General Outdoors News

Unearthing Our Heritage on Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest

A relatively remote forested area of the Hoosier National Forest is a summer classroom.  Archaeological students will be excavating farmsteads of early settlers in the German Ridge community for three weeks in July.  The public is invited to come visit the on-going archaeological excavations on Saturday, July 14th, between 12 noon and 4 p.m.  Tours will be offered on the hour.

The German Ridge Heritage Project is a joint effort between the Hoosier National Forest and Indiana University to document the lives and culture of early settlers in the area. This part of Perry County was settled by Germans and has long been known as German Ridge.

Visitors to the site on July 14th can experience the excavation of an early farmstead site, now part of the Hoosier National Forest, and learn what the students have discovered in their research.  The project includes archival research, oral histories, cemetery studies, and genealogy.  Descendants and neighbors have shared pictures and information about the early inhabitants of the area. Historical information is still being collected about these early settlers so anyone having information about these settlers is encouraged to contact Timothy Baumann, Project Director at 812-855-0055 or by email at tebauman@indiana.edu.

The field work is conducted as a class through Indiana University and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. The results of the project will be used to create a heritage trail with historic markers, an informational website, educational programming for local schools and museums, and potentially exhibits in the local community. More information on the German Ridge Heritage Project can be found at www.germanridge.info.

If you plan to attend the open house contact our Bedford office at 812-275-5987 (toll free 866-302-4173) or the Tell City office at 812-547-7051.  Information is also available on the Hoosier National Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/hoosier), including a map and directions.

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