County Profile: Harrison County

Posted on Jul 02 2019 in County
Dedicated in 2016, Corydon’s Bicentennial Park celebrates the 200th anniversary of Indiana’s statehood, the path to which began in Harrison County. (Photo courtesy of Town of Corydon)


Indianapolis may be Indiana’s hub, but the heart of our state’s history hugs the Ohio River just two hours south in Harrison County.

Named for William Henry Harrison, who went on to serve as the ninth President of the United States, the county was founded in 1808. Eight years later, on what’s said to have been a sweltering June day, 43 delegates convened to craft a constitution and transform Indiana from a territory to a state. 

A Nature Center-guided Blue River canoe trip at O’Bannon Woods State Park. (Photo courtesy of Indiana Department of Natural Resources)

The Constitution Elm, under which these delegates gathered, is a top tourist attraction in Corydon — the county seat, which served as Indiana’s initial state capital from 1816 to 1825. The Old Capitol remains a centerpiece of Corydon’s Historic District, with a daylong celebration each July with reenactors. Corydon’s Bicentennial Park was dedicated in 2016 to celebrate Indiana’s statehood.

The city is also home to Indiana’s only Civil War battle, where 450 members of Harrison County’s home guard attempted to delay 2,400 marching Confederate soldiers. The battle, which occurred July 9, 1863, will be commemorated with historical programming July 13-14 at the Battle of Corydon Memorial Park.

Along the Blue River on Harrison County’s western edge and shared with its neighboring county, the Harrison-Crawford State Forest offers 26,000 acres on which to hike, fish, bike and more. You’ll also find Wyandotte Caves and O’Bannon Woods State Park within the State Forest.

You can follow the Hoosier Wine Trail, which hits seven boutique wineries. And, while in downtown Corydon, don’t forget to drop by Butt Drugs, a third-generation family business that still charges only 35 cents for a cup of coffee and, yes, boasts a good sense of humor about its business name.

NICK ROGERS is a freelance writer and communications manager for Purdue Agricultural Communications.

County Facts

Founded: 1808

Named for: William Henry Harrison

Population: 39,898 (2017)

County seat: Corydon

NOTED FOR: The Old Capitol, O’Bannon Woods State Park, Indiana Caverns, Squire Boone Caverns

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