Pioneer Village

The Pioneer Village was Part of the Dream of Everett Dean

Everett  Dean was born in Livonia, Indiana in 1898. Dean became the head baseball and basketball coach at his alma mater, Indiana University, from 1924 to 1938. In 1938, Dean was named head basketball coach at Stanford University, where he coached the team to the 1942 NCAA championship. Dean was named baseball coach at Stanford in 1950, and led Stanford's baseball team to the 1953 College World Series. 

Dean is the only coach named to both the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Baseball Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1965. He also has the distinction of being the first basketball All-American from Indiana University.

After retiring from his esteemed coaching career, and returning to their native county, both Everett and his wife, Lena Graves, immediately recognized the significance of establishing a community history museum and completely devoted themselves to realizing the ambitious aspirations of the historical society, to open the John Hay Center. They accepted the positions of Co-Chairman of the John Hay Center Project and determined themselves to providing a lasting legacy of contributing a local heritage center; dedicated to imparting the county’s ancestral past to educate and bolster historical pride in the county’s future generations.

Pictured: John Hay Center Project Chairman Everett Dean, receiving two check donations from Frank Newkirk & Bill Goen, publishers of The County Press

Everett Dean’s Passion and Enthusiasm Continues

Everett Dean’s passion and enthusiasm for the Hay Center didn’t stop after the opening. In the late 1970s and into the beginning of the 1980s, Mr. and Mrs. Dean would again helm the efforts to construct the Pioneer Village, underscoring our county’s pioneer history with authentic structures from our county’s past, re-established on the grounds behind the Hay House. Literally enabling today’s generations to walk through the bygone lives of their ancestors.

The Village Comes together with Community Support

Lyle Yake dismantled the logs and helped to reassemble them.  The first building was the cabin.  It was built in the 1980’s by Dale Marshall and the Salem High School Industrial Arts groups.  Roy Robertson, Pete Hoke, and several Green Thumb men built the buildings.  Some of those were Huey Bishop, Claude Roop, Dale Wheeler and Warren Meadows.

Pictured Above: Coach Dean and Roy Robertson oversee efforts to construct the Pioneer Village. (The JHC, Circa 1979)

Continued Growth of the 1830's Pioneer Village

An ongoing project for the John Hay Center, the Pioneer Village continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The village is a replica of an 1830’s community featuring a jail, blacksmith, school, church, Haganman house, smoke house, barn, bell tower, loom house, and New Philadelphia Post Office and General Store.

At various times during the year, volunteers portray excellent renditions of various community figures such as the blacksmith or loom worker.

Visit the Pioneer Village and take a Step Back in Time

The village is located directly behind the Steven’s Museum and is within walking distance of all other attractions. Besides being a step back in time, the pioneer village is an ongoing project for the John Hay Center and will continue to grow for many years to come.

This village is used throughout the year at special times during special occasions. During school tours, open house periods along with the annual Old Settler’s Day weekend. During these special time periods, people can be found in the village appearing with early 1800’s clothing talking with visitors and re-enacting activities.

We look forward to Sharing the Pioneer Village with You

Become a Member of the Washington County Historical Society

Become an individual member or a family member of the Washington County Historical Society and support our mission of connecting people to our past by collecting, preserving, and sharing the artifacts of Washington County, Indiana. 


Photo of John Milton HayWho was John Hay?

Statesman, Author, Ambassador

John Hay was a great American statesman, diplomat, author and poet, whose political career spanned over 50 years.  He was born in a small brick home in Salem, Indiana, on October 8, 1838.

After John displayed considerable potential in his schooling, his Uncle Milton Hay, who was a practicing lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, took a special interest and sent him to Brown University, where he graduated in 1858. 

In 1860, when John Hay’s childhood friend, John Nicolay, was appointed Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign secretary, he was brought on board to assist with the enormous amount of correspondence. 

Hay grew to adore President Lincoln for his goodness, patience, understanding, sense of humor, humility, magnanimity, healthy skepticism, sense of justice, resilience and power, love of the common man and mystical patriotism. Many later noted that Lincoln too, loved Hay as a son and was very attached to him.

In 1903, after years of negotiating treaties, Hay successfully passed legislation that afforded the United States the opportunity to start construction on the Panama Canal. 

Brown University’s John Hay Library was named in his honor, as was the John Hay Air Base, in the Philippines and both his birth home, in Salem, Indiana and his summer estate, The Fells, in New Hampshire, have been historically conserved. 

John Hay Center Hours of Operation

Thursdays - 10:00am – 5:00pm
Fridays - 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturdays - 10:00am – 5:00pm

Tour Pricing

Self-Guided Tours

Adult (Age 18+) - Donation
Child (Age 6-17) - Donation

Guided Tours

Complete Comprehensive Tour
(Museum,Pioneer Village, The Depot)
Adult (Age 18+) - Tour Price  $20.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - Tour Price $10.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

Steven's Museum Guided Tour
(Approximate 2 hour Tour)
Adult (Age 18+) -  Tour Price $7.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - Tour Price $4.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

Pioneer Village
(Approximate 1 hour Tour)
Adult (Age 18+) - Tour Price $7.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - $4.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

The Depot Railroad Museum
(Approximate 1 hour Tour)
Adult (Age 18+) - $7.00
Child (Ages 6-17) - $4.00
Guided Tours - Free to Members

School Tours

Private & Public School Tours: $3.00 per student/parent (Teachers free & 10 student minimum)

Private Tours

Scheduled Private Tours (More than 5 Guests) (Minimum $50)

Additional Information

*All regular tours are free for Life Members
*Children under 5 are free

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