Researchers at McGrady-Brockton House

Researchers work inside the Knox County Public Library’s McGrady-Brockman House, which houses an extensive genealogy collection.

For just over a year, I have had the pleasure of working part-time at the Knox County Public Library. During this time, have I worked mostly in the McGrady-Brockman House assisting patrons with research projects and/or introducing them to the vast amount of resources that the KCPL has to offer. Located at Seventh and Hart streets, the McGrady-Brockman House (formerly the Brockman Funeral Home) is currently being used to collect, preserve, protect, and promote an ever-growing, very diverse regional history/ genealogy collection that is sure to impress any historically-minded individual. Every time I enter the house, I feel like a kid in a candy store and time sure flies when I am there! Patrons regularly travel great distances to delve into the impressive, well-organized collection to work on their genealogy or other research projects. Others make the trip to take advantage of the informative and enjoyable programs that the library regularly offers.

For just over a year, I have also been working on a digital tour that focuses on some of the lesser known, yet very interesting places in and around the city of Vincennes. The tour is a part of the “Discover Indiana Project” (www.publichistory.iupui.edu). The project has been made possible through the Public History Program at IUPUI, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, and the Indiana Historical Society.

I am excited to say that the digital tour, currently entitled “Unexpected Vincennes,” is nearly complete. It will soon be launched and be available for public viewing. The following locations and topics will be highlighted on the informative digital tour: The McGrady-Brockman House, Gimbel Corner, Pearl City, the Union Depot /Hotel, the Vincennes City Cemeteries (Greenlawn, Fairview, and Memorial Park), Terrace Gardens, The Old Cathedral Bishop Bruté Library, Street cars in Vincennes, the Bonner-Allen Home, and the Abner T. Ellis Home. I have greatly enjoyed interacting with many others gathering the information necessary to put this tour together, and I feel very excited to see it come to fruition! We will certainly let you know when it has been uploaded completely and is available for public viewing.

I highly encourage you to visit the Knox County Public Library’s Web site, www.kcpl.lib.in.us, to see what the KCPL has to offer. If you have any interest in local area history, be sure to click on the “Genealogy” link followed by the “Historical Newspapers” link. Once you have done this you will find an impressive collection of newspapers that date back to the early 1800’s that have been digitized and uploaded for you and others to explore and enjoy.

I am still very interested and actively seeking information, especially old photos and little-known stories, concerning these and other related topics. If you have any questions or would like to share any photos or information for the project, please feel free to contact me by email at brownn@vcsc.k12.in.us. Please be looking for more information about this fun and interesting digital tour coming your way soon!

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