Exploring the Tri-State: Spring Mill State Park

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Do you need a few days to get away from Evansville but stay relatively close by? As we continue our series, “Exploring the Tri-State”, let us look at another Indiana state park. Located in Mitchell, Indiana, let us take spend some time and check out Spring Mill State Park.

Boat tours inside of Twin Caves at Spring Mill State Park. n.d.

Boat tour of Twin Caves at Spring Mill State Park. n.d. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Spring Mill served an important for early pioneers in Indiana because of its water. Many businesspersons used the water for several purposes as such “… to power several gristmills, a wool mill, a saw mill, and distillery” (Indiana Department of Natural Resources, 2017). There are several caves, such as Bronson, Twin, Shawnee, and Hamer Caves (Spring Mill State Park, 2017). There are tours available; moreover, Twin Caves is a boat tour, costing only three dollars, and tours are available from the end of May to mid-October (Indiana Department of Natural Resources, 2017).

Display of NASA astronaut, Gus Grissom, of his space suit and helmet from Gemini 3 mission. n.d.

Display of NASA astronaut, Gus Grissom, of his space suit and helmet from Gemini 3 mission. n.d. Credit: Indiana State Parks

At Spring Mill, they honor a fallen Hoosier: Virgil “Gus” Grissom. Grissom was born in Mitchell, Indiana on April 3, 1926. He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and as an astronaut for NASA from 1961 to 1967. “On March 23, 1965, Grissom became the first man to return to space as he (as command pilot) and Lieutenant Commander John W. Young made three orbits in the first manned Gemini flight, Gemini 3. During that flight, Grissom demonstrated that a space capsule could be maneuvered manually“ (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). On January 27, 1967, Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee were on Apollo 1; however, they perished inside due to a fire (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). In honor of Grissom’s historic feats, a memorial is located at Spring Mill State Park. The Grissom Memorial is opened all year round and it tells visitors about Grissom’s life (Indiana Department of Natural Resources, 2017).

If you are interested in visiting Spring Mill State Park, the admission cost is located on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources page.

References

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2017, April 3). Virgil I. Grissom. Retrieved May 17, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Confederate-States-of-America

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (2017). Spring Mills State Park. Retrieved from http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2968.htm

Spring Mill State Park (2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifty_Falls_State_Park

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