Throwing a birthday bash


The county seat will turn 200 soon, and a local group wants to make sure it’s celebrated.

To honor Brownstown’s founding April 8, 1816, a ceremony will be conducted that day this year and then followed up the next night with a party.

Cliff Sommers and Ray Bachmann, both with the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County, recently spoke to the Brownstown Town Council about participating in a short ceremony April 8.

The time and location still are being determined.

“We’re hoping for a reenactment, which wouldn’t take very long, and maybe have a speaker or two,” said Sommers, chairman of the committee.

The reenactment will include town council members doing a mock signing of documents declaring Brownstown as a town, as they would have officially done 200 years ago.

“We’ll definitely want to get involved,” council President John Nolting said. “We would be glad to. I think we should.”

A reception with cake and ice cream also is planned for the ceremony.

If the weather is nice, Sommers said the event could be conducted outside, possibly at the green space where Heritage Park will be constructed in the future. Another possibility is outside the Jackson County History Center near the pioneer village.

If it rains that day, the ceremony could be inside town hall or in the livery barn at the history center.

Nolting said the green space would work because electricity already is set up, and he said the history center also would work since a historical event is being celebrated.

Then the evening of April 9, the Bicentennial Birthday Bash will consist of a band, dancing and drinks at Pewter Hall in Brownstown.

Sommers said the committee wanted to have both events April 8, but Brownstown Central High School’s prom is that night.

The committee found out Pewter Hall was available April 9, so it worked out to have a ceremony on Brownstown’s bicentennial and then follow with a larger celebration the next night.

Sommers said the committee is still early in the process of planning both events, and further details will be shared with the council.

Also during the council meeting, Bachmann, vice chairman of the committee, presented the council a map he recently found at the recorder’s office at the Jackson County Courthouse of the actual recording of the streets in Brownstown as they were recorded April 8, 1816. That map will stay at Brownstown Town Hall.

Bachmann also said the Brownstown Post Office will issue a pictorial postmark for April 8.

“They will be using that for the 8th, and it can be used for 30 days after that,” he said.

Sommers said a pictorial postmark was used Jan. 1 for Jackson County’s bicentennial, and one is planned for Indiana’s bicentennial Dec. 11.

On the Web

2016 is a bicentennial year for Jackson County, Brownstown and Indiana.

Jackson County turned 200 Jan. 1, Brownstown hits that milestone April 8 and Indiana will celebrate its birthday Dec. 11.

For information about local events, visit or “like” the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County on Facebook. You also may visit the Bicentennial Headquarters at 202 S. Main St., Brownstown

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7080.