We breathe life into Elkhart County’s past making it come alive in the viewer’s imagination and relevant for our own time.
“Bonneyville Mill… a River’s Legacy”
Bonneyville Mill, near Bristol, Indiana, is said by the Indiana State Historical Society to be the longest continuously operating gristmill in the state. Established in the mid-1830’s it is the top tourist destination in Elkhart County and has been photographed and painted over the years in a variety of settings. In this video you will also be taken on a personal tour of the mill starting with the river system and watching as grain is turned into flour.
“The Elkhart County Courthouse… and What you May Not Know”
Thousands of people drive by the courthouse each day yet not very many have had a chance to stop in for a visit or even learn about it. This documentary contains all aspects of the courthouse in four “chapters” and several vignettes (short video stories). The chapters cover the courthouse beginnings, the importance and function of the circuit court, an 1860 Abraham Lincoln campaign banner that now hangs as a painting in the judge’s chambers, and a short tour of the 1870 courthouse clock demonstrating how it works.
“The Elkhart County Courthouse Clock… and What Makes it Tick”
Take a “full-blown” tour of the 1870 tower clock located in the courthouse. The only difference between the actual tour and watching the video is that you won’t get dirty and you won’t have to climb the creepy ladders to get to the dome where the four clock faces are located. Did you know that the clock mechanism is located on one level, the clock faces on another level, and the bell on yet another level? This ancient mechanism, which is powered 100% by gravity, still keeps time accurate within a couple of seconds each week and, due to synthetic lubricants, runs even better today than it did when it was installed in 1870.
The pipe organ located in the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart, Indiana has recently been restored. It was installed in 1924 when the theatre opened, and is one of three Kimball pipe organs in the US that remains in its original facility. Watch the restoration process from beginning to end while looking over the shoulders of the artisans who brought it back to life. Once again playing beautiful music the restored organ is a jewel. In this video you will not only see and hear the organ being played but you will follow the restoration process from an unplayable, water damaged organ to the beautiful instrument that it is today.
“Our Italian Neighborhood”
Former residents of the Harrison Street Italian American neighborhood in Elkhart, Indiana recount their most intimate memories, experiences, and wisdom. This documentary preserves the history, traditions, and values of these special people. It is a story that is not unique to Elkhart, but is common to each Italian-American community across America. Much can be learned from this story to help each one of us enjoy life become better family members, neighbors, and Americans.
“Stories From Silence”
Cemeteries with names such as Grace Lawn, Rice, Prairie Street, St. Vincent, and Middleton are full of stories most of which have become forgotten except for those of a few people whom have become famous, if even only locally. Beneath the stones rest those who have answered only to their God about the lives they’ve led. The saintliness of the men and women who helped build this community is still inherent in the stone monuments they have left us. As we learn about some of their stories anonymity begins to give place to history. Perhaps the architecture and the stories that rest in these cemeteries are for us to admire and wonder.
“Stories and Tours”
Remembered and narrated by Elkhart’s own local historian, Paul D. Thomas, you will be caught up in conversations and pictures of Elkhart the way it used to be.