CELEBRATION SATURDAY AT HAMACHER HALL
Through the years, April has been a significant month in the history of Crothersville from its founding in April 1958.
The Crothersville Town Players will host a celebration of the History of Crothersville this Saturday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at Hamacher Hall. The doors to Hamacher Hall on East Howard Street will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, with refreshments of cookies and punch.
“Last year, the group made a formal request of the Crothersville Town Council to officially designate the month of April as Crothersville History Month,” said Crothersville Town Players President Brenda Holzworth. “With this designation, the group is beginning an tradition of celebrating Crothersville history, with the hope that local organizations and businesses will schedule events to honor the town’s rich history.”
Crothersville Historical and Cultural Arts Association researchers and the Scott County Genealogical Society Librarian, Naomi Sexton, began the task of gathering information on local history. The research found that community history was not just interesting at a local level, but Crothersville had a wider part in Indiana and American History.
Organizers selected April, for a variety of reasons, Holzworth said.
“Spring seems to be a good time of year for planning local events in which to celebrate the past and to look forward to the future,” she said, “and April is a month of special significance in the history of Crothersville.”
April 1858 – The first babies born in Crothersville were Laura Alice Hamacher and George ‘Lop’ Applegate.
April 23, 1861 – John Hamacher rallied the ‘Sons of Crothersville’ to arms. Crothersville’s Company H of the 6th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry would go on to fight in the 1st Land Battle of the U.S. Civil War —The Battle of Philippi in West Virginia.
April 1871 – Construction began on a two-story brick structure for public education. Vernon Township School District #5, remained as a school until the current Public School of Crothersville was completed and dedicated in 1885. The original District 5 school building, located at 209 East Howard Street and more recently known as the Presbyterian Annex, remains standing from that historic era.
April 7, 1885 – A petition requesting the approval to organize the Presbyterian Church in Crothersville was forwarded to the New Albany Presbytery. Founding members and Elders of the Church included John Hamacher, George Mitchell, and Preston Rider. This building, located at 211 East Howard Street, has since been renamed Hamacher Hall.
Organizers include local history and cultural arts group are President, Brenda Holzworth; Vice-President, Bill Nagle; Secretary, Linda Seals; and Treasurer, Eunice Lacey.
Slated for this Saturday evening’s observance will be a performance by storyteller, Wanda Stoffregen, of Henryville, presenting a costumed, living history of her ancestor, “Elizabeth Hamacher”. The story of the Hamachers reaches into Crothersville through John and Nancy Hamacher, who in 1858 founded and surveyed the town of Crothersville.
Stoffregen is the President of the Scott County Genealogy Society.
Pianist Valarie Mains will be performing Old Time Gospel Hymns from othe community’s forefathers’ generation.
Other participants include Brayden Growe, Jessica Hunt, and Jesse and Sandy Law.
A special awards presentation will be conducted by Brenda Bradley, giving certificates of appreciation to the descendants of the families of John and Nancy Hamacher, Evan and Georgiana Tobias, and Preston Rider will be honored.
The Saturday celebration is a free event is to encourage the exploration and preservation of Crothersville history, and to promote interest in the cultural and performing arts. The Crothersville Historical and Cultural Arts Association is a non-profit group which depends on fundraisers and donations to maintain programs available to the citizens in and around Crothersville.
Memberships are available for $12 annual, or $6 for students. Monetary donations and volunteers are welcomed. For more information about The Crothersville Town Players, either stop in at Aunt Samantha’s or call Brenda Holzworth at 793-2760.