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Go to Stories

Earlier this year, Conner Prairie hosted StoryCorps, a national non-profit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. A diverse group of individuals representing the fabric of Conner Prairie members, guests, volunteers and more were on hand for the one-on-one interviews. These individuals have varied ties with Conner Prairie and have offered their personal, poignant moments of family connections and life-long memories. Please take a moment to listen how Conner Prairie has brought these individuals and families together to learn more about history through interactive engagement and in-depth conversations.
 

The StoryCorps initiative was a result of the 2010 National Medal awarded to Conner Prairie by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Conner Prairie was one of ten museums and cultural institutions nationwide to receive the honor.

Thank you to WFYI-Indianapolis for their support of the 2011 Conner Prairie and StoryCorps initiative.

 

The Stories

Stan Hurt

Listen to his story


Stan Hurt is a big fan of history, he attributes this to his mother’s family from Ft. Wayne, living in a 100 yr old house. His three main areas of interest are Civil War history, military history, and ships.


Audrey and Olivia Lakin

Listen to their story


Audrey and Olivia have been coming to Conner Prairie for a few years now. It all started with their Uncle working at the Zimmerman farm getting married. Now they come to Summer Camp, help with chores and can even call all the oxen by name!

Tim Crumrin and Jane Grimes

Listen to their story


The spectrum of autism is very wide. Tim and Jane both have a daughter who have autism and that is how they came to know each other. They now work together to help make Conner Prairie autism friendly.












Ellen Rosenthal and Paul Logan

Listen to their story


As a lifetime enthusiast of museums, Ellen, the President and CEO of Conner Prairie, introduced her son Paul (and other sons Daniel and Sam) to a wonderful world of culture and history. Her love of Conner Prairie has allowed Paul to participate in the summer camp adventures, Animal Encounters exploration and much more. Ellen reminds him of his musings at 8 years old; he noted the main difference between 1836 and 1886 is that “people were much nicer in 1886.”

Eddie Grogan and Dwight Gillian

Listen to their story


As they both speak about their younger days either being born or growing up in small towns, the nature of their unique personalities is revealed. Dwight and Eddie, long-time interpreters, have taken the roots of their upbringing and planted them in the “characters” they portray at Conner Prairie.


Aili McGill and John Elder

Listen to their story


In 1998, just 17 years old, John began his career at Conner Prairie as a “self-identified nerd.” To his amazement, his coworker Aili found him to be a “super cool guy” as she describes her first days on staff at Conner Prairie in 2001. During their tenure, they have found new and exciting ways to share their passion for history with others.

Carol Goins and Virginia Streaty

Listen to their story


Carol introduced Virginia to Follow the North Star in the early days of their friendship and they continue their work with the award-winning program to this day. They are “colleagues” in the love of Conner Prairie. Both have connections to the Ward Family and Robert’s Settlement.

Myron Vourax and Celeste Vourax

Listen to their story


Myron Vourax came to Conner Prairie as the president in 1971 and has been an advocate of its progressive evolution for 40 years. He and his daughter Celeste talk about the “early” days of this world-renowned history park.
 

Randy French and Tom Miller

Listen to their story


Randy French began his relationship with Conner Prairie through Tom Miller, Director of Programs at IndyReads, an organization that provides free tutoring to adults in Central Indiana who struggle with reading. Randy accompanied Conner Prairie President and CEO Ellen M. Rosenthal to Washington, DC to meet First Lady Michelle Obama at the Institute of Museum and Library Services 2010 National Media ceremony. Conner Prairie was one of ten museums and cultural institutions honored nationwide. .

Angie Six and Maria Whiteman

Listen to their story


Angie, a local “mommy blogger” (justlikethenumber.com), talks with her mother Maria about the time of the Spanish Civil War; the effects lasting for years during Maria’s childhood. She touches on the hardships her family faced in the late 1930s.


 

Produced by Dan Collison of Long Haul Productions with interviews recorded by StoryCorps.

These interviews are provided courtesy of StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. Find out more about StoryCorps.