Sample Chapter – Short History of Museums – Indiana Edition – Corydon State Historic Site


Sample Chapter

Short History of Museums – Indiana Edition

Corydon State Historic Site

Corydon Capitol State Historic Site
The Indiana Territory Legislature contracted with Dennis Pennington to build the new Territorial capitol at Corydon. Pennington was a builder and prominent citizen of Corydon and served as Speaker of the House. He began construction of the building in either 1811 or 1812. The building would serve as the Harrison County Court House at first, then as the territorial capitol when it moved to Corydon. When the legislature did move in 1813, they met in the building.
The Capitol
Pennington used limestone quarried nearby to construct the building, which was two stories tall and forty feet square. The two and a half foot thick stone foundation delved three feet into the earth and supported the two-foot thick stone walls. The lower room had fifteen-foot ceilings, the upper floor ten feet. One large fireplace on each floor provided heat. The cost to build the capitol was $1500.
The First Legislature
The first General Assembly consisted of 29 representatives, 10 senators and the lieutenant governor met in the building in November 1816. Indiana received Statehood on December 16, 1816. Corydon remained the State Capital until 1825, when it moved to the new city of Indianapolis on the White River in the center of the state. After the capital move to Indianapolis, the building became the Harrison County Courthouse. Harrison County renovated the building in 1873, covering the stone floors with wood and closing the fireplaces. In 1917, the State of Indiana purchased the building with the intent of preserving it. Harrison County built the current courthouse in 1929 and the State took over the building. The State renovated the building to its original condition.
The Corydon State Historic Site commemorates the history of Indiana’s first state capitol. Visit the federal-style limestone building that was built between 1814 to 1816 and served as the state capitol from 1816 to 1825. Tours also include Governor Hendricks’ Headquarters, a two-story federal style brick house built in 1817 which also served as Governor Hendricks’ home while he was governor of Indiana from 1822 to 1825. The site is very informative and rich with history. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and on some holidays. Winter hours vary. For current hours and information, contact:

Corydon Capitol State Historic Site
202 E. Walnut St.
Corydon, IN 47112

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