The Crawfordsville Strawberry Festival
Lane Place Background
Henry S Lane
- US Representative, Senator and 13th Governor of Indiana
- Early leader of Republican Party, president of the first Republican Convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln
- Married Joanna Elston, daughter of Col. Issac Elston
- Moved to Crawfordsville in 1823
- Built Lane Place in 1845 and lived continuously until his death in 1881
- He was a land developer, businessman and banker at Elston & Co.
- General Lew Wallace was his brother-in-law.
Joanna Elston Lane
- Socialite in Washington D.C. and Crawfordsville
- Active in Methodist Episcopal Church in Crawfordsville
- Lived at the Lane Place until her death in 1914
History of the Strawberry Festival
- June 12, 1878, organized by Joanna Lane
- 500 people attended on the lawn of the Lane Place
- Ladies of Methodist Episcopal Church sold admission tickets-10 cents
- Wooden stage- speeches, skits, various musical programs
- Tables were placed about the grounds with cakes and strawberries and ice cream for visitors
Modern day- “Strawberry Bowl Festival”
- 1974 – afternoon only
- 1975 one day event
- Montgomery County Council of Arts – Art Show
- Culver Hospital served strawberries, cake & ice cream
3.Downtown on the courthouse veranda and adjoining areas
4. Musical entertainment & talent contest
5. Indiana State Tourism committee visited Crawfordsville- historic “Athens of Indiana” authors, architecture, etc
6. Jane Kessler – member of MCHS – discussed bringing Crawfordsville to prominence with the committee, her dream was to expand the event and link it to local history.
7. Pat Cline spearheaded changes to the festival.
- 1977- Dorman Winger preached his first church service on the grounds
- 1982- by now it was a two day event on the grounds and 3 days downtown.
Jane’s dream prevailed after seven years of work.
- Included museum tours, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and some historic homes in the community
- Antique show at the 4H grounds, tours to the airport, Style show, basketball at Pike & Reccenter, Volleyball tourney at Elston Park, parade, Indianapolis newscasts on site, children’s fence painting, etc.
- 1983 expanded to three days at the Lane Place