Upcoming Society events


Hoosier Heritage Pilgrimage 2019
Cumberland Gap: Retrace Our Ancestors' Journey
Thursday-Sunday, July 25-28, 2019
Kentucky and Virginia

In a departure from previous years, we will have only one Pilgrimage in 2019. That’s because the trip will be special, an opportunity to see where and how many of our ancestors got to Indiana by coming through the Cumberland Gap, the pass through the Cumberland Mountains near the junction of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. We will visit many historic sites en route and during our return trip. We will dedicate a bench near the Cumberland Gap with a plaque in honor of our
pioneer ancestors.

Reserve early! Before it is open to the public!

Day 1: Thursday, July 25, 2019 (lunch, dinner)

Depart: 8:00am from Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis.

En route to Frankfort, Kentucky, enjoy commentary from pilgrimage committee members and historians, Nelson Price and Ronald V. Morris.

In Frankfort, tour two historic houses and enjoy lunch. Liberty Hall, one of the first Federal-style mansions in Kentucky, is an elegant home built beginning in 1796 for U.S. Sen. John Brown. We also will visit the Orlando Brown House, a Greek Revival-style home built in 1835 for Sen. Brown’s son. The house was designed by Kentucky’s first licensed architect and is the only residence known to have been designed by him.

At Lee’s Town, tour the historic Buffalo Trace Distillery for presentations about the economic and social impact of bourbon-making. The tour of the 19th Century distillery will include a video, a visit to Blanton’s Bottling Hall, where bourbons are filled, labeled and packaged by hand, followed by a tasting.

Be part of a special “Bench Dedication Ceremony” honoring our Hoosier ancestors at the Pine Mountain State Resort Park.

Savor “Special Dedication Dinner” at lodge, with a speaker about the history of the Kentucky explorers and early settlers, including Dr. Thomas Walker and Daniel Boone.

Day 2: Friday, July 26, 2019 (lunch, dinner)

Enjoy a breakfast buffet on your own at the hotel before departure for Cumberland Gap.

After arrival at the Cumberland Gap National Park, enjoy a video; then embark on a two-hour walk adventure into the Gap with a park ranger. (The walk does involve an incline; participants need to be able to maintain a constant pace without assistance.) This legendary trail played a crucial role in pioneer history. For non-walkers, there will be a shuttle option with a park ranger to the Pinnacle Overlook for scenic views. Must designate request on reservation form; van number limited.

Enjoy a luncheon at Gondoliers, an Italian restaurant.

Visit the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University. The museum’s extensive collections of Lincoln and Civil War memorabilia include a corner cupboard made by Lincoln’s father for their Kentucky cabin and original sheet music from the Civil War.

At Wilderness Road State Park in Virginia, enjoy a film about its history and visit Martin’s Station, an outdoor living history museum touted as featuring the most authentically reconstructed frontier fort in the country. At the pioneer settlement, costumed interpreters demonstrate life in Colonial America. Martin’s Station played a brief but significant, role in early settlement of the entire region.

In Berea, Kentucky, savor dinner at Boone Tavern an award-winning, historic restaurant known for locally grown (“Kentucky Proud”) ingredients, many from the nearby Berea College Farm, as well as fine wines and famous Kentucky bourbons.

Spend the night at the Berea-Boone Tavern Inn, a hotel built in 1909. Its guests, often famous visitors to Berea College, have included the Dalai Lama, Henry Ford, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou and Robert Frost.

Day 3: Saturday, July 27, 2019 (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

After breakfast at the hotel, visit Union Church where the current minister will portray the Rev. John G. Fee, the first minister in Berea; he arrived in 1853.

Tour the Dr. Ephraim McDowell House, the site of medical history. On Christmas Day 1809 at the home – now a restored, furnished house museum – Dr. McDowell performed a surgical experiment on a woman suffering from a large abdominal tumor. In an era before anesthesia, antibiotics and modern sterilization techniques, the surgery had never previously been done – and it was a success.

Enjoy a light lunch at Shaker Village, followed by a one-hour tour and some time for shopping. With 34 original structures of the Kentucky Shakers on 3,000 acres, the landmark site has the country’s largest collection of 19th Century buildings. It is the largest National Historic Landmark in Kentucky.

Visit Fort Harrodsburg, a reconstruction of military life on the frontier. Log structures include militia blockhouse, several cabins, a family blockhouse and a minister’s cabin.

Savor a set dinner in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, at the award-winning Beaumont Inn, which Southern Living magazine has named among the top 20 charming inns in the South.

Return to the Berea-Boone Tavern Inn for overnight stay.

