Conner Prairie is an Interactive History Park in Fishers, Indiana, about 25 minutes north of Indianapolis.
It is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program. I never realized such a thing existed. Live and learn—which is the idea, I suppose.
Conner Prairie has a welcome center, a nature walk and five main areas: the 1863 Civil War Journey based on the Raid on Indiana, an 1836 Prairietown, the Conner Homestead, the Lenape Indian Camp, and an 1859 Balloon Voyage. It probably goes without saying that this little guy was standing guard in the Civil War Journey. He looked familiar. I wondered if he accompanied Lincoln the day he came to town.
And this handmade canoe was part of the Indian Village. I stopped by there briefly. A young man who couldn’t have been a day over eleven was hefting a tomahawk over his shoulder getting ready to throw it at a target. The target area was roped off, but the spectators were fairly close to the young man’s backside. I didn’t want to be around in the unfortunate event of a backstroke misfire that sent the tomahawk (probably just an axe, really) sailing towards the crowd (or two or three parents and siblings who were watching.)
This little blue wheelbarrow was loaded with hay, just waiting for a small person to come along and interact with it.
The larger blue wagon made a nice lawn ornament.
What would an interactive park be without a petting zoo, or in this case, barn? Isn’t this little girl adorable? I watched her drum up the courage to get close enough to touch the goat, that outsized her by quite a bit. The goat was a patient and tolerant participant, as you can tell by the look on his face.
This little calf was also working at the petting zoo, although I must have caught her at break time.
Even the human animals needed to find a place to rest their back and take a quick break every now and then.
Some of their work was quite challenging.
These pigs were working hard digging a big pit in their pen. I’m not sure why.
And the chicken was standing on the rail keeping an eye on things. Probably a fairly boring job, but somebody had to do it.
It’s more fun to strut around the yard looking important, I imagine.
This blacksmith really was working hard. He spent an awfully long time heating and hammering out a solitary nail. I’m not sure how the pioneers got anything done at this rate.
I really think these guys were just loafing around. I couldn’t see any useful purpose in their activity, unless it was their job to keep the grass trimmed. They were chewing on it quite deliberately.
Isn’t she a doll? I watched her try and try to pick this stick up. She finally got it. Sort of.
This goes without saying. But it illustrates a new and useful purpose for a picket fence.
We had a beautiful day at Conner Prairie. I hope we go back when the trees are in leaf. It will look like a whole new world then, I imagine.