Field trips | What's new? | Chief Richardville House | Festival of Gingerbread | Classroom tools

Field Trips Mean Hands-on Fun

Teachers of all grades can reinforce their lessons with a field trip where children can touch objects and history class lessons come to life through all the senses:

  • See the sword given to Miami chief Little Turtle by President George Washington
  • Hear the roaring machines from Fort Wayne's Industrial Age
  • Feel your way through history with our hands-on interactives throughout the museum  
  • Feel the cold bars of the jail cells down in The Calaboose

Tour the History Center with our interactive Discovery Guide. 

Every day should be free day
No more hassling the PTA or parents for field trip support. Thanks to the Olive B. Cole Foundation and our own Heritage Education Fund, admission to the History Center is free for all K-12 school groups from Allen, DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble and Steuben (Indiana) Counties through the 2015-2016 school year. Admission for school groups outside these counties is discounted at $3.00 per person. All groups will be provided with an orientation, interpretation, and free educational materials.

Special offers: Enhance your field trip with a visit to the Allen County Courthouse as part of the Fall in Love with Fort Wayne Program! Thanks to the Goldstine Foundation, transportation and admission costs are covered for FWCS and EACS 4th grade classes who visit the museum and the courthouse.

The Olive B. Cole Foundation has authorized up to $2,000 for the History Center to reimburse busing and transportation expenses for all public, private, and parochial K-12 school groups from DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, and Steuben Counties for visits to the History Center and/or Chief Richardville House for the 2013-2014 school year. Up to $150 per day of transportation per school will be reimbursed. Funding is limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Additionally, several educational venues offer dual-site tours through the 2ForU program.  Begin the registration process here.

Our student lunchroom provides a downtown educational site where students can enjoy their brown bag lunches. This time-saver helps teachers fit two or more museum visits into a day. We are sorry, but this option is not available during Festival of Gingerbread due to the high volume of visitors we have at that time.

Chief Richardville House 

Chief Richardville House

This 1827-built house of a Miami chief is a powerful teaching tool. School groups from DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, and Steuben Counties may tour the Chief Richardville House for free; for all other school groups, admission is $4.00 per person. Now a National Historic Landmark.

  • Students will learn about why it is so important for our history and culture.
  • They will meet a Miami Indian descendant of Chief Richardville who will speak on the tribe's history and culture and how it relates to the house.
  • They can study the Greek Revival architecture and literally see layers of history from the perspective of a preservationist.
  • They will learn how each of the rooms was used for daily life in the 1830s and see a variety of historical artifacts, including some discovered in archeological digs on the site.
  • Demonstrations can be tailored for all ages, from elementary school through college-level history courses.

Festival of Gingerbread

Bring your school group to visit the Festival of Gingerbread, a popular holiday tradition, at the History Center. Schools can schedule group tours in advance and receive a reduced admission fee of $3.00 per student. Tours are available Monday through Friday during the Festival of Gingerbread.

Classroom Tools

Teachers can help prepare their students or keep the memories of their field trip alive with these collections designed for the classroom. Be sure to book these items well in advance.

Miami Indian Artifact Trunk - contains touchable artifacts, images, reading materials, activities, and lesson plans related to several periods of Miami history.

Traveling Image Case - contains nearly 200 pictures, paintings,documents, maps, and artifacts from Allen County history displayed on hard-backed panels with accompanying text. 

NEW! Virtual exhibits: View objects from our collections using our new virtual exhibits.

For teachers and older students:
Visit our blog to read more about history, or attend our Mather Lecture Series the first Sunday of every month at 2 p.m. from October- November and January-June. See our website for more information.

Sign up today for a variety of experiences designed to delight and illuminate while meeting state and federal academic standards.

Visit the Chief Richardville House the first Saturday of each month from May through November, for more fun and interactive educational experiences. Click here for admission fees and other information.

For more information, to schedule a visit, or to reserve the trunk or case described above, please call 260.426.2882 ext. 309, or email

Left: A young lady learns to throw the atlatl, just as our ancestors did when they hunted for food. Right: Creating a dugout canoe using handmade tools. Bottom: Viewing the "Miami Harvest" display inside the Chief Richardville House.


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