Press Release:  Event Date August 12-13, 2016


For further information contact Mary Chrastil, 260-982-0672; or



Funfest at the Center for History


There’s lots to see and do during Funfest at the North Manchester Center for History.  The Center is open to the public with free admission on Friday, August 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday, August 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The Center is located at 122 E. Main Street.


The first thing visitors will notice is the Center’s new façade.  The building exterior has been restored to its 1920’s form.  The renovation has included repaired brickwork, new granite and terra cotta, new period windows, new parapets (low walls at the front edge of the roof) and pavers with the names of those who supported the project. 


The next thing that might catch a visitor’s eye is the timeline in the front window.  Wabash County residents are asked to list when their first ancestor came to Wabash County.  Everyone who visits during Funfest will be asked to take part.  The timeline already includes people from the 1820’s through today.  The timeline is a NM Historical Society project for Indiana’s Bicentennial this year.


Visitors will also be given information on a Crowd Sourced Genealogy project, a joint venture of the Center for History and the North Manchester Public Library.  The Center hopes to use crowd sourcing to start a researchable data base of Wabash County residents.  This project was also inspired by the Bicentennial.


In the exhibit area, the exhibit on prehistory has been completed.  Rare mastodon bones, stone artifacts thousands of years old, and a sampling of animals the early settlers found are all on display.  Under construction is a new exhibit on early settlers, including an authentic sample log cabin.  The exhibit on the Peabody family and NM Fairgrounds has been upgraded this year, too.


The Center will repeat its popular history scavenger hunts for children and adults.  Students and their families have a lot of fun completing them together.  The games will be updated to account for new exhibits. 


During Funfest, visitors can also see the Indiana Historical Society’s travelling exhibit, The Hoosier Centennial:  A Look Back at the 1916 Celebration.  The exhibit will be in town for a limited time, from July 13 through August 16. The exhibit was reserved by the NM Historical Society in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial.


The Center for History will present three films continuously throughout the day; The Building of the Peabody Mansion, See Yourself in the Movies 1938, and The Moving of the Thomas Marshall House.


The Thomas Marshall House will also be open to the public with free admission on Saturday, August 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Located on Market Street next to the public library, the Thomas Marshall House is the birthplace of former Indiana Governor and Vice President of the United States Thomas R. Marshall and has been restored to its original 1854 condition.  Docents will be available to provide tours and answer questions about Thomas Marshall and his family.