Heritage of Hope, Inc....
Heritage of Hope, Inc. (HOH) is one of Hope's largest and oldest not-for-profit organizations. Since 1967, HOH has played a key role in preserving our community's past and guiding our future.
Hope Heritage Days is one of many events and entities under the umbrella of Heritage of Hope, Inc. Our offices are located inside Hope's Visitor Information Center (The Simpson Building), 645 Harrison Street, Hope, IN 47246. For information about Hope Heritage Days, email firstname.lastname@example.org For information about becoming a vendor at Hope Heritage Days, email email@example.com
There are five distinct Divisions within HOH:
- Art Guild of Hope Division
- Festival & Bandstand Division
- Media Division
- Main Street Division
Most people know of our organization through our annual festival -- Hope Heritage Days. We are proudly hosting our 50th annual fall festival this September. It is the largest fundraising event for most non-profit organizations in our area, as well as being hugely popular with vendors of all types.
Hope, Indiana is a small, proud, rural community that has a lot to offer visitors! It is known as a "Surprising Little Town" for many reasons, including our unique landmarks and hidden treasures. A place where visitors are always welcome.
Hope is located in the northeast corner of Bartholomew County in central Indiana along State Road 9. The town revolves around the town square where you can find a beautiful bandstand, many local businesses, local library, park/playground, Town Hall, and even a community museum. You might find many "locals" gathered around a cafe table, especially in the morning while they drink coffee, and chat about the latest current events.
In April 2015, Hope, Indiana, officially reached its 185th birthday. The story of our town is unique. The normal small town life that we, as Hope's residents, have come to know is the result of situations, circumstances, and characters from our past.
In the early 1800's, the United States was moving west. New states were being formed. Native Americans were being pushed farther west, and those who were looking for adventure or a fresh start were moving into territories that would include Indiana.
Into this setting came a self-taught "minister" of the Moravian Church with the dream of starting a Congregational Town in the wilderness where the purest form of the Moravian religion could be practiced. Martin Hauser was determined to move his religion into the frontier area of the state of Indiana. He had convinced Brother Lewis D. von Schweinitz of the Provincial Helpers Conference of the Moravian Church that he could succeed at starting a new church and a new Moravian town in Indiana. Hauser was to purchase 160 acres of land for the church at the cost of $1.25 an acre. The church provided the necessary $200 for the purchase once Hauser had established his own home in the area as proof that he was serious about the task.
On September 28, 1829, Martin Hauser left his home near Salem, North Carolina, with his wife, Susannah, their four small children, Susannah's brother and sister, Samuel Rominger, J. R. Rominger, and J. P. Blum. It took this small band a month to arrive at the home of Hauser's brother Jacob, who lived just north of Columbus, Indiana. By the time they arrived in late October, the weather had turned bitter.
Martin was determined to stake a claim to his own land and get on with the formation of a new town. The very next day he traveled about 10 miles to the spot he selected for his own. He purchased his own land just north of what is now our town of Hope on road 725 E. Because of the terrible weather, Martin fell quite ill and was not able to begin his own cabin until after Christmas. By March 1, 1830, the Hauser cabin was finished and the family moved in without as much as the comfort of a stove. But Hauser was quick to notify the church of his accomplishments and the money for the purchase of land for the town arrived in early April as promised. On April 5, 1830, Hauser sent a messenger to Indianapolis to purchase the 160 acres for the town of Goshen. When they arrived in Indianapolis they learned the name "Goshen" was already being used by a town in Indiana. Thus, they decided to rename the town Hope.
Let it be known that the log cabin that still stands within the walls of the present home of Irene Nading is thought to be the original cabin that Martin Hauser built.
Plenty of Local Attractions...
The Yellow Trail Museum is located on the square where it has been since 1975, when it was founded. It was started by two local residents along with a gentleman who headed the local businessmen association. The museum began as a way to share the local history and artifacts to share with the community. Most of the pieces came from local residents who were glad to donate to this museum. The museum is open through November on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. -- It is also open during community events. Admission is free and donations are welcome. Today it is fascinating to see all of the artifacts that are in the museum to see how the locals in this small rural surprising town lived in the past. Why is it named The Yellow Trail Museum one might ask and it is due to a story of a man who opened a garage in Hope in 1915 and after realizing that there weren't many cars in that area, he went to surrounding towns and on his trip home, he painted a yellow band around fence posts and telegraph poles into town and had business cards made that told the people to follow the Yellow Trail to his place of business. Since that time, there have been groups who have painted some of the same trail again so that as you enter into Hope you may still see part of the Yellow Trail and so into the museum as well.
Another historic Hope landmark is the Simmons School, which stands behind Hope Intermediate School. Simmons school is also a step back into time. A small one room schoolhouse that currently serves as a field trip destination to many visiting students throughout the school year. About 90 days out of the school year the one room school is in session with visiting students and teachers arriving in pioneer clothing and carrying baskets or pails with their lunches and some even have a tin cup to drink their water from. If they don't have one, they have the opportunity to drink from one when they dip their water from a water bucket. The spend the entire day as they would have in the earlier centuries. The teacher (schoolmarm) will lead them in reciting a pledge to the flag that might vary a little from the one that they know today. Also, they learn from McGuffey Readers and on slates with slate pencils. They also learn by writing with pen and ink and learn rhymes that help with learning vocals (vowels), math or geography. They will play old fashioned games and wash hands with lye soap, which they could learn to make. Many students will say that this is or was their favorite field trip of the year.
A Small Town with Big Events....
Festivals abound in Indiana but one that arrives in September each year is located in Hope. Hope Heritage Days is held the last full weekend in September and brings estimates of over 30,000 people through this small town in one weekend. This festival is located on the town square and is a full weekend of fun . The Heritage Days parade is a fun activity for families from Hope and many other places. Most of the food provided during the festival is cooked and provided by local organizations and there is plenty of choices. You will find grilled tenderloins, fish, beans and ham, grilled chicken and pulled pork along with homemade pies and ice cream. Food, music, flea market, games and shows for children and adults, as well as fireworks and the parade are all common to this festival. The Hope Heritage Days concludes will a community church service on Sunday evening.
Fun Facts A-Plenty...
Hope has many talented townspeople and many historical aspects, but there are also some fun, interesting facts about this small town, such as : There is a small rural letter carriers museum located on the town square, the Hope volunteer fire department celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2010, Arby's restaurant chain used Hope in a series of television commercials in the late 80s, The Hauser Jets boys basketball team won the Indiana State Championship in 2006, many local businesses are closed on Wednesday which is a decades-old practice,and The old Hope High School gym was considered for a scene in the movie, "Hoosiers".
As you can tell Hope is a fun place to live, work, play, or visit. It is rich in local history and Heritage of Hope, Inc. welcomes you to visit us throughout the year.