Brown County State Park is now the largest historic district in Indiana after recently being added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to a DNR press release.
The state park, which spans nearly 16,000 acres, is a frequently visited destination in Indiana.
Nearly 70 buildings, structures and sites in the state park contributed to its historical significance, including facilities built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, according to the press release.
The press release also said Indiana Landmarks Staff authored the nomination. They partnered with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources which was supported by Peaceful Valley Heritage, a local preservation group.
“Much of the CCC’s legacy is what is being honored with this listing,” Ben Clark, cultural resources manager for the Division of State Parks, said in the press release.
Brian Forist, IU lecturer and program coordinator for outdoor recreation, parks and human ecology, said this nomination is a rigorous process that takes an inventory of the historic resources, such as buildings and structures, located in the state park.
“It’s revered by people in the state and beyond,” Forist said.
Being added to the register lets the DNR and its partners access federal historic preservation grants and funds only available to those with the national register designation, he said.
Patrick Haulter, the interpretive naturalist for Brown County State Park and graduate student at IU School of Public Health, said it is an honor and humbling for the state park to be added to the National Register.
“This is just such a special area, and it has such a unique history,” Haulter said.
Haulter said people come to the state park to see the rolling hills, beautiful vista overlooks and the structures built by the CCC.
“When you come to Brown County, you realize Indiana has a lot more to offer as far as geography and geology than just flat cornfields,” Haulter said.
IU senior Irene Georgiadis, administrative assistant and trip leader for IU Outdoor Adventures, said one of the tenets taught in Outdoor Adventures is environmental stewardship.
“Brown County actually has some of the best mountain biking certainly in the country,” she said.
She also said the organization uses Brown County State Park for mountain biking classes.
“I think it’s always good to see more lands receiving federal and state protection and state support,” Georgiadis said. “It’s nice that we got people advocating for the land.”