Norbert Brown

Norbert Brown

I have been working on-and-off for nearly a year now at the Knox County Public Library. I have primarily been stationed at the McGrady-Brockman House assisting patrons with their research projects.

I first visited the McGrady-Brockman House when it first opened to the public back in 2002. I was, and still am, very impressed by the holdings within the mid-1800s era structure.

Located at Seventh and Hart streets, the McGrady-Brockman House is currently being used to collect, preserve, protect, and promote an ever-growing, 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 nearly a year I have been working on a digital tour currently entitled. “Undiscovered Vincennes,” that focuses on some of the lesser known, yet very interesting places in and around the city. The tour is a part of the “Discover Indiana Project” (​www.publichistory.iupui.edu​) that 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.

The digital tour has evolved quite a bit over the last year and I have learned so much in the process. The following locations/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, Streetcars in Vincennes, the Bonner-Allen Home, and the Abner T. Ellis Home. I have greatly enjoyed interacting with many others to gather the information necessary to put this tour together. I’m very excited to see it come to fruition! There is no doubt that the resources available at the McGrady-Brockman House have made this project much easier to complete.

I highly encourage you to visit the Knox County Public Library’s website to see what the KCPL has to offer (www.kcpl.lib.in.us ). If you are interested 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 that there have been a plethora of newspapers digitized and added to the site for you and others to explore and enjoy. The papers readily available date all the way back to the 1830s!

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: norbertbrown@hotmail.com.

Please be looking out for more information about this fun and interesting digital tour coming your way soon!

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