Memories of the 140th Old Settlers’ Days

Washington County Boy Scouts at Opening Ceremonies  The 2015 Old Settlers’ Days Festival, honoring its 140th Anniversary & 35th year in the Pioneer Village, at the John Hay Center, in Salem, is officially in the history books, with all the rest. The whole weekend, kicking off with Friday Night on the Square, the Historic Cemetery Walk and running through the entirety of the festival itself, were a big success!

A lot of appreciation should be extended to numerous individuals from our community who assisted and participated in the overall production and we will get to that at the end, but first some photographic memories of the weekend.

The Washington County Boy Scouts are essential volunteers who are crucial to the weekends overall operation.

OSD 2015 016 Here the local troop was presented with hand-crafted knives, made by one of our OSD vendors, in appreciation of their efforts.

OSD 2015 060  Raising the flags, while special guest, Tyasia Gant, beautifully sang our nation’s anthem.


OSD 2015 069Our distinguished guest; Secretary of State, John Hay, President Lincoln, Johnny Appleseed, Sarah Parke Morrison, John Williams and George Beck address the crowd at opening ceremonies.




OSD 2015 092Assisted by the Pekin 4th of July Queen, Veronica Judson; President Lincoln, John Hay and Johnny Appleseed sample the winning apple pie from the OSD baking contest.

OSD 2015 176County locals; Brooklyn Thompson, on fiddle and Keith Nicholson, on guitar, entertained guest with a variety of old time tunes from the porch of the General Store.

OSD 2015 101Johnny Appleseed allows a young guest to try out his “Tin Cap”.


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McKenna Keltner portrays Salem native and 1st female graduate of Indiana University,Sarah Parke Morrison.



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With a little help from the Washington County Fair Queens, the Salem Rotary, offered guest the chance at fresh, homemade apple cider!

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Vendor booths of all kinds covered the grounds of the John Hay Center, offering an array of shopping opportunities.

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A large group of spectators gathered in the Village Courtyard to observe the Miami Indians of Indiana Drum Corp and Dancers.


OSD 2015 213A special tribute song was performed just for the women, the mothers of the world, who got up and danced around the drummers.


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Some of the Miami Indians of Peru,Indiana displayed their traditional dances.  In the bottom photo, Miami Chief, Brian “Blue Jay” Buchanan recruits a surprised Pekin 4th of July Queen, Veronica Judson, into the dancing.  A fantastic educational and entertaining time was had by all and our deepest gratitude goes out to the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana, for their gracious appearance at our festival!  You can find out more about their tribe at

A BIG thanks goes out to the Washington County Historical Society, John Hay Center employees, OSD committee members, the Washington County Actors Community Theatre, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board, Salem Rotary, Tri-Kappa, all the volunteers, demonstrators, musicians, vendors, re-enactors, officials and guests for helping us to continue celebrating this 140 year old tradition in our county!  Don’t forget to come back next year, for a bigger, better version of the festival, as we are included in the Bicentennial Celebration of Indiana!