Clay Township Historical Society Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

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Clay Township Historical Society Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

“This wooden initiation paddle was used by members of the Senior Class for the initiation of Freshmen students at Greens Fork High Schol in Greens Fork, Indiana.” Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

This wouldn’t be little Indiana if there weren’t unplanned stops–like when we discovered the Clay Township Historical Society Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana.

Practically skipping up to the front door, I noticed a note, “Had to go home at 4:15. If you need inside before 5 PM please call…I can be here in 5 minutes!” with extra emphasis on the five minutes. I wasted no time in calling.

Greens Fork, Indiana Museum

Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

True to her word, Phyllis quickly arrived at this 1848 Federal-style home turned museum. I thank my lucky stars that Phyllis responded. What a fun, fun lady! She explained the pieces in this Wayne County museum and that it is a hub for those interested in genealogy but were we in for something when we came to the back of the museum–and an entire room devoted to the old Greens Fork High School!

Green Fork High School’s last class graduated in 1962–before the schools were consolidated. Today, the once amazing school is used as a fire station. Wooden boards cover the large windows. I find it depressing but I suppose I should at least be grateful it wasn’t torn down or ended up as an abandoned school like so many others.

Even so, many pieces from the school turned fire station are present and accounted for.

The old chalkboard from one of the rooms is here, as are a desk, typewriter, and old schoolbooks. Photos of the graduating classes grace one wall. Cases triumphantly hold gorgeous trophies from different sports. Vintage cheerleading uniforms are on display.

Greens Fork, Indiana Museum

Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

Isn’t this nice? The Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana is situated inside a wonderful 1800s home that now houses the town’s history.

There aren’t any interactive displays, no souvenir pressed penny. But there is plenty of passion for preserving local history here. There are memories here.

There’s also a sense of urgency to preserve and to pass on the way life was in Greens Fork when you had only to open your door and head down the street to get to school.

Okay, I sound a bit like a greeting card, but this Indiana museum is working so hard on preserving the memory of life the way it was before they lost their school and their community changed forever that I am immensely impressed.

For such a small Indiana town, Greens Fork is doing an amazing job of preserving their heritage. I hope other small towns look to them for inspiration.

Go There

Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

Clay Township Historical Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana

The Clay Township Historical Society Museum in Greens Fork, Indiana is proof that if you build it, they will come. Because they do.

In buses, in cars, folks from around the world visit this small town museum for a look back and a remembering. For a town with barely 400 people, it is inspiring.

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus. I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.

Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.

Clay Township Historical Society Museum
19 East Pearl Street
Greens Fork, Indiana 47345
765.886.5166

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About the Author:

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little Indiana.com. More than a website, Little Indiana is a book, "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" (IU Press) awarded first place in the "Best in Indiana Journalism for a Nonfiction Book" by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Little Indiana is also a bi-monthly newspaper column in a local paper and a PBS segment on the former Emmy award-winning program, "The Weekly Special."

2 Comments

  1. Jessica Nunemaker August 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks Jane. It’s a great example of what a small town can do with a little planning. All that hard work sure paid off! 🙂

  2. Jane Holman August 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for shining a spotlight on the dedicated volunteers at this small Wayne County museum! If your visitors would like to learn more about Greens Fork, Indiana, they can visit http://www.waynet.org/community/greens_fork/.

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