Library Buildings Closed: For the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community the Vigo County Public Library buildings are closed to due to COVID-19. Customers can access the Library’s digital resources to stream movies and music, listen to an audiobook, or read an ebook. If you do not have a Library card, you may get a temporary 90-day barcode to access digital resources by registering online. Please do not be concerned about returning Library materials — all due dates have been extended.
Focus on the Facts: Learn more information about COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, from these sources.
Booker T. Washington School
Booker T. Washington school was opened at 13 1/2 and Dean streets for Negroes in the southeast part of the city in 1887. The present Booker T. Washington school was located at Thirteenth and Cruft in 1914. Now all schools of the city and Vigo County are integrated and open to all races without discrimination.
Deming and Rea Schools
Two fine school buildings, Deming School at 16th and 8th Avenue and Rea School at 3rd and 4th Avenue were completed and used by the pupils in 1906.
The first tax supported school for Negroes was known as Dunbar school on South First street in a one room building in 1869.
Friends of the Vigo County Public Library
The Friends of the Library was organized as a not-for-profit group in 1984 to promote the VCPL as a cultural, educational and recreational asset to the community. The Friends raise money to support the Library in the areas of special events, publicity, programming, furniture and equipment and for any other special needs that arise. Their major fundraisers include an annual book sale and holiday book nook and weekly book cart sales. The Friends group is governed by a 15-member board of individuals from the community.
Gerstmeyer Technical High School
Gerstmeyer Technical High School, 1250 Locust St., was home to the "Black Cats." The school originated with the Boys Vocational School's move to the former Rose Polytechnic Institute building in 1922. The Girls' Vocational School followed in 1925. The school was named for Dr. Charles F. Gerstmeyer, a promoter of vocational education in the city. A new gym was constructed in 1950. The school closed in 1971; Chauncey Rose Middle School is located on the site.
Gibault School for Boys
The Gibault Home for Boys was an idea first conceived by the Indiana Knights of Columbus in 1909 and the home named after Fr. Pierre Gibault, a patriot priest of the American Revolution, was dedicated on October 9, 1921. The new school, a "refuge for wayward boys," was located just south of Terre Haute and the first director was Rev. Michael Gorman. The "home" had exceeded its original capacity of 25 boys within two months and plans for Chartrand Hall and Alerding Hall were made. Chartrand was completed in 1922 and Alerding in 1926. In 1934, a larger staff was required as the home's services were in much demand and the Brothers of Holy Cross from Notre Dame, IN were asked to assume the administration of the school and programs.
The "Holy Cross Era" was one of significant growth, improvement and expansion. Rupert Poudrier, the first Holy Cross Brother/Director, arrived at Gibault to find 35 Indiana boys in residence. In 1936, the home was opened to boys from every Midwestern state.
The home today is able to serve 147 boys from not only the Midwest, but also as far away as Florida, Vermont and California. The school is accredited for grades 1-12 and employs more than 225 staff members. The continuing excellence of the school is made possible by the generosity of the Indiana Knights of Columbus, Gibault's donor family, and those who care deeply about troubled children.
Indiana State Normal School
January 6, 1870 -- Twenty three students entered Indiana State Normal School (now Indiana State University) which opened its doors the first time after being authorized by an act of the General Assembly on December 20, 1865.
Ivy Tech State College, Region 7
Ivy Tech was created as an official instrument of the state of Indiana in 1963. Region 7 was chartered on January 5, 1967.
In 1961, Dr. John Hicks of Purdue found that there was a large gap in the area of vocational training and asked Glenn Sample to work on a preliminary plan for a institution for this area. Hicks and Sample's plan was to establish a statewide vocational technical college as a joint enterprise of commerce, industry, agriculture, labor, education, and the public at large. A proposal was given to the 1963 legislature and through agressive lobbying the proposal passed, giving the appointed board $50,000 for a two-year period to start the college, hire a president and necessary staff, defray expenses of office headquarters and conduct a few programs. In 1965 the trustees went back to the legislature with a design for a college to operate in 13 regions, each with its own Board of Trustees. The legislature increased the budget to #3,000,000. The Wabash Valley (Terre Haute) Region was the first to be chartered for the college and registered with the Office of the Secretary of State. C. Huston Issacs was the first director, appointed March 15, 1967.
