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.