Upcoming Society events


Hoosier Heritage Fall Pilgrimage 2018
Experience Old Fort Wayne Anew
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Join us for a Fall Pilgrimage that will feature a special opportunity to interact with one of the country’s top genealogists, who will be our guide as we visit the acclaimed Genealogy Center (and its Discovery Center) at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. This visit will include advice about discovering ancestral stories and a tour of the library’s fine book collections of Lincoln and Native American material and rare Bibles. Our trip to the state’s second largest city also will include a backstage tour of the historic Embassy Theatre, where we will enjoy a pipe organ performance; a tour of Indiana’s most stunning county courthouse, and a visit to a distinctive mansion.

  • Enjoy commentary from pilgrimage chairman Nelson Price on the motor coach on the drive north.
  • Tour the Allen County Courthouse, generally considered the most ornate county courthouse in Indiana. Built in 1902, the Beaux Arts Renaissance-style courthouse has abundant sculptures, stained glass windows, murals and paintings. The courthouse is one of only 37 buildings in the state that have been designated U.S. National Historic Landmarks.
  • Visit the elegant Bass Mansion, built as the centerpiece of the country estate of John Henry Bass, a 19th Century industrialist. The mansion, which originally was built in the 1880s and resurrected after a gas explosion in 1902, is also known as Brookside. Today, it is the administrative building of the University of St. Francis.
  • Savor a luncheon at Don Hall’s Old Gas House, an atmospheric restaurant on the St. Mary’s River in downtown Fort Wayne. Located on the site of a 19th Century gas plant, the family-owned restaurant is widely acclaimed for its classic American cuisine.  A limited number of seats are available for Ft. Wayne area residents who would like to join the travelers for lunch only at 12:15 p.m., 305 East Superior Street. Reservation and pre-payment required.
  • Visit the renowned Allen County Public Library for special interactions and tours with Curt Witcher, manager of the Genealogy Center. Regarded as one of the country’s top genealogists and a speaker at international conventions, Mr. Witcher will take the group through the Discovery Center, present an overview about family histories, and share advice about discovering ancestors.
  • Visit the fine book collections at the Allen County Public Library. They include Bibles as well as special collections related to Native Americans and Abraham Lincoln; much of the Lincoln material had been displayed at the now-closed Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne.
  • Tour the Embassy Theatre, which was built as a movie palace and vaudeville house in 1928. Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, Red Skelton and other notables performed on its stage; Bob Hope had his first emcee gig there. The restored performing arts theater today is the home of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra and the venue for touring Broadway productions as well as a range of musical concerts.
  • At the Embassy Theatre, enjoy a performance on the restored, 1,100 pipe theater organ.
  • Enjoy an evening snack with wine, beer and soft drinks on the motor coach trip back to Indianapolis.

Price: $154
(Includes transportation, luncheon, evening snack, admissions,
gratuities & donations to sites and driver)

Lunch only at the Old Gas House: $25
(limited availability; reservation and pre-payment required)

Deadline: June 30, 2018 for Pioneers and their guests
(After that, also opens to the public.)

Guests are welcome; number may be limited.
Minimum: 30 travelers; Maximum: 50

Reserve early! Before it is open to the public!

Departure: Promptly at 7:30 a.m. from Second Presbyterian Church, 7000 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis. Please arrive 15 minutes early for prompt departure. Park at lower level of parking lot, north of the church.

Return: Approximately 9:15 p.m. to Second Presbyterian Church.

To make a reservation, download and complete the registration form and mail it, along with a check payable to "Thomson Travel," to:

Thomson Travel
5764 East Fall Creek Parkway, N. Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46226

For answers to questions, contact Sue Thomson at (317) 908-9602 or by email at thomsontravel@gmail.com.

Archived Society events

As a service to our membership, we're pleased to make these reviews of previous Society events available here on the website:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2017

Fall Pilgrimage 2017:
Showplace Homes on The Dunes, Michigan City and Crown Point Historic Sites

Spring Pilgrimage 2017:
Ohio River Cruise, Historic Mansions & More

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2016

Fall Pilgrimage 2016:
Abraham Lincoln and Indiana's Bicentennial

Society Centennial/Indiana Bicentennial Gala

Spring Pilgrimage 2016:
Bicentennial: Corydon, Cedar Farms & Madison

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2015

Fall Pilgrimage 2015:
State Parks & Bicentennial Heritage

Spring Pilgrimage 2015:
Interfaith and Church Heritage:
Special Insights into Faith Traditions in Central Indiana

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2014

Fall Pilgrimage 2014:
Food Heritage & Historic Mansions

Spring Pilgrimage 2014:
Benjamin Harrison & More:
Special Insights into 19th Century Indy

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2013

Fall Pilgrimage 2013:
Limberlost, Amish and Berne

Spring Pilgrimage 2013:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2012

Fall Pilgrimage 2012:
Wabash & Erie Canal,
Tippecanoe Battlefield
and Fort Ouiatenon

Spring Pilgrimage 2012:
Fort Wayne and Rome City

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2011

Fall Pilgrimage 2011:
Brown County

Spring Pilgrimage 2011:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2010

Fall Pilgrimage 2010:

Spring Pilgrimage 2010:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2009

Fall Pilgrimage 2009:
French Lick and West Baden

Spring Pilgrimage 2009:
Montgomery County

Fall Pilgrimage 2008:
South Bend and Culver

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2008

Spring Pilgrimage 2008:
Historic Tippecanoe County

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2007

Fall Pilgrimage 2007:
Evansville & New Harmony

Spring Pilgrimage 2007:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2006

Fall Pilgrimage 2006:
Bedford & Lawrence Counties

Spring Pilgrimage 2006:
The Land of Lincoln

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2005

Spring Pilgrimage 2005:
Taggart's French Lick & West Baden

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2004

Spring Pilgrimage 2004:
Along the Old National Road

Annual Meeting and Dinner - 2003

Fall Pilgrimage 2003:
Lewis & Clark Bicentennial

Spring Pilgrimage 2003:
History and Art of

Annual Meeting and Dinner - 2002

Fall Pilgrimage 2002:
The Lillys of Indianapolis

Spring Pilgrimage 2002:
Lincoln's Indiana and
Historic Spencer County

Annual Meeting and Dinner - 2001

Fall Pilgrimage 2001:
Oldenburg and Batesville

Fall Pilgrimage 2000:

Spring Pilgrimage 2000:
Shaker Villages in Kentucky

This page last updated on Sunday, June 17, 2018 .
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