The Town Gallery is dedicated to the French Lick and West Baden communities, the artists, collectors, and those having a story to tell. This exhibit changes twice a year. Subjects are wide and varied, but always interesting.
Our Town Gallery;
"Up and Down the Monon"
All Aboard! Step right up and explore the French Lick West Baden Museum's newest exhibit - "Up and Down the Monon", an adventure through the history of the Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville Railroad, the Monon.
The Monon, founded in 1847 in New Albany, Indiana, came to the French Lick and West Baden in 1887, and quickly spread across the entire State of Indiana, eventually gaining the title “The Hoosier Line”. The Monon was the lifeblood of Hoosier industry and transportation, from the limestone quarries of Oolitic and Bedford creating buildings and skyscrapers across the country, to the thousands of travelers visiting the mineral baths in French Lick and West Baden Springs. The Monon operated until 1971 and has since become legend in Indiana’s history.
In 2021, the Museum was contacted by Larry O’ Connor Sr. of Austin, Texas, about his personal, extensive Monon Railroad Collection, collected over the course of 50 years. From signs and uniforms, playing cards and napkins, the collection is one of the most extensive and impressive private railroad collections in the country. Mr. O’Connor wished to find a new home for his collection for its continued preservation, with wishes for public display. The French Lick West Baden Museum stepped up to assist, and members of the Museum family traveled to Austin, TX, and received the collection of over 10,000 pieces, and returned them home to the Hoosier State.
The Museum has extensively archived and preserved the thousands of artifacts, and has selected just a quarter of the pieces to be placed on display for the first time in our next very special exhibit;
“Up and Down the Monon” - The Larry O’ Connor Monon Railroad Collection
With first-hand accounts from employees, uniforms, signs, art, lanterns, china, and so much more on display, the exhibit is one of the greatest gatherings of Monon Railroad Artifacts since it’s closure in 1971.
The Exhibit will also act as a fundraiser for the continued preservation of the entire collection, as well as to establish a brand new subsidiary of the French Lick West Baden Museum - The Orange County Monon Railroad Museum. A new museum for the continued preservation and exploration of the rich history of the Monon Railroad. The Museum will display items, as well as allow the public to explore and touch the items that kept America and the Hoosier State rolling along the rails! Also available to be explored will be an extensive railroad library, with photos, articles, paperwork, and information for the community, and statewide research for all.
So don’t miss this special "train full" of history! Join us at the French Lick West Baden Museum on November 12, 2022, for the Grand Opening of “Up and Down the Monon”, The Larry O’ Connor Monon Railroad Collection.
“Up and Down the Monon” Grand Opening
Saturday, November 12, 2022
French Lick West Baden Museum
469 S. Maple St. Suite 103
French Lick, IN. 47432
On display November 2022 - Mid 2023
The French Lick West Baden Museum is a 501c3 Tax Exempt Non-Profit organization