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Historical Sites in Danville, Indiana

The first white settlers arrived in Hendricks County around 1820 and the county was established in 1824. As the county seat, Danville, Indiana was home to many of the county’s important establishments, including the County Court House, the County Jail and Central Normal College (CNC), a fixture of Danville education that was also briefly known as Canterbury College from the mid 1940s through 1951, when it ceased operations.  Danville history has been kept alive through the preservation of numerous historical sites within the city.

The Hendricks County Museum resides in a two story brick building, the old County Jail and Sheriff’s home, on South Washington St. in Danville. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1866. It served as the sheriff’s residence and County Jail until 1974. The Museum was founded in 1975 by the Hendricks County Historical Society. The museum contains items related to Hendricks County life, including items representing the agricultural, domestic, military and educational history of the county. The Museum also contains information about and items from Central Normal College.

CNC was established in 1878 and focused on educating future teachers; generations of CNC graduates achieved their teaching certificates. Danville Community Middle School, located on Wayne Street in this Indianapolis suburb, occupies the original site of CNC and utilizes Hargrave Hall, part of the original CNC campus.

 

Both the structure and the contents of the Danville’s Community Library are of interest to those in search of Indiana, Hendricks County and Danville history. The library itself, established in 1903, is among the libraries funded through the Carnegie Foundation, also known as Carnegie Libraries. The library also contains the Indiana Room, which holds a collection of records, books and documents of significance in city, county and state history, including biographies, autobiographies, books authored by Indiana writers, genealogical documents, city, county and state government and census records, and a host of other documents for those that enjoy diving into the details of history.

The original Hendricks County Courthouse, located in Danville and built in 1863, was destroyed in January of 1903 when a large portion of the roof collapsed, rendering the structure uninhabitable; however, in February of the same year, construction of a new Courthouse began on the same site.  The structure was designed by Clarence Martindale of Indianapolis and is constructed of Indiana limestone. Restoration of the Courthouse interior, completed in 2004, provides the public a chance to view the interior decorations, woodwork, stained glass windows and murals of this important piece of Danville history in their original splendor.

Hendricks County Courthouse
One Courthouse Square
Danville, IN 46122

Hargrave Hall & historic site of Central Normal College
49 N. Wayne St
Danville, IN 46122

Hendricks County Museum
170 South Washington St
Danville, IN 46122
317.718.6158

Danville Public Library
101 S Indiana St
Danville, IN 46122
317.745.2604


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