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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Spencer County Spencer County

Spencer County

Q&A with County Coordinator Melissa Brockman

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

  • Key accomplishments included the launch of what is planned to continue as a county-wide celebration as well as the first Bicentennial Beer Fest in conjunction with Lincoln Amphitheatre, and the community involvement at every level.

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

  • Cushaw squash seeds originating from Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial with a direct lineage to the Lincoln family being grown across the country and then used during Bicentennial events like in Indiana's Abe Ale and a squash pie contest.

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

  • Watching Sienna Crews run through the woods between Lincoln State Park and Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, carrying the Bicentennial Torch through a piece of Spencer County.

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

  • We hope to have a commemorative display alongside the replica torch on display by the county's Bicentennial in 2018.

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

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • 30

Spencer County Legacy Projects

Photos from Spencer County Bicentennial Events / Activities

Lincoln PrimeLincoln PrimePioneer Girls RockportSpencer County TorchSpencer County TorchCivil War Ball

Spencer County Bicentennial Committee and Volunteers

  • Ben Lawalin
  • Bob Zimmerman
  • Carolyn Braun
  • Connie Luthy
  • Dan Rininger
  • Diane Unfried
  • Duane Walter
  • Gay Ann Harney
  • Heidi Rea
  • Jim Hevron
  • Jeff Lindsey
  • Jill Ludwig
  • Joe Compton
  • Judy Butcher
  • Julie Schnell
  • Kathy Reinke
  • Kathy Tretter
  • Kendell Thompson
  • Kenny Speed
  • Kristin Truelove
  • Jake Kroeger
  • Jessica Lopez
  • Laura Harmon
  • Lauren Crosby
  • Marc Steczyk
  • Melissa Brockman
  • Michael Crews
  • Morgan Peak
  • Nancy Kaiser
  • Nancy Shelton
  • Tom Utter

Spencer County Facts

Spencer County was formed in 1818 from parts of Warrick County and Perry County. It was named for Captain Spier Spencer, killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

Abraham Lincoln lived in Spencer County from 1816 to 1830, between the ages seven and twenty-one.

About the courthouse: Elmer Dunlap was the architect and the building was completed in 1921.

Abraham Lincoln moved to Indiana when he was 7 years old. He lived most of his boyhood life in Spencer County with his parents Thomas and Nancy.

His family moved to Illinois in 1830. The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is located at the site of the Lincoln family farm.

Muncie, Indiana’s Ball brothers used their pledged money to purchase the land where Lincoln’s boyhood home was located.

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial was the first national park established in Indiana. President John F. Kennedy signed the act authorizing the establishment of the park on February 19, 1962.

St. Meinrad Archabbey is located in Spencer County and is one of only 2 archabbeys in the U.S. and seven in the world. (Abbey Press is an operation of the archabbey.)

Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari

The history of the nation’s first theme park is the story of a family which has, for three generations, dedicated itself to providing millions of guests with good, old-fashioned family fun.

Industrialist Louis J. Koch, Evansville, Ind., created the world’s first theme park as a retirement project. He was troubled that the tiny hamlet of Santa Claus, Ind., was visited by children who were disappointed when they discovered Santa was not there. With nine children of his own, Koch loved children, holidays and celebrations.

Santa Claus Land opened August 3, 1946; the theme park included a toy shop, toy displays, a restaurant, themed children’s rides, and, of course, Santa.

The Wild BeastIn 1993, Splashin’ Safari Water Park was added; it now covers 30 acres and features two wavepools and rivers, family raft rides, numerous water slides, plus several interactive family-waterplay complexes. The park also offers free sunscreen and free use of inner tubes and life jackets.

The Wild Beast ride at Splashin’ Safari. Holiday World’s Splashin’ Safari has been named the top water park in the nation, beating out larger water parks in Texas and Florida by in 2011.

Write to Santa

Santa Claus, Indiana in Spencer County receives over one half million letters and requests at Christmas time. Get your letter to Santa specially post marked while on your visit to Santa Claus, Ind.

County Seat: Rockport
Year Organized: 1818
Square Miles: 396.74