Jefferson County Historical Society, Inc
W. First St.
The Jefferson County Historical Society was founded in 1850 and stands as
one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the Midwest. Our major emphasis
is "the collection and preservation of the artifacts and documents which
are significant to the interpretation of the history of Jefferson County…A
museum, open to the public, is one of the principal means of conveying
Society operates the 1895 Madison RR Station, which it restored, opened
"Phase I" of the new County Museum in 1992, a modern 6,000 square foot
building, continues a spring garden tour, "Madison In Bloom," which
has attracted national media attention, and has developed innovative children's
educational programs which have received regional recognition. The Society
maintains a full calendar of adult programs, tours, and lectures.
The Society has also published Beloved Madison, a beautiful book
of over 350 color photos of the downtown Madison,
Our other publications include oral
history, black history, and early public documents.
Exhibits have been developed with the help of professional exhibit
designers, and a number of major artifacts have been restored, using
conservators of national reputation.
The Society has received national recognition in 1993, 1995, 1997 and
1999 from the federal Institute of Museum Services These awards are on the basis
of the quality of the museum's operations and programs, rather than on need. As
Diane Frankel, the Director of the Institute, has noted, "In Order to
receive such an sward, the museum must demonstrate outstanding performance in
all areas of museum operations." The only other museums in Indiana to
receive this grant in the 1997 cycle, for example, were the Indianapolis Museum
of Art, the Indianapolis Children's Museum, and the Indianapolis Zoo.
In 1999, the Society’s new "Phase II" building addition was
completed and opened to the public. It contains 8,000 square feet and includes
an expanded exhibit gallery, the Research Library and Archives, and an expanded
climate controlled storage for the Society's collection of artifacts. The
exhibit gallery is equipped with computer network wiring for future interactive
displays. The new gallery is more than double in size over the former display
area. Ceiling height is also an
added two feet that enables us to create far more dramatic displays. Our plans call for remodeling our “old” exhibit gallery
into a Children’s Education Center/Public Meeting Room. The size of the County Museum is now over 14,000 square feet.
The Jefferson County
Historical Society continually welcomes new members and visitors; for more
information call or visit us at the above address and ask for Joe or Diana.