The Woodstock Club
Saturday, November 2, 2002
The 87th annual meeting of the Society of Indiana Pioneers was held on Saturday, November 2, 2002, at the Woodstock Club in Indianapolis.
A fun and informative program was prepared for this year’s gathering. Susie Fairchild, Jamia Jacobsen, and Leigh Morris presented a dramatic “Once Upon a Time in Indiana” interpretation based on Charity Dye’s 1916 story. They portrayed some early Indiana settlers who made their way to the state from Virginia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, helping us recapture some of what life was like during the pioneer period. The audience was invited to participate in the singing of popular songs from the early days of Indiana.
Charity Dye (1849-1921) was an effective civic leader, author, and populizer of history and literature and an effective schoolteacher in the classroom. She was the prime mover behind Plymouth Church’s Institute and lectured to young people on historical topics. She organized the Browning Society of Indianapolis and wrote numerous books, including “The Story Teller’s Art” and “Once Upon a Time in Indiana.” On a visit to England’s Oxford Pageant early in the 20th century, she got the idea of producing plays in observance of historical events. She spent a summer directing pageants at New Harmony and was so successful that she was appointed to the State Historical Commission. In that capacity, she spoke in every county in the state in support of a memorial to pioneer women and to urge suffrage for women. Miss Dye was active for more than forty years to improve Indianapolis schools and to the city a better place to live. She combined a love of cultural things with a practiced knowledge of social action, making her particularly effective in gaining results.
The Annual Meeting began at 4:30 p.m., followed by an informal time with a cash bar at 5:45 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m.