Musee de Venoge awarded national preservation grant
Musee de Venoge, located on Highway 129 just west of Vevay, has received an incredible honor.
The site has been selected as a 2023 “Americana Corners Preserving America” grant program recipient.
The program was established to assist non-profit organizations like them in the telling the incredible story of America from its founding era through its first century as a nation.
Donna Weaver, director of Musee de Venoge, was made aware of the award by a letter from Americana Corners founder, Tom Hand. The notification was received on February 22nd — George Washington’s birthday.
“What a wonderful and surprising way to celebrate our first President, and ‘The Guarantor of our Independency!’,” Weaver said.
The museum will use this grant to create a video for its Visitor Center and YouTube channel. The film will link the site and story to how early settlers in Switzerland County impacted the settlement of Indiana and the Western expansion of the United States. Filming starts this June.
The Venoge YouTube channel-currently hosts 67 videos. More are in the works. These videos tell the early story of Switzerland County as reflected in the lives of early residents, especially Jacob and Charlotte Weaver. They had immigrated to Switzerland County in 1813 from Ulster County New York. Paying off the land in 1828 the Weavers had the house built.
The Weavers were the subject of a full-length film produced by Musee de Venoge in 2019. Titled “To Make a Beginning” it is the story of the family as told through the 34 years of letters written by Jacob Weaver. The film premiered to a sold-out audience in 2021 at the Hoosier Theater in Vevay.
By 1995 the cottage was so derelict it had been slated for destruction. Saved from that fate by a small collection of dedicated volunteers the structure is now fully restored. That restoration took over 16 years to complete. You can see the amazing work done to save it and the determination of those volunteers who did the work in a short video.
The title, “A small place I wrote you about,” is taken from a letter written by Jacob Weaver in 1828, the year they moved into the home. You can find it on the Venoge YouTube Channel.
Very few Switzerland County residents are aware of the incredible history located here in the Southeastern corner of Indiana they call home. They may see the old headstones in the small churchyards and cemeteries of the county, but few know the stories of those who rest below them. Some of those stories will be brought to life in the upcoming film.
None of this would be possible without the assistance of Americana Corner. Musee de Venoge is grateful for its assistance.
The early republic era is a fascinating but overlooked time in our country’s development. Venoge Cottage is a reflection of that era. Though small in size it symbolizes the perseverance of those who settled in early Indiana. These very people would leave their mark inspiring others as the country developed and moved west.
You can find more information on Americana Corner by visiting americanacorner.com #americancornergrants. Be sure to check out all those great videos on the Venoge YouTube channel. You can find the link on YouTube by simply searching for Musee de Venoge.