North Vigo and South Vigo High Schools
Two new high schools, North Vigo and South Vigo opened for service in September of 1971. With enrollments of over 2,000 each, they embody every need for both physical and mental education and are the equal of any high school in the state of Indiana.
Rose Polytechnic Institute
December 12, 1872 -- Terre Haute's great engineering college, Rose Polytechnic Institute, (now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) was organized by Chauncey Rose, multi-millionaire railroad magnate and the city's largest philanthropist. On land given by Rose, who also gave the money, Rose Poly was constructed on the site at Thirteenth and Locust streets. It soon became one of the outstanding engineering colleges in the country, a position which it occupies today. Before he died on August 13, 1877, Rose had provided for the Rose Orphan's home (25th and Wabash) and the Rose Dispensary building which provided free medicines for the indigents, at Seventh and Cherry streets. The Rose Dispensary building, the original Rose Poly Building and the Rose Orphans Home have all been torn down. On the corner of Seventh and Chestnut streets, the site of Hemingway Park (Rose's Home) there is a solitary sign in the tree row in front of Laboratory School, paying tribute to this great and generous man.
Saint Mary of the Woods College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College was founded in 1840 on the west side of the Wabash River by Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin and five missionaries who came from France to establish schools. It is the nation's oldest Catholic college for women. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is also home to the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence.
Sarah Scott and McLean Schools
Two new junior high schools Sarah Scott and McLean opened during the year 1916. These were the first junior high schools in the area.
Schulte High School
Schulte High school, 2901 Ohio Boulevard, was named for Most Rev. Paul Schulte, Archbishop of the Indianapolis Archdiocese. It opened in 1953 and closed in 1977. Its teams were known as the Golden Bears.
The building now houses offices and is known as the Corporate Square.
Swope Art Museum
Terre Haute jeweler Sheldon Swope (1843-1929) made provisions in his will to establish an art gallery in his adopted hometown. Ten years after his death, planning began for the new gallery and collection to be housed there. The Swope opened with nationwide attention in 1942 and was featured in "Art Digest," in April of 1942, one month after it opened. The collection consists of 19th & 20th century American art with important works by Thomas Cole, George Inness, Mary Fairchild MacMonnies, George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, Malvina Hoffman, Edward Hopper, Richard Hunt, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, and important Indiana artists such as T.C. Steele, J. Otis Adams, Otto Stark, Gilbert Wilson, Janet Scupper, Caroline Peddle Ball, and James F. Gookins. The first director, John Rogers Cox, in 1942 bought important new works by living artists (Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Charles Burchfield, and Edward Hopper). In 1987 the gallery became Swope Art Museum. The focus changed to American art only in 1995. Pieces of Non-American were deaccessioned or given to other historical museums.
Vigo County Education Foundation
The Vigo County Education Foundation has been providing funding for special projects in the Vigo County School Corporation since 1984. The Foundation was organized by school board members Charlotte Caldwell, Dr. Iverson Bell, and former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Harmon Baldwin.
Vigo County Public Library Homework Centers
Vigo County Public Library opened Homework Centers on August 26, 1997 at the Plaza North Branch with two workstations including computers and software through a Literacy Volunteers of America/GTE Foundation Family Literacy and Technology grant. A Homework Center opened at West Branch Library in the fall of 1998 through a cooperative program with the Vigo County School Corporation. Additional Centers opened at Meadows Branch, South Branch, and the Young People's department at Main Branch through an LSTA grant from INCOLSA.
Vigo County School Corporation
The consolidation of area rural school systems with the Terre Haute city schools occurred in 1961. Thus, the Vigo County School Corporation was legally formed. It currently (as of 1999) has 16,800 students and over 2,000 staff.
Vigo County Teachers Association
The Vigo County Teachers Association was founded in 1961 at the time of the creation of the Vigo County School Corporation. It was the successor organization to the Terre Haute Teaching Association, which dates back to 1945.
Wiley High School
Wiley High School, first known as Terre Haute High School, began classes in the old Hook School beginning in 1863 and moved to Indiana State Normal School in 1869. A building was constructed for the high school at South Seventh and Walnut streets in 1886. The name was changed from Terre Haute High School to Wiley High School to honor William H. Wiley upon his retirement as Superintendent of the Terre Haute City Schools in 1906. The school closed in 1971; The Vigo County Public Library now occupies the site with the Wiley High School cupola located on the grounds.