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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Dearborn County Dearborn County

Dearborn County
Q&A with County Coordinator Connie Cleary

What do you consider the key accomplishment(s) of your county’s bicentennial celebration?

  • The way the whole county pulled together to help with the celebrations.

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

  • The Harris Cabin restoration and pioneer day
  • Great Crescent Brewery historical site
  • Dillsboro Well project

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

  • Torch Relay and the ending of the year at Perfect North Slopes carrying the torch and bicentennial flag down the hill in a torch light parade.

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

  • Dearborn County Historical Society - 508 High St., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • Approximately 20.

​Dearborn County Legacy Projects

Dearborn County Facts

Dearborn County was formed in 1803. It was named for Dr. Henry Dearborn. Dearborn was U.S. Secretary of War at the time the county was named. Early growth was centered around Lawrenceburg which was an important railroad junction connecting two of the regions major rail lines.

Outdoor recreation abounds on Dearborn Trails, the multi-use hiking and biking trail that connects the cities of Greendale, Lawrenceburg and Aurora, Indiana.  A paved pathway that follows the Ohio River in many places, the trail is open to the public year round and was the recipient of the Mid America Trails & Greenway Award in 2007.

About Hillforest, Aurora, Dearborn Co., Indiana

Overlooking the Ohio River, Hillforest was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1891. Shipping and riverboats were significant elements of the Gaff business and are reflected in the architecture of the home.

Note the third floor belvedere resembling a pilot house. The style is Italian Renaissance, completely symmetrical and characterized by broad overhangs, ornately carved brackets, arched windows and graceful balconies and porches. Hillforest is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

The white residents of Dearborn County who helped to operate this Underground Railroad were joined in Lawrenceburg by Elijah Anderson, a light skinned African-American blacksmith. Legend has it that he would wait until the coast was clear and then beat out a signal on his anvil to tell escaping slaves waiting on the Kentucky side that it was safe to come to Lawrenceburg.

He would then help to hide them and move them along to the next station on the Underground Railroad. It is estimated that he helped as many as 1000 people escape from slavery before he fled to Ohio.

Moores Hill Male and Female Collegiate Institute

Founded by John Moore in the small town of Moores Hill in southeastern Indiana. The first college building at Moores Hill, Moore Hall, was completed on December 1, 1856, although the opening day of classes for the new college were held in the unfinished building on September 9.

The institution struggled financially during its time in Moores Hill, and a fire destroyed Moore Hall in 1915. The institution continued to operate in a second building, Carnegie Hall, until the move to Evansville — becoming Evansville College in 1919 — which is now the University of Evansville. The former campus in Moores Hill continued operation as an elementary and high school. Carnegie Hall is now maintained as a museum.

Carnegie Hall, Moores Hill, Dearborn Co., IndianaCarnegie Hall Museum

Built in 1908 as part of Moores Hill College (now the University of Evansville). It has been used as an academic building, and has also housed an elementary and high school. And now it serves as the museum. 

County Seat: Lawrenceburg
Year Organized: 1803
Square Miles: 305.03

Dearborn County Bicentennial Committee

  • Connie Cleary
  • Debbie Smith
  • Susan Greco
  • Nancy Turner
  • Guinevere Emery
  • John Kruse
  • Bill Yelton
  • Jerry Hacker