Story courtesy of our news-gathering partners at Network Indiana
Brown County State Park, Indiana’s largest state park, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
“This is a big deal for any historic place. This is like making it into the Hall of Fame,” said Patrick Haulter, the interpretive naturalist for the park.
Brown County State Park has been around since 1929, but really got its true start in the 1930s, when the Civilian Conservation Corps came in and helped build many of the facilities.
“The Civilian Conservation Corps was started by Franklin D. Roosevelt to get us out of The Great Depression,” Haulter said. “The CCC came here and helped build all types of structures all over the park.”
Those structures, including the Abe Martin Lodge, the overnight cabins, and the west lookout tower, still exist today.
Haulter says being added to the register will help the park in many ways, including national funding to help maintain and conserve the park for “future generations.”
Brown County State Park remains to be Indiana’s most popular state park. Haulter believes it’s because of great views across the 16,000-acre land.
“If you’re not from Indiana, and someone tells you ‘hey, we’re going to Indiana,’ you go ‘oh, cornfields and flat lands,’ but then you come to Brown County and think ‘wait a second, this is not what we think of when it comes to Indiana.'”
Haulter says Brown County also helps Hoosiers “escape Indiana” and think you’ve gone to the “mountains of Tennessee.”
“We have rolling hills, we have these amazing overlook vistas that you can see woods and hills for miles and miles,” he said.
Brown County State Park sees more than 1.3 million visitors every year.