Grants to preserve local history across state
The Department of Natural Resources helps strengthen Indiana’s historical and cultural heritage through annual federal grants it administers to local communities and not-for-profit groups that these organizations put toward preservation projects.
This year, the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology has awarded 11 federal grants for historic preservation and archaeology in Indiana communities.
The grants, totaling $476,696, provide a match of $512,545 in local and private funds, for a total projected investment of $989,241.
The funds come from the National Park Service, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which distributes federal funds to the states through the Historic Preservation Fund Program. Since 1974, the state has awarded more than $18 million to Indiana communities through this program.
In Ripley County, Ball State University will receive a grant of $51,871 to conduct a Phase Ia survey of approximately 80 acres around historic homestead sites identified within Versailles State Park.
Along with their associated historical records, these sites tell the story of the early planned settlement as well as early statehood.
While some of those stories are incorporated in guided tours, there is much that is unknown, and a targeted archaeological survey will help uncover the remains of daily home life at these sites.
The park staff and cultural resource manager would like to use the information to develop more engaging interpretation around these resources.
In addition to recording the new archaeological sites, a series of significance statements and primary interpretive themes will be developed.