Salt Creek Valley History Week

The second annual Salt Creek Valley History Week runs from Saturday, September 10 through Friday, September 16. The event is coordinated by Monroe Lake, an Indiana State Park, and will be co-presented this year in conjunction with Brown County State Park.

A complete event schedule, including detailed descriptions for all programs and links for more info/registration, when applicable, is available at

Two open houses are scheduled for the opening weekend. On Saturday, Sep. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., a history open house at Paynetown State Recreation Area will highlight the history and people of the three Hays cemeteries located on the south side of the lake. More info on this open house is available at

On Sunday, Sep. 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., you can stop by the Allens Creek Cemetery on Allens Creek Road (Bloomington) for a cemetery open house that includes guided walks through the burials that were moved here during reservoir construction, a headstone cleaning demo, and tips on the best ways to capture gravestone images. More info on this open house is at

A “Family Heritage Scrapbooking Workshop” will be held at Paynetown SRA on Monday, Sep. 12 at 9 a.m. It’s limited to 12 people and you must sign up by Aug. 26. Additional details are at

Crafters will also want to check out the “Coil Basket Weaving Workshop” at Paynetown SRA on Wednesday, Sep. 14 at 10 a.m. This workshop is also limited to 12, with registration required by Sep. 11. Additional details are at

Two paddling trips will lead kayakers and canoers up the Middlefork of Salt Creek to the remnants of the historic Browning Bridge. Each trip is limited to 10 people. Info on the Sunday, Sep. 11 trip is at and info on the Tuesday, Sep. 13 trip is at

A guided hike to the Hays #1 Cemetery is scheduled for Friday, Sep. 16 at 9:30 a.m. Attendance is limited to 10 people with advance registration required at

Monroe Lake’s naturalist will present a virtual presentation about the legacy of the Hays family, whose name is preserved on trails and roads south of the lake, on Thursday, Sep. 15 at 11:30 a.m. The live stream will be at

In addition to the above programs, there will be history-themed hikes and talks throughout the week at Brown County State Park: the Hoosier Bridges Walk, Vintage Video presentations, and a CCC History Hike. Monroe Lake will also offer kids’ activities at Paynetown SRA on select days: Cornhusk Dolls, Then & Now Photos, Pioneer Weaving, and a Spinner Toy. For a schedule of these activities, see

There is a registration fee for the workshops and paddling trips, but all of the other programming during Salt Creek Valley History Week is free. However, property admission fees do apply for programs that take place inside Paynetown SRA or Brown County State Parks. Daily entrance fees are $7 per vehicle with Indiana license plates or $9 per vehicle with out-of-state plates; the Indiana State Parks annual entrance pass is also accepted at both locations.

Questions about Salt Creek Valley History Week should be directed to Monroe Lake’s interpretive naturalist, Jill Vance, at or 812-837-9967.

Salt Creek Valley History Week