Old Settlers Days

Lexington's 128th annual event
to include massacre re-enactment

Staff Report

(June 2006) – The Lexington, Ind., Volunteer Fire Department will celebrate the town's founding with the staging June 16-17 of the 128th Old Settlers Days.

Pigeon Roost Re-Enactment

Photo by Graphic Enterprises

Re-enactors stage the battle
of the Pigeon Roost Massacre.

The event is highlighted by music, games, food, flea market, crafts. The event also features the fourth annual fiddle contest and the re-enactment of the Pigeon Roost Massacre, staged by the Painted Stone Settlers re-enactment group from Shelbyville, Ky.
The fiddle contest at 4 p.m. Saturday offers cash prizes for three places in three age divisions: 0-15 years; 16-59 years; and 60-over. First place receives $100 in each division. Winners will be judged on various criteria.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, the park will come alive with the colorful re-enactment of an 1812 Indian massacre that occurred in Scott County, Ind. This event tells the sad tale of early settlers who were killed in the area. Authentic costumed settlers and Indians will perform the re-enactment. This is an educational experience for spectators.
Lexington was one of the state's earliest pioneer towns. It started with a log tavern and Indian trading post in 1804. At one point it was considered as Indiana's territorial capital.
When Scott County was formed in 1820, Lexington was chosen to serve as its county seat. By 1860, the town had a population of more than 500 people. It had livery stables, doctors, a newspaper, several blacksmiths, a train station, school, grist mill, woolen mill, saw mills, barrel heading and stave factory, a tannery, bank, three hotels, five churches and a small college.

Old Settlers Days
Rosalind Memorial Park
in Lexington, Ind.
Friday, June 16
6 p.m.: Little league auction
8 p.m.: Mark Robinson Band
Saturday, June 17
11:30 a.m.: Old Settlers Parade
1 p.m.: Mark Eoffy
2 p.m.: Re-enactment of the Pigeon Roost Masacre
3 p.m.: Keith Swinny Band
4 p.m.: Bomar & Ritter
5 p.m. Bowling Kings
6 p.m.: Fiddle Contest
8 p.m.: Bill Swisher & Pony Express
Pee wee baseball games both days.
Directions: Take Hwy. 62 south from Hanover to Hwy. 203. Turn right and follow into Lexington. Park is on the right.
Information: (812) 889-3721 or 889-2642.

Later, the county seat was moved to a more central location at Scottsburg. Many businesses and residents followed, leaving Lexington a small, quiet community.
Today, Lexington claims to have had the state's second newspaper, the Western Eagle, printed in 1815-1816. It had the first "Wildcat Bank," which involved a swindling operation in 1815.
In 1863, Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan stopped over for a night during his famous raid across southern Indiana.
In 1868, the trial of the outlaw Reno Gang occurred in Lexington. The gang was responsible for the first train robbery in the United States.
Asa M. Fitch deserves credit for one of Lexington's claim to fame. In 1876, he established a plant to make chewing gum. It is said to have been the first such industry in America. In 1885, Fitch also patented the first farming plow on wheels.
Lexington claims several other famous people over the years. One of Lexington's founders, Gen. William McFarland, was an adjutant general to Gen. William Henry Harrison during the War of 1812. He later served as Indiana Territorial Representative in 1811-1813.
William Hendricks practiced law in Lexington. He was Indiana's second governor, the first U.S. Congressman from Indiana, Territorial Representative from 1813-1814, and Secretary of the Indiana Constitutional Convention.
William H. English was born and raised in Lexington. He ran for U.S. vice president in 1880, was a U.S. Congressman from 1853-1861, and help bring about the building of Indiana's most recognized monument, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Circle in Indianapolis.
Joseph H. Shea of Lexington was appointed state senator from 1908-1920. He served with Col. Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" during the Spanish American War.
Willian Storen served as Indiana State Treasurer from 1932-1940.

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