Day 4: Sunday, July 28, 2019 (breakfast, lunch)

Depart from the hotel for a ride to Keeneland Race Track, where we will enjoy a private tour from an expert on Keeneland and learn the importance of horses to Kentucky in its early history and today. This will be followed by a driving tour of the beautiful countryside of the Bluegrass State and its horse farms.

Enjoy a private tour of Gratz Park, a charming, historic neighborhood in downtown Lexington. Our guide will give a personalized tour of her house - one of the oldest homes in the region.

Savor a late lunch at Carson’s in Lexington.

Cap off the pilgrimage with a tour of Ashland, the estate of Henry Clay (1777-1852), the U.S. senator and legendary statesman known as the “Great Compromiser”. Ashland is a National Historic Landmark.

Price: $997 double occupancy per person, $1,193 single occupancy
$400 deposit required with reservation; final payment due May 9, 2019
(Includes transportation, 2 breakfasts, 4 luncheons, 3 dinners,
plus snacks and drinks on coach, admissions, gratuities to driver & donations to sites)

Early Registration Deadline: March 1, 2019 for Pioneers and their guests
(After that, also opens to the public.)

Guests are welcome; number may be limited.
Minimum: 25 travelers; Maximum: 50

Depart: 8:00 am July 25th from Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis. Please be on the coach and ready to depart at 7:45 am. Park at lower level of parking lot, north of church.

Return: Approximately 7:30 pm, July 28th to Second Presbyterian Church.

To make a reservation, download and complete the registration form and mail it, along with a check payable to "Thomson Travel," to:

Thomson Travel
5764 East Fall Creek Parkway, N. Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46226

For answers to questions, contact Sue Thomson at (317) 908-9602 or by email at thomsontravel@gmail.com.

Archived Society events

As a service to our membership, we're pleased to make these reviews of previous Society events available here on the website:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2018

Fall Pilgrimage 2018:
Experience Old Fort Wayne Anew

Spring Pilgrimage 2018:
Willkie Home, Covered Bridges, Historic Mansions & More

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2017

Fall Pilgrimage 2017:
Showplace Homes on The Dunes, Michigan City and Crown Point Historic Sites

Spring Pilgrimage 2017:
Ohio River Cruise, Historic Mansions & More

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2016

Fall Pilgrimage 2016:
Abraham Lincoln and Indiana's Bicentennial

Society Centennial/Indiana Bicentennial Gala

Spring Pilgrimage 2016:
Bicentennial: Corydon, Cedar Farms & Madison

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2015

Fall Pilgrimage 2015:
State Parks & Bicentennial Heritage

Spring Pilgrimage 2015:
Interfaith and Church Heritage:
Special Insights into Faith Traditions in Central Indiana

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2014

Fall Pilgrimage 2014:
Food Heritage & Historic Mansions

Spring Pilgrimage 2014:
Benjamin Harrison & More:
Special Insights into 19th Century Indy

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2013

Fall Pilgrimage 2013:
Limberlost, Amish and Berne

Spring Pilgrimage 2013:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2012

Fall Pilgrimage 2012:
Wabash & Erie Canal,
Tippecanoe Battlefield
and Fort Ouiatenon

Spring Pilgrimage 2012:
Fort Wayne and Rome City

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2011

Fall Pilgrimage 2011:
Brown County

Spring Pilgrimage 2011:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2010

Fall Pilgrimage 2010:

Spring Pilgrimage 2010:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2009

Fall Pilgrimage 2009:
French Lick and West Baden

Spring Pilgrimage 2009:
Montgomery County

Fall Pilgrimage 2008:
South Bend and Culver

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2008

Spring Pilgrimage 2008:
Historic Tippecanoe County

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2007

Fall Pilgrimage 2007:
Evansville & New Harmony

Spring Pilgrimage 2007:

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2006

Fall Pilgrimage 2006:
Bedford & Lawrence Counties

Spring Pilgrimage 2006:
The Land of Lincoln

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2005

Spring Pilgrimage 2005:
Taggart's French Lick & West Baden

Annual Meeting and Luncheon - 2004

Spring Pilgrimage 2004:
Along the Old National Road

Annual Meeting and Dinner - 2003

Fall Pilgrimage 2003:
Lewis & Clark Bicentennial

Spring Pilgrimage 2003:
History and Art of

Annual Meeting and Dinner - 2002

Fall Pilgrimage 2002:
The Lillys of Indianapolis

Spring Pilgrimage 2002:
Lincoln's Indiana and
Historic Spencer County

Annual Meeting and Dinner - 2001

Fall Pilgrimage 2001:
Oldenburg and Batesville

Fall Pilgrimage 2000:

Spring Pilgrimage 2000:
Shaker Villages in Kentucky

This page last updated on Monday, November 12, 2018 .
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