Treaty-Line Museum was organized in 1967 and began with the relocation, construction and preservation of historical structures from the area to be inundated by Brookville Lake.
It all started with a dream of the founder to keep the skills of the craftsmen alive through the vast collection made over the years.
The museum was founded on a desire to tell the story of Indiana history as it related to the Whitewater Valley of Eastern Indiana. It traced the history from Indian ownership to eventual take over by the federal government with the 1795 Treaty of Greenville. From this came the name, Treaty-Line Museum.
The purpose of the museum was to educated and enlighten the public as to the pioneer way of life. There were classes taught by craftsman which were open to the public.
The museum opened to the public in the spring of 1974. The Indiana Arts Commission provided a grant so that craftsman-in- residence were living and working at the museum during that season. Susan Carter, a potter produced crafted clay pots and bowls. Her husband Bruce, made prints on his antique English press.
Tim Nealeigh, a master weaver, spinner, and lace maker dressed in the period demonstrated using a loom and also the lace making skill in the Textile House. His wife and two children also in period dress were usually with him.
In the red barn Hugh Morgan demonstrated the sturdy art of blacksmith. He was also the resident farmer.
In another barn were the leather and wood workers. The pioneers once depended almost entirely on these to materials for everything they made, both for work and play.
The most famous display was the Pioneer Village cabins. The largest cabin was constructed by William Logan in 1804. He was one of the Carolina Settlers that came to the valley in 1804. The pioneers homes were built on both sides of the White Water River stretching from just north of Brookville to south of Brownsville. All of this land now belongs again to the United States Government as it did when the settlers purchased their land. The land is now either a wild life sanctuary or covered by the water of the Brookville Lake.
The Logan cabin is unique for its period in having both a downstairs and upstairs porch and being two and one-half stories high. The logs in the house are as much as 24 inches square and some are 15 feet long.
Logan was a native of Ireland, born there on 2 August 1762. During the Revolutionary War, he was a soldier in the light horse brigade. And, after coming to the Carolina Settlement, he fathered the first white male child born in the Whitewater Valley. They named the boy Thomas.
From the Logan cabin, closest to the Quakertown Store, around the semi- circle to the right, are the Fairfield Cabin and the two Wolfe Creek Cabins, all from the Franklin County area. Each have been restored as it was when used by our pioneer forefathers.
At the end of the semi-circle is the beautiful Samuel Druley Cabin, which was converted into a school house. This cabin is the only one of the five not from the valley. It came from near Boston in Union County. Druley constructed the cabin in 1814 after coming to Union County from Guilford County, North Carolina. One story is told of a younger brother of Samuel Druley who had to hide in the loft of the cabin to escape an attack of wolves. There were no doors on the cabin and fence rails were put across the entrance to try and keep the wolves out. The boy escaped unharmed.
The Quakertown General Store was a place where there were pioneer items displayed and also items now produced to represent things that would have been for sale when the Stanton Brothers ran the store. The first general store in Quakertown was started by John Milton Stanton about 1865. Prior to that time Stanton had used the building for a mill. That building burned and was not replaced until Stanton’s two sons, Wade and Kirkwood had the present building constructed soon after the turn of the century. Its all metal siding made it an unusual construction in its days and it remains so today. The Stanton Brothers were bachelors and considered by everyone to be real characters. Wad took care of the house where the men lived across the road from the store. Kirkwood ran the store. The store almost closed 10 years or so after it was built.
In 1913 the East Fork of the Whitewater River flooded and water was high enough in the store to cover the counters. The men took a tremendous loss but decided to try again so they worked for days washing out mud, repairing cases and counters and then restocked what had been lost in the flood.
For years, the Methodist congregation met in the upstairs of the general store. It also was used for storage and the Stantons had a hand hoist to life crates and barrels through the store ceiling. The upstairs was also used for roller skating.
On l September 1975 Treaty-Line Museum officially dedicated the Treaty Line Museum Post Office. Dedicating a new post office is a rare occasion in Indiana. The post office which measurers 6x10 feet will occupy a very prominent spot in the Quakertown General Store. The post office will be unique because it will open on Sundays and holidays. The hours will be for noon until 2 p.m. First class mail only will be accepted and dispatched after being hand cancelled. Several pieces of old post office furnishings and equipment were obtained from Virginia Ross, postmaster at Brownsville. Also offered at the post office were three different cachets. One will depict the museum emblem, one will portray a horse drawn mail way on and the third cachet will show the 1804 Logan log cabin.
The new post office will revive postal history in this area. According to local records, Dunplasville e was an important station and post office. Stage coaches and mail wagons stopped here.
The major departs in the present Quakertown General Store are groceries, hardware, crockery, dry goods including calico and ironware of old fashioned design.
Placed in prominent spots are the pot-bellied stove, (the only heat for the building0, pop corn machine, wooden cash register, hoops and bustles, old fashioned candies, sarsaparilla, plug tobacco cutter and an all wood high wheeled bicycle and several wooden farm implements including a corn planter..
There are 27 buildings connected to Treaty-Line. Treaty Line owns 6 large lots in Dunlapsville. The name Treaty-Line was chosen by Mona.
Two historic items were moved from the 1854 Academy to the 1923 building. One is a cornerstone with the following inscription “ Erected A.D. 1854. “ This was imbedded in the northwest corner of the museum building. The other is the large school bell which hung in the steeple of the Old Academy and then used in the 1923 building. The bell was cast in Cincinnati about 1853 by the Hanks Company
The Quakertown Store was last used as a store in the 1930’s. Most recently it was owned by Judge George L. Bridenahger of Liberty who sold it a few weeks ago to Treaty Line.
A counter-balanced “barn frame Loom” is among the pioneer items on display. Owned by Mary S. (1848-1941)and George Nelson Ostran (1843 1935) of Pittsburg, Indiana it was purchased by them from the Piatt sisters of Patton IN in the nineteenth century. (oxford press 7/83). In September 1974 official dedication.
In July 1976 Ron Ball and Mrs. Carolyn Smith were in the textile house.
Some of the buildings:
Wolfe creek cabin
Quakertown store and PO
J. A. Bertch&Son -Leather Harness shop upstairs
Ruby Hughes home
Mac Hubbell’s home
Open air shelter
Thiebalt home on corner