Listen to Hoosier History Live! at 11:30 a.m. each Saturday on WICR 88.7 FM. You also can listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast or you can join our new listening group at Bookmama's in Irvington to listen to, and discuss, the Saturday show.


You are invited!

Second-anniversary soiree is today, Thursday, Feb. 18


We at Hoosier History Live! are delighted to invite you to our Second Anniversary Soiree, now scheduled for 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 (that's today!) .


As we celebrate two years on the air, please stop by the Morris-Butler House at 1204 N. Park Ave. in Indianapolis for birthday cake and cupcakes, History Mystery questions with prizes, and a demo of our new website with an ever-growing audio library. Thanks to Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana for hosting.


All are welcome at this complimentary event.


Feb. 20 show

Early African-American settlements


Lyles Consolidated School, 1935, grades 1 through 4.As Hoosier History Live! salutes Black History Month, we will explore the waves of African-American migration here, which began even before Indiana became a state in 1816. Nelson will be joined in studio by Wilma Moore, senior archivist for African-American history at the Indiana Historical Society. She will share details about the settlements that began, sometimes initially by freed slaves, during the pioneer era up through World War I.


From the beginning, many blacks who came here encountered challenges and restrictions. A state law in 1831, for example, required blacks settling in Indiana to register with county authorities and pay a bond to guarantee good behavior. Even so, African-Americans chose to settle in Indiana during the early 1800s – and even before. According to an article that Wilma recently wrote for Traces, the Historical Society's magazine, some blacks settled with the French in the mid- to late 1700s in the area that eventually became Knox County.


Lyles Station historical marker.Early communities of African Americans in the 1800s included the Roberts settlement in Hamilton County, Lyles Station in Gibson County and the Beech settlement in Rush County. Many of the black communities were located near Quaker settlements. In northern Indiana, one of the first rural black settlements was initiated in St. Joseph County by Samuel Huggart, a free African-American from Ohio. Huggart was able to buy property beginning in the 1830s, according to a recent story in The Indianapolis Star.


Some insights from Wilma’s article in Traces:


  • In 1820, the U.S. Census recorded 1,230 African-Americans living in the new state of Indiana.
  • During the 1870s, many African Americans migrated here from North Carolina. Known as "Exodusters," most of them were headed for Kansas, but many chose to remain in Indiana and other nearby states.
  • In 1900, the U.S. Census indicated that more than one-third of black residents of Indiana had been born in Kentucky. At this point, Indianapolis had a black population that made up 10 percent of the city's residents. This placed Indy seventh of northern cities in the size of its African-American population. (Northern cities with the largest black populations then were, in order, Philadelphia, New York City, St. Louis and Chicago.)

Incidentally, here is the study guide for the 2010 Indiana Black History Challenge, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society. What’s your score?



In search of Indiana authors


Chris Gahl of the ICVA will call in with a tip about how the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation is asking the public to help find the next Kurt Vonnegut or Booth Tarkington. As part of the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, the foundation is canvassing the community to recognize the contributions of Indiana authors to the literary landscape. Indiana Authors Award logo.The deadline to nominate is March 26, with a panel selecting a national and regional winner, as well as an emerging author. Any published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years is eligible for nomination.


Winning authors will each receive up to $10,000 and will be able to designate their hometown Indiana public library as a recipient of an additional $2,500 grant. This is a public nomination process. See the Indiana Authors Award website for the full scoop.


History Mystery question


Beginning in the 1930s, African-American families built cottages in northern Indiana to create a resort community. They had been prohibited from purchasing vacation homes at resort communities on lakes elsewhere in northern Indiana. The resulting community became a popular summer destination for black families from Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and other Indiana cities, as well as families who lived in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.


Rustic cottage.Question: Name the historic African-American resort community in northern Indiana. Hint: It was the focus of a Hoosier History Live! show last year. At right is a picture of one of its rustic cottages.


The call-in number for the correct answer is (317) 788-3314, and the prize is a pair of tickets to the Indiana State Museum, as well as a couple of day passes to Climb Time Indy Indoor Rock Climbing, courtesy of the ICVA.


Your friends in Hoosierdom,

Nelson Price, host and creative director

Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101

Richard Sullivan, tech and web director    

Garry Chilluffo, online editor

Dan Ripley's Antique HelperHistoric Landmarks logo.

Lucas OilStory Inn

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support:
Antique Helper, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Lucas Oil and Story Inn.


Acknowledgments to Scott Keller Fine Art and Antiques Appraisals, Print Resources, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities Council, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Drew Pastorek and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through sponsorships and through individual tax-deductible contributions through the Indiana Humanities Council. Visit our website to learn more.


Feb. 27 show

Central State Hospital history


It opened as the Indiana Hospital for the Insane in 1848 as the state's first psychiatric hospital. The final chapter on what became known as Central State Hospital is scheduled to come later this year when most of its remaining buildings (located just west of downtown Indianapolis) are to be demolished.


Although the hospital on West Washington Street housed more than 3,000 patients in 1928 when its name was changed to Central State, it closed in 1994.  And some of its most distinctive structures – stately, Victorian-era buildings often referred to as the "Seven Steeples" – were declared unsound and torn down clear back in the late 1970s.


Central State Hospital's "seven steeples" building, image from long-ago postcard.To guide us through the dramatic history of the institution that became known to generations of Hoosiers as simply "Central State," Nelson will be joined in studio by Chuck Hazelrigg, a dentist and pharmacist who worked at Central State for 15 years beginning in 1970; eventually, Chuck became director of Central State's medical support services, supervising everything from radiology to security and the children's wards.


He also became fascinated with Central State's history, conducted a range of interviews with former patients and employees, and is regarded as its historian. (Today he teaches at the IU School of Dentistry and serves as vice president of the Carmel Clay Historical Society.) During the show, Chuck will share insights about the history of buildings, including the original structure (which eventually became known as the "men’s building"), the women's building and what was known as the Sick Hospital. FYI: Central State’s pathology building now houses the Indiana Medical History Museum.


Visit our website!


Our newly revamped website is chock-full of Hoosier history, including details of past and upcoming Hoosier History Live! shows. We are gradually adding a richer audio section with full-length shows for your listening pleasure. Recently added:


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