If you’ve never been to the Hendricks County Historical Museum, I would highly recommend it. If you have, then you know there’s plenty of Hendricks County, Indiana, history, artifacts from all over the county and of course, the popular jail in the basement.
What I enjoy most is taking the family to experience something new every time. The kids are in awe of the items in the kitchen and what an 1800’s children’s bedroom might look like. Not only is there a rotating exhibit that gives us something new to visit, every time we walk through a room, we notice something different.
With museums constantly changing with the times, more of them have added a virtual component and our own, local museum doesn’t disappoint in that regard as they recently added that option.
The Hendricks County Historical Museum partnered with ASH Interactive, a Brownsburg marketing firm, to create a virtual tour of the entire museum, increasing accessibility for everyone.
Pat Baldwin, president of the museum, said the stairs in the 1866 home has always posed a problem for guests who have recently had surgery, are elderly or people with a disability. With regular group tours from local senior living communities, churches and visitors, staff at the museum want to be sure all visitors can experience the first floor as well as the second floor.
In addition, visitors who stop by the museum or find it online, now have the opportunity to show other family and friends who may not live in the area. With the new virtual tour, I can recommend the museum to friends in Florida or grandparents living in Arizona, and they’re able to experience it with me.
Since I’ve been to the museum several times, I decided to try the virtual experience to compare it to the real thing. I mean who doesn’t love something they can check out from the comfort of the couch?
Click on one area of the home, and you’ll have options to view the photo gallery of items in that room, a 360 Interactive tour of the room or watch a video about the room.
While browsing through the photo gallery, there are options to click and learn more. The interactive tour includes videos of former Sheriff Dave Galloway explaining the details of the old jail for example, or former Sheriff Brett Clark discussing the Military Room along with many volunteers who support the museum.
It’s important to note that the virtual element is available when you visit the museum as well.
Baldwin said a large television in the front foyer of the museum allows visitors, who would prefer to stay on the first floor, the opportunity to see what their group is seeing upstairs.
Planning for the Future
As more educational tools are added to the virtual tour, they plan to add new features to the museum itself.
QR codes will be added to various items throughout the home, giving guests the opportunity to learn more about that specific item.
The goal, according to Baldwin, is to continue expanding the educational process, and the more they can offer to all visitors both in the museum and on the couch is a bonus!
Visit the Museum in Person
The Hendricks County Historical Museum is located at 170 S. Washington St., Danville. The museum is typically open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and during special events in Danville.
Call to schedule a tour at (317) 718-6158.