INDIANA (NEXSTAR) – Indiana has officially been part of the United States since Dec. 11, 1816, but which Indiana city or town can call itself the oldest?
The Indiana State Museum says Vincennes, founded in 1732, is “Indiana’s oldest city.” According to the city’s official website, the area was part of the New France territory, and built as a military post along the Wabash River to guard the city’s rich fur trade.
The city still contains some buildings that existed back when it was founded. One such building is the original Territory Capitol, which was built in 1805. The two-story tailor shop and “Red House,” as it’s called for its bright red color, acted as the meeting place of the Indiana legislature in 1811.
Another historic building still standing in Vincennes is a French Creole-style home built in 1809. Dubbed “the French House,” it stands out for its upright posts fitted into a horizontal sill beam, a stark contrast from the traditional American log cabin, which uses horizontal logs.
Before it became Vincennes University in 1806, Indiana’s first school of higher learning was called the Jefferson Academy. Other historic buildings that still exist include the Elihu Stout Print Shop and Fort Knox II.
As of the 2020 Census, Vincennes had a population of 16,759.