JPG Heritage Partnership

JPG group plans fall seminar
at Old Timbers Lodge

Several books that relate
to JPG to be published soon

By Don Ward

(September 2005) – The Jefferson Proving Ground’s Heritage Partner-ship, in conjunction with the Historic Hoosier Hills Resource, Conservation and Development Inc. umbrella group headquartered in Versailles, Ind., is busy organizing several fall programs and initiatives to further expand and preserve the history of the former U.S. Army base that spans three Indiana counties – Jefferson, Ripley and Jennings.

JPG Heritage Partnership

• Tickets for the JPG Heritage Partnership fall history seminar are $20 if purchased by Oct. 11 and $25 thereafter and the day of the event.
• To order tickets, call Historic Hoosier Hills RC&D office at (812) 689-6410, Ken Knouf at (812) 273-2551 or Lilian Carmer at (812) 873-6469.
• For information, visit: www.jpgheritage.org.

The group is working to take advantage of grant money provided to re-publish an earlier book about Old Timbers Lodge, written by Chilton Thompson. The newer version will include several photos.
The group also is publishing “A History of Magdalene Church,” written by Barbara Jachimiak, plus a book of poems by William Denny.
Another book, a pictorial and oral history of Jefferson Proving Ground, is planned for publication and release by April 2006.
The books about Old Timbers and Magdalene Church are expected to be available for sale by September, just in time for the JPG Heritage Partnership’s fourth annual fall history seminar. The seminar is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Old Timbers Lodge inside JPG Proving Ground.
“Things are moving along very quickly for the group, and we’re hoping to get these books published in time for the fall event,” said Ron Harsin, a group member who has been tasked with preparing the Old Timbers book for publication.
The fall seminar will feature several speakers and include lunch, handouts and a tour of the lodge, said Mike Moore, a group member who is leading the seminar planning. The day will also cover information relating to Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge that today includes much of the former base.
Moore also is busy organizing the oral histories collection that has been collected in recent years by volunteers and Ruth Turner’s Hanover College students. These are interviews with those people who once lived on the farms that were taken by the government to create the Army base, or those employees who worked there. Harsin is putting these oral histories onto CDs for easier access.
Moore, Harsin, Ken Knouf and Louis Munier have been meeting weekly to coordinate and research the photos and literature available to be printed. This group is still contacting folks for interviews. As part of this effort, people are being contacted and asked to complete a questionnaire about their experiences.
Incidentally, September 2005 marks the 10th anniversary of the “Looking of the Gate” gathering of former employees, so a reunion is being planned for 1 p.m. on Sept. 17 at Building 125 inside JPG.

Back to September 2005 Articles.



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