By Marianne Scott For the Rushville Republican
---- — Last fall, the Wilbur Wright birthplace monument had reached a point where repairs and paint were needed in order to maintain this historic marker.
“The original monument was installed in1966. Wear and tear on the sign was reflected in its diminished paint and damaged post. In consultation with Casey Pfeiffer, Historical Marker Program Manager for the Indiana Historical Bureau, a new post and paints specified by the Historical Bureau were purchased to upgrade the marker,” Charles Fields said.
Fields and countless others dedicate their time and talents to maintaining this historic site. The Wilbur Wright Birthplace and Museum is so much more than just a place on the map and certainly deserves your visit as one of Indiana’s major claims in history.
On Sept. 26, 2013 students from Mays Elementary School History Club painted one side of the sign. The other side of the sign was painted by home schooled students from Henry County. The significance of this two county participation reflects the fact that Wilbur Wright was born in Henry County and his father, Milton Wright was born in Rush County. Milton Wright was born and raised in New Salem and served as a Bishop in the Brethren Church. His son, Wilbur Wright, spent 18 months at the Henry County location and would eventually complete his studies at Richmond High School. He is hailed as the co-inventor of the Wright Flier.
On April 16, 2014, the Mays and home schooled students had the opportunity to honor the birth of Wilbur Wright with the re-dedication of the historic marker. On a sunny, but chilly day, it seemed only fitting and proper that a small single engine plane flew overhead as this re-dedication took place. Mrs. Pfeiffer expressed appreciation for the many efforts that have taken place to maintain this historic place as well as how the state of Indiana is diligent in keeping historic sites designated. The sign was then dedicated by students from Mays pouring water on the north side of the side with water from Rush County. Likewise, students from Henry County poured water on the south side of the side.
“Nothing happens unless first we dream (Carl Sandburg),” is a quote that graces the museum. For the Mays Elementary History Club members, they have been privileged to be a part of this dream and have assured the designation of this historic site for the future.