John Hay Center in Salem, Indiana

Washington County, Indiana is home to the John Hay Center, which is made up of a pioneer village, the Depot Railroad Museum, Stevens Memorial Museum and the birthplace of John Milton Hay. American statesman John Hay served under 5 different U.S. Presidents. A state historic sign welcomes visitors to the area and outlines further details about nearby historic landmarks.

A favorite part of this Indiana attraction is the historic village, made up of 9 buildings including several log cabins. One famous building in the village is the brick-home birthplace of John Hay. He was born in 1838, and he went on to be a successful politician. there is also a replicas of Salem’s third railroad station in the area.

This historic villages is similar to those at other Indiana attractions, such as Spring Mill State Park, Billie Creek Village and Norm Skinner’s Farm Museum and Village.

The Stevens Memorial Museum is a part of the John Hay Center that exhibits artifacts, and a library for the local historical society. Exhibits on the second floor of the Stevens Memorial Museum include an 1873 organ and an early 1800s hand-operated washing machine scrubbing device. There is even a small staff to assist researchers.

Artifacts are found throughout the museum, and a large banquet room can be booked for private events. Local community events are often held in the banquet room.

John Hay was the personal secretary to President Abraham Lincoln, and he was in the room when Lincoln died after being shot at Fords theater. John Hay co-authored a 10-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, a president that has deep roots in Indiana history. John Hay went on to be Secretary of State for U.S. Presidents McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt.

The John Hay Center is located in southern Indiana, just 100 miles from Indianapolis, near the Hoosier National Forest. From Indy, I-65 south goes by some cool Hoosier destinations, including The Grave in the Middle of the Road in Amity, Indiana. Atterbury State Fish and Wildlife Area in Edinburgh, Indiana, and the Edinburgh Premium Outlet Mall are other stops along the way to Salem.

Admission is required to enter the John Hay Center, so be sure to plan your day trip from Indianapolis in advance. Hours of operation vary, and there are several special events at the center. Check the John Hay Center website for more information.

John Hay Center
307 East Market Street
Salem, Indiana 47167