Exploring Evansville, IN

Tearing down the camp

breakfast

Breakfast of Champions

Well, despite the initial nerves from the raccoon incident we slept fairly well. We decided not to bring the air mattress and relied on laying 3 extra sleeping bags on the tent floor and then our regular sleeping bags on top of that. It felt fine at first but, kind of not so much as the night went on. Waking up to the view of the woods when coming out of the tent was well worth it. After filling up on some Starbucks cold coffee, tea, and Lofthouse cookies we decided to get moving and start getting our camp site cleaned up and packed away in the car, and then off to the showers. Even though we had to press the water button on the shower every 5 seconds to keep the water coming, the showers were warm and felt great. Next stop breakfast, after our sparse dinner the previous night we were quite starved and decided to go somewhere to get some hot coffee and good food. Lofthouse cookies were not going to hold us over until lunch.

Angel Mounds

So, next up on the great Southern Indiana tour was the Evansville area, starting off with Angel Mounds which is recognized as one of the most well-preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the U.S. It was inhabited by the people of the Middle Mississippian Culture from 1000-1450 AD. There are 12 earthen mounds built for ceremonial and residential purposes throughout the property behind the museum. There are foot trails and bike trails that weave through all of these structures and it is all encompassed on 100 acres. In addition to  everything to see outside there is a really informative museum. They have the center of the museum set up like an actual village with statues of Natives performing daily chores such as hunting, gathering food, and working on their dwellings. There are also a lot of artifacts on display that had been unearthed from that location. We definitely recommend checking this place out if you are in the area, it would be a great place to bring the family and make an afternoon out of it. We did notice that they hold some special events such as a haunted corn maze weekend and they also host art shows throughout the year.

Willard Library

Willard Library is another place we had talked about going to and checking out for some time. When we located it in downtown Evansville we were quite taken aback with the  gorgeous architecture. It was a large looming brick mansion with intricate carved wood throughout the building. It definitely did not have the feel of a library, rather as a stately manor. We entered inside a bit nervously as we were not coming in as patrons but as tourists. We wandered down some of the aisles between the book shelves and explored the basement and second floor. The interior of this place was amazing. Huge tall windows, chandeliers and a gorgeous carved banister extending along the wooden stairs. There was a large antique book shelf on the stairway which was quite impressive.  The library was built by Willard Carpenter, he wanted to leave a lasting legacy in a town he had helped to build through politics and business. Through some hiccups such as land values lowering and going through a couple of sets of architects and  Willard even pitching in himself at 80 years old, the building was finally opened in  1884. This library is also rumored to be haunted by the Grey Lady. She was first rumored to be seen in the late 1930s by custodian. Since then there have been a lot more reported sightings. The Grey Lady Ghost even was investigated by the show Ghost Hunters. The library gives Ghost Tours in October. You can check their website for events such as this.

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Lower level of Willard Library.

 

 

Oak Hill Cemetery

Well, we find ourselves at another cemetery. You might start noticing as you get to know us that we like to check out cemeteries. It’s not like a morbid fascination or anything, we just have an appreciation for the history and enjoy looking at and reading the headstones. So…Oak Hill Cemetery, we had read about the legend of the burial of Elizabeth Harrison on April 1, 1896.She was the queen of a tribe of Romany Gypsies who had emigrated from England in the  mid 19th century. She passed away in Mississippi and her body had to be transported to Evansville and held in a vault at Oak Hill Cemetery until her tribe members could assemble from all over different parts of the US. Her tribe members showed up in their colorful wagons which drew out curious local onlookers. It was reported in the local newspaper that Oak Hill held  6,000 people awaiting the procession.

 

oakhill1

There were also areas designated for Civil War, World War One and World War 2. Along with these areas for military burials there was a monument next to a pond with a fountain. It was touching to read all of the names on the walls and the bricks lining the path up to the memorial. After looking at the memorial we delved deeper into the cemetery. We started driving around looking for Mrs. Harrison’s final resting spot and became distracted by all the different statues and elaborate memorials. We still had not located Mrs. Harrison’s grave after driving the entire graveyard. So, finally we stopped at the office and received some guidance from one of the staff. This cemetery is one of the most meticulously kept cemeteries we have been to and it has some of the most large and elaborate memorial statues we have seen in one place.

Another interesting plot is the Boetticher family. Standing guard is a large dog monument. Here is an interesting article about the dog and the family published the Evansville Courier & Press.

Quick stop at Roseanne’s and off to brothers house.

roseanne

Are there any Rosanne Barr fans out there? One of us happens to love the show Roseanne and found out that the house in the opening credits is actually in Evansville. Naturally, while we were in the area we had to find it and get a picture. We located the house with no problem and since it is actually occupied we just parked across the street from it and took a quick picture and drove on. we know, we know, “stalker much”.

After stopping for the quick pic of Roseanne’s house it is time to head to our brothers house for the night. It’s always a great time when all 3 of us get together, lots of laughs and reminiscing. Fortunately dinner did not depend on us getting a fire built that evening. Instead,  we went our for dinner  to a popular local restaurant called Porkys BBQ. YUM, our little brother even picked up the tab. After dinner we took a quick stop at Wal-Mart for a few items we needed for our next adventure the next day. I must admit it was really nice to have a good meal and a bed to sleep in. Well one of us slept in a bed and the other ended up on the couch. But, the one that got the bed stayed up and did our laundry that night. Tomorrow we will be getting up and heading off to Louisville, KY for an event that we set up at the last minute. Can’t wait to tell you about it!

 

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