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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Washington County Washington County

Washington County

Q&A with County Coordinator Jeremy L. Elliott

What do you consider the key accomplishment of your county's Bicentennial celebration?

  • Pulling off the Torch Relay without a hitch!

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • Both the Old Settlers' Days festival and the Pekin 4th of July Parade/Celebration.  Mostly because of the historic heritage they both have in our county, going back well over 100 years.

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to your county's Bicentennial celebration.

  • One of my favorite memories from the Torch Relay was when the torch reached the city limits and N. Main St. was lined with the children from the Salem School system.  I couldn't imagine any other time in the history of our county that could have happened.

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • We have a display for the Indiana Bicentennial at the Stevens Museum at the John Hay Center in Salem, where our artifacts and memorabilia are kept.

Do you have a website and/or social media presence?


Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • 20

Estimated total attendance.

  • 6,000+

Washington County Legacy Projects

Photos from Washington County's Bicentennial Activities / Events

Washington CountyWashington County 2

Washington County Bicentennial Committee

  • Joy Bierly, Mayor's Executive Assistant
  • Danny Newby, WCHS President
  • Phillip Marshall, County Commissioner
  • Randall Bills, County Auditor
  • John W. Mead, Attorney
  • Jeremy Elliott, County Historian/Bicentennial Coordinator

Washington County Facts

Washington County, Indiana was named in honor of U.S. President George Washington. Washington County is the 7th largest county in Indiana with 514 square miles of fertile cropland and rolling hills.

About the courthouse: Harry, Kenneth and Roy were the architects. The building was completed in 1888.

Lee Wily Sinclair built the largest woolen mill in southern Indiana in Salem. Sinclair also expanded his holdings to another textile mill in Chicago and a department store in Salem.

President Abraham Lincoln’s biographer and private secretary was from Washington County. This prominent native son is John Milton Hay.

Hay served presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt as Secretary of State, being responsible for the open door policy with China and the purchasing of the Panama Canal. He later served as ambassador to the Court of St James in London, England.

County Seat: Salem
Year Organized: 1813
Square Miles: 513.73