Going to State!

The Indiana State Historical Society decorated a Christmas tree with ornaments from various counties in Indiana.  It is their goal to have all 92 counties represented on the tree.  Thanks to local artist Steve McClung, Jay County will have an ornament of the tree this December.  The ornament is a sketch of an Interurban Car like the ones that once came into Portland,  The sketch is in a small gray, wooden frame.

Portland Foundation Grant Received

The Jay County Historical Society was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $4,500 to help fund this year’s annual Jay County Heritage Festival.  This grant, along with other donations from individual, businesses, and organizations allows us to provide quality entertainment and programming free of charge to the community.

Connect to JCHS

The Jay County Historical Society website, www.jaycountyhistory.org, is currently being revised, thanks to a grant from the Portland, Foundation.  Keep watching for changes being made by Craig Frazee and his staff at Dynamic Business Solutions.

Are you a Facebook user?  Like our page, “Jay County Historical Society,” and you will continue to see our posts.  We try to keep you posted about Open House events, Program Meetings, etc.  There are also several photos of the museum displays.

Shirts for Sale!!!

 Cool Cayenne Authentic Printed Shirt Company, located in Muncie, recently closed a second store which they had operated in Portland.  The Portland store had produced a vaeriety of shirts and caps for the eight former Jay County high schools.  While in business, they had given a percentage of their sale of these shirts to JCHS.  Upon closing, they donated their extra school shirts to JCHS to sell.

Shirts are available at bargain prices for each school on a limited basis.  If interested, contact the museum to see if we have your school, size, and shirt type.  When these are gone, they are gone!  The items are priced as follows:



                                                                        T-Shirts (long & short)………$5


There are no shirts left for Madison and only small sized t-shirts for Portland,  However, we have LOTSS for Gray Redbirds and some for the other schools.

Questions about the availability of the items above will only be answered by phone, 726-7168 or a visit to the museum.  

Heritage Festival Theme Chosen

This year’s Heritage Festival will focus on five local organizations.  The theme will be “Honoring Cincinnatus, Kiwanis, Lions, Optimist, and Rotary.”

The festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd from 11 AM to 6 PM and Sunday, September 23rd from 11 AM to 4 PM.  As always, admission to the festival and museum will be free of charge.

Vendors, re-enactors, and historic demonstrators will be setting up on the museum grounds, along with displays inside the museum.  Entertainment will be presented on stage throughout both days.  There will be crafts and other activities for the children.

All food items will be served ala carte this year.  The menu will again include kettle cooked ham and beans and cornbread on Saturday and kettle-cooked chili on Sunday.  Sandwiches, to be available both days, are footlong hot dogs, with or without Spanish sauce, brats and kraut, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers.

The Ice Cream Parlor will be featuring dishes of ice cream, Sundaes, floats, and Dutch apple or sugar cream pie.  Cotton candy and our ever-popular Heritage Festival Caramel Corn will also be available for purchase.

Look What’s New!

Items are continuously coming into the museum.  Although not all can be put on display immediately, we will try to highlight some which are.

Four members of the Indiana World Organization of China Painters with Jay County ties currently have some of their work on temporary load for a display at the museum.  This display is located in the cases in the kitchen.  Those displaying china items ate Portland residents Jane Spencer and Alice Paxson and Geneva residents Larry and Pat Elick, who formerly lived in Portland.

Received recently is a 1931 Dunkirk High School senior class composite.  The Portland High School class of 1968 has also donated a class composite of their 174 members to the museum.  These, as well as composited from other county schools, draw much attention as visitors search for photos of family members and friends.

Also on display is a painting by Charlene George, recognized artist and was an art teacher at Judge Haynes Elementary School, and other paintings done by Harry Leonard and his daughter-in-law, Vicki Leonard.   A sampling of model cars which were collected by the late Ralph May and portraits by early Jay County photographers are also still on display.

Another recent acquisition is a bed which belonged to Judge and Mrs. Emerson McGriff.  Judge McGriff was a Judge of the Circuit Court when the Jay County Courthouse was built in 1916.

A showcase in the Domestic Arts Room holds the thimble collection of the late Linda Garringer.  It reflects Linda’s extensive travels and gifts from friends.



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