Why You Need to Visit the NEW Vigo County Historical Society and Museum!

Terre Haute is full of treasures, but the NEW Vigo County Historical Museum is sure to be a lasting favorite!

In late 2019, the Vigo County Historical Society and Museum officially opened its brand new location in downtown Terre Haute. This transition to a 34,000 square foot facility gave the museum the chance to expand and feature more of our area’s history than ever before.

Some locals (including yours truly!) remember visiting the old museum as elementary school students. Those with nostalgic memories will be happy to hear that fan favorites (such as Stiffy Green, “the most beloved bulldog in all of Indiana”) moved from the old location to the museum’s new home at  929 Wabash Avenue.

Curious about what’s happening to the museum’s old home at 1411 S 6 Street? It’s being restored and converted to a bed and breakfast! 

If you’re new to the area or museum, you may be surprised by the rich history of the Terre Haute area and the sheer size of the Vigo County history museum.

In the expansive space, visitors will have the chance to record oral history in the “Share Your Story” recording booth. You can record your story and take a copy home with you!

As part of your visit, rest your feet in the theater and watch the stories of our region unfold on the big screen.

(Fun fact: if you’re planning an event and need rental space, they have an event center that seats 100 at tables and the auditorium seats 130!)

While in the museum, you’ll get to window shop and stroll down Main Street.

Terre Haute’s history would be incomplete without telling the story of the iconic Coca-Cola bottle and its Wabash Valley origins.

The Apgar Soda Shop and the Main Street Gifts & Gallery are open to visitors without paying admission to the Museum!

This is the first soda fountain shop we’ve visited in Terre Haute (outside of Terre Haute, we recommend a visit to Lynn’s soda fountain shop in Brazil, Indiana), so the floats and bottle drinks are a special treat. The gift shop is filled with fun local finds. A shirt that says “I got railroaded in Terre Haute”? How apropos!

When the new building opened in late 2019, I visited with a group of third grade students. Ever since, my daughter keeps asking, “When can we go back?”

This third grade age range (8 and 9) is perfectly suited to start absorbing and enjoying the stories and exhibits that are featured in the museum. Our 7-year-old is eager to go based on her big sister’s recommendation. Our younger girls might not engage fully; however, tickets for children under 5 are FREE, so we’ll happily bring them along!

Young ones will likely enjoy the toy exhibit, the bottle conveyor belt, and the treats in the soda shop.

Other family-friendly features include water bottle refill stations and a coat rack. The museum has diaper changing stations and an elevator that would accommodate a stroller. The museum staff noted that food and drink are not allowed in the exhibit areas for the safety of the collection.

The museum is closed on Mondays with regular hours Tuesday- Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. The Vigo County Historical Society and Museum facebook page is great source of regularly updated information. As of February 2020, admission information is as follows:

​Museum Admission
Adult – $7

Senior* – $6

Youth* – $4

Child under 5 FREE

*Senior: Ages 60+

*Youth: Ages 5-18

With exhibits that change throughout the year, their goal is to entice you to come back again and again. Members get to visit for free!

Have you been? If so, tell us about your trip(s)!

If you’re visiting Terre Haute, we have ideas for things to do in our “Places to Visit” section and our monthly calendars!