Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Barn-naming honors Pioneer Village founder

Since he founded Pioneer Village almost 50 years ago, Mauri Williamson has worked to preserve and present history to visitors in the small collection of old west buildings, antiques and farm machinery at the Indiana State Fair.

On Wednesday, Mauri became a part of that history when fair officials renamed the Pin-Framed Barn the "Williamson Pin-Frame Barn" during a special ceremony.

Fair officials kept the unveiling a secret and teased Mauri telling him they wanted to give him something that would last for a long time. Mauri, still with his signature sense of humor, quipped, "A car?" No, Mauri, not a car, but something that will likely last even longer -- his name on a building in Pioneer Village, one of the most popular attractions at the Indiana State Fair.

Pioneer Village began in 1961 as a simple collection of antique tools and has since grown to include an opry house, several vendors selling old-time goods like pottery and grain and many other attractions.

Below are a couple more photos from today's festivities:

Dozens greeted Mauri at the barn-naming on Wednesday. Mauri is positioned on the mid-right bottom of the photo in a red shirt and overalls.

From left to right: Indiana State Fair Commission Executive Director Cindy Hoye, Mauri Williamson and Indiana State Fair Queen Denae Pyle laugh it up during the unveiling.

Caption for photo at top of story: Are we at the "God Bless America" sculpture in Dow AgroSciences Celebration Park or Pioneer Village? Mauri and his wife, June, would make Grant Wood and J. Seward Johnson proud.

Submitted by Kristofer Karol

1 comment:

  1. A fitting tribute to Mauri and all his hard work in preserving memories of rural America and in keeping everyone smiling in the process! Congrats Mauri!

    Vickie Maris, Purdue, Ag Comm '86; Ed Tech 2008