Destinations - Southern Indiana 2019 - Page 23

PADGETT MUSEUM THE ROOT OF FLOYD COUNTY HISTORY BY APRILE RICKERT original land grant and the chain used to measure the width of streets in the city. This year, the museum will host a temporary exhibit on the New Albany Girl Scouts, to celebrate 100 years. “We’ve really had a storied history in New Albany and that’s what our exhibit at the museum really depicts,” Barksdale said. With the steamboat industry of the time came a lot of others that fed it — things like furniture, boiler shops, ironworks. The first piece, and later the largest piece, of plate glass was made in New Albany, and the city was home to some of the richest people in the state. But Barksdale said the Padgett Museum can also be a jumping-off point to delve deeper into the history of the area through other city museums. “I think we do a pretty good overview of the city and the county,” he said. The Town Clock Church, for example, helps more deeply tell the story of the Underground Railroad, while the Division Street School teaches about the earliest African-American schools in the area. The Carnegie Center for Art and History combines contemporary creative expression with the history of the area. “I think you really need to know the history of your community before you can move it even further along,” he said. “You’ve got to know where you were, where you’ve come from, but we don’t want to get lost in the past, either. We want to look to the future. “Having that very important history, I think it gives you a sense of place — a sense of feeling what this city was, what it is today, and what it can be.” PADGETT MUSEUM Address: 509 W. Market St., New Albany Phone: 812-949-2551 Hours: For 2019, May 11 through Dec. 12, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment during the open months About: Founded in 2006 and dedicated in 2007, this museum showcases the history of New Albany and Floyd County. It’s housed within the William Young House, built in 1837 for the up-and-coming businessman, and maintained by the Floyd County Historical Society. NEW ALBANY — Just west of the McAlpine Lock and Dam on the Ohio River lies a town with roots in steamboats and manufacturing, whose residents helped offer safe passage to slaves escaping the South. Established in 1813, New Albany is the youngest of three neighboring Southern Indiana municipalities — the others are Clarksville and Jeffersonville — and by 1850 was the largest in the state in terms of population, wealth and manufacturing. Floyd County Historical Society President Dave Barksdale says it’s important to understand where the community has been, and the Padgett Museum downtown is a great place to start. The museum, founded in 2006 and dedicated in 2007, is housed in the lower rooms of the Historic William Young Home, built in 1837 and featuring federal style architecture with Greek Revival influences, according to the museum’s brochure. It was donated to the historical society by the Padgett family in the mid-2000s prior to the museum’s opening, Barksdale said. Its permanent exhibit, “By the River’s Edge,” tells the story of the founding and growth of New Albany and Floyd County as a whole, and includes items such as the