indiana. The area has many important historical points of interest for sure, but there are other gems of entertainment and culture in this Midwest town. Here is a list of places and things for visitors to Vincennes to do while touring the area.
Roger C Clark Memorial
This monument next to the Wabash is a fan favorite and has stood as the icon of Vincennes in recent years. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, located in Vincennes, Indiana on the banks of the Wabash River at what is believed to be the site of Fort Sackville, is a United States National Historical Park. A classical memorial here was authorized under President Calvin Coolidge and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.In a celebrated campaign, Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, older brother of William Clark, and his frontiersmen captured Fort Sackville and British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton on February 25, 1779. The heroic march of Clark’s men from Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River in mid-winter and the subsequent victory over the British remains one of the great feats of the American Revolution.
In 1966 Indiana transferred the site to the National Park Service. Adjacent to the memorial there is a visitor center where one can see interpretive programs and displays. The center is located on South 2nd Street in Vincennes.
The Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous
An annual event in downtown Vincennes, this frontier themed event gathers the attention of many local residents and those from all over the Midwest. Activities, Gifts, and Food abounds and reenactments and frontier demonstrations make this a priority for summer visits to the area.The Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous is an annual reenactment held on Memorial Day weekend at the French Commons, adjacent to the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes. It is also hosted by the Northwest Territory Alliance (NWTA), and the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park. The event was started in the 1970s, and is intended to introduce visitors to life along the frontier in late 18th and early 19th century Vincennes, particularly during the American Revolution. According to its webpage, the rendezvous may attract 400 to 500 reenactors and 35,000 visitors.
Grouseland, the William Henry Harrison Mansion and Museum, is a National Historic Landmark in architectural and historical fields. Grouseland is a large, two-story red brick home built for William Henry Harrison in Vincennes, Indiana, during his term as Governor of the Indiana Territory. The mansion was completed in 1804 and reportedly dubbed Grouseland by William Henry Harrison, due to the abundance of grouse in the area.During Harrison’s governorship of the Indiana Territory, Grouseland was the focal point of the social and official life of the territory. As the capital of the Northwest Territory, more territory was governed from Vincennes than any city outside Washington, D.C. Grouseland was home to Harrison until 1812. It remained in the Harrison family until the late 1840s.
The mansion includes the council chamber where Harrison met with representatives from various American Indian tribes. In 1805, Harrison negotiated the Treaty of Grouseland with a number of important Indian leaders, including Little Turtle and Buckongahelas. Harrison had two confrontations with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh at Grouseland in 1810 and 1811. (see Tecumseh’s War). Harrison’s thirteen treaties with Native American leaders resulted in millions of acres of land being acquired by the United States. Grouseland was built from local materials by skilled labor. The architect was William Lindsay.
Today, Grouseland is owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution who saved the building from destruction. It is overseen by the Grouseland Foundation, a volunteer board of directors composed of DAR and non-DAR members to manage the structure and programs. The main campus of Vincennes University is adjacent to the property, and other state historic buildings, such as the Territorial Capitol building, have been moved to the property.
Photo provided by Kreations by Kierra Photography.