An Indiana Summer: Stories of Hoosiers and our Home

Last weekend in my home town of Indianapolis, Indiana we had the event our state is most known for – the Indy 500 race. From Back Home Again in Indiana to “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines” to  the winner drinking milk to the huge crowds that descend upon our city, “the greatest spectacle in racing” is what many think of when they hear the word “Indiana.”

But I promise – we are so much more than that! We have a rich history that goes back thousands of years. I know – I’m a 9th generation Hoosier, and I have spent my life here, much of it studying our history and our people and our stories.

And so this summer, I want to dedicate the blog the stories of the people of Indiana!

The exciting news, part of the reason I’m having an Indiana summer, is to gear up for the release of my first children’s picture book, based on the memoir of an ancestor of mine, who was an Indiana pioneer.

My Storybook Ancestor 

Almyra King Holsclaw was born in 1842 in Jennings County, Indiana, and spent her entire life there. And at the end of her life, some time in the late 1920s, she sat down with her daughter and told her life story. She told intricate details of what life was like in pioneer Indiana, stories of her childhood, community, marriage, and children, in such a beautiful way. The first thing that struck me when reading her memoir was how much it read like a picture book with the beautiful imagery, and I knew what I had to do.

When Mother Read Aloud: The Life Story of Almyra King Holsclaw will be released this fall. I am excited to share that it is illustrated by five other Hoosiers – all high school students from the Indianapolis area. The illustrations have turned out beautifully and I am so proud of the artists – they captured Almyra’s story wonderfully. Almyra will be my first true "storybook ancestor". 

Keep an eye on the blog and our social media for updates about the release of the book and events - I'll be at several different events in the fall and winter sharing the book with other Hoosiers! 

An early sketch of one illustration for the children's book, by Kiah Cheney 

An early sketch of one illustration for the children's book, by Kiah Cheney 

So what’s in store for the blog this summer?

-          Book reviews of children’s and young adult books by Indiana authors and about Indiana history

-          Indiana field trip reviews

-          Indiana ancestor stories

o   Do you have Indiana ancestors? Contact me and we’ll share their stories!

-          Surprises!

I’ll be doing a lot of traveling this summer to different historical points of interests around Indiana, as I am also writing a field trip guide to go along with the children’s book. My daughter and I will be reading and reviewing books together, and we can’t wait to share with you.

Are you a Hoosier, or do you have Hoosier roots? We’d love to hear from you! Share your story, or your ancestors’ stories, your favorite Indiana field trips and books with us. We always love to hear from you.