The Old Settlers' Days Festival in Salem Indiana dates back to September 29th 1875. On that historic day in 1875 Washington County residents first came together to celebrate the lives and contributions of their pioneering forefathers. At the initial Old Settlers' Days many of the original Washington County settler's were grey haired and elderly but many spoke at great length and with great passion about their earliest pioneering experiences in the county.
Our lives have changed greatly over the years and the Old Settlers' Days Festival continues to evolve as well. What remains constant however, is our festival is a celebration and tribute to the pioneering spirit of our earliest Washington County Settlers.
This year the baking contest will be a DECORATED “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” CAKE, to celebrate the 2014 Bicentennial. We will have 3 categories: sheet cake, layer cake and cupcakes. A $25 prize will be awarded in each category…PLUS…a “People’s Choice” award of $25. The “People’s Choice” will be awarded to the cake with the most votes of $0.25 per vote.
Entries should be brought to the basement of the Steven’s Museum on Saturday September 20th between 9:00am and 11:00am. Judging of the cakes will be at 11:00 am; and cakes will remain on display all day Saturday and Sunday. Cakes may be on a dummy. They will be judged on best use of theme, technical merit, and creativity. Cakes should be on a sturdy board and covered with foil or some type of wrap. Cakes may be picked up on Sunday between 4pm and 5pm.
Baking contest event sponsor: Dawalt Funeral Home
For additional information please call Shirley Batt Ph#812-844-0035
During Old Settlers Days 2014 Danny Walton of “Guitar, Strings and Things” will be providing the sound equipment and again this year. Danny and his band, “Short Notice” will be performing at The Depot at 5:30 on Saturday.
New Performers this year include Sabrina Bays a local singer/song writer whose voice is seasoned and beautifully pure. One can hardly believe she is a mere sixteen years old. She plays acoustic guitar and sings many genres such as Indie, pop, country and even rockabilly. Sabrina will perform at 3:30 Saturday on the Depot Stage.
The duo “Hoot Von Woot” George and Megan Napier are scheduled for Saturday at 4:30. This is a local married couple are also local artisans. They play a little bit of everything including Rock, Blues and Country.
Both “Hoot Von Woot” and Sabrina Bays are available for booking concerts.
Another fresh face will be 2013 Indiana State Fair Youth Talent Contest Winner and fiddling prodigy, Brooklyn Thompson. She is scheduled to play with her “Old Timers Band” on the Depot Stage Sunday beginning at 2:00.
Brooklyn, now twelve years old has been playing her fiddle for just 4 years. She has had little formal instruction and plays essentially by ear. Brooklyn “fiddles” a great deal of good old fashion Bluegrass! Bookings can be made through her grandmother, Juymae Thompson at 812-883-4598.
The Corydon Dulcimer Society will perform Saturday from 11:00 – 12:30 on the platform near the Stevens Museum.
Back this year Sunday at 3:30 is the 2nd Grade Bradie Shrum Chime Choir under the Direction of Duane Davis. A very talented group of youngsters you won’t want to miss!
Dr. Stephen Warren, Professor of History at the University of Iowa will present The Story of Tecumseh on Saturday at 1:00pm.
As a specialist in American Indian history, Dr. Warren is committed to increasing knowledge of American Indian communities. Dr. Warren recently was appointed to help with an effort by the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to increase and share knowledge about Midwestern Native American tribes with community college educators.
Dr. Warren is the author of the book The Shawnees and Their Neighbors, 1795-1870, Warren has also published a number of articles on American Indians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is proudest of his work with the Miami and Absentee Shawnee tribes, for whom he is a historical consultant.
The public is invited to attend the Old Settlers’ Day Dinner on Sept. 13th at the John Hay Center/ Stevens Museum. The event will begin at 6:00 pm. The meal is being catered by Country Cookin’. Attorney Drew Wright will present the Cultural Origins of Washington County. Tickets are $12.00 and are available by calling 812-883-6495.
What would Old Settlers Days be if we didn’t mention all the amazing demonstrations and music happening at the village? Saturday and Sunday we have invited a number of musicians into the village including the Corydon Dulcimer Society, fiddlers, mandolin players and more. There will be a featured stage near the village for performers who wish to make use of it and as always the church is open for inspired music and improvisation. Please feel free to grab your instrument and head on down too as we would be glad to have you! Our Blacksmiths, soap makers, spinners, chair cainers, toy makers, fur trappers, gun smiths, frontier distillers, town criers, flint knappers, snake oil salesmen, storekeepers, yeomen farmers, scrimshaw artists, carvers and more are back this year to share our collective history with you as well as our town mayor George Beck and some new additions including our old time barber Spud Shocke and even an undertaker and doctor!