This Day in Indiana History - September 21, 1975 – Fairmont Historical Museum Dedicated - Grant County
|A Day in Indiana History - September|
Located in the Fairmont's historic Patterson House, the Fairmount Historical Museum contains extensive exhibits of famous sons James Dean and Jim Davis as well as historical memoribilia from Fairmont High School and Fairmont Academy. Former students of these schools provided the inspiration for the museum.
The Society of Friends, or Quakers, opened Fairmont Academy in 1885. The school operated until 1923, when it closed.
Fairmont High School
Commissioned on April 25, 1898, the school graduated its first class in 1900. The quality of education provided by Fairmont Academy and Fairmont High School produced graduates that included three college preseidents, authors, scientists, artists, actors and inventors. The Who's Who of America's lists of famous people that are alumni of Fairfield schools is fourteen times higher than the national average. The school closed in 1969.
Jim Davis (July 28, 1945 - )
The son of James William "Jim" Davis and Anna Catherine "Betty" Carter Davis, Jim is a native of Fairmont, Indiana. His boyhood spent on a small Indiana farm with numerous farm cats as companions served as the inspiration for the popular comic strip, Garfield. On June 19, 1978, Garfield debuted in forty-one United State newspapers. The comic strip's creator, Jim Davis, had created what would become one of the world's most widely syndicated cartoon strips.
James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955)
The son of Winton Dean and Mildred Marie Wilson, James was native to Marion, Indiana. His father, a dental technician, moved the family to Santa Monica, California. James lived in Santa Monica until after his mother's death in 1938, when James was seven. His father, unable to care for him, sent him to live with his sister Ortense and her husband, Marcus Winslow in Fairmont, Indiana. While in Fairmont, Dean studied drama and public speaking as well as playing basketball and baseball. After graduation, he returned to California where he developed an acting career. His starring roles in three movies, Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant transformed him into a cultural icon. He would die in a tragic automobile accident on September 30, 1955.
Listed in National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the house served as the home of three prominent Fairmont residents, Nixon Winslow, Levi Scott, and Joseph Patterson. Located at 203 E. Washington Street, the Fairmount Historical Museum purchased the home in 1977.
The Fairmount Historical Museum
Residents took inspiration for the museum from former students of Fairmont High School and Academy who wanted to visit their old school. The unused building still contained many photos, trophies and other memoribilia from the school. Fairmont residents decided to preserve this treasured material, and created the Fairmount Historical Museum in 1975. The museum occupied the Patterson House on September 5, 1983. In addition to a large collection of local memoribila, the museum also contains items related to famous sons James Dean and Jim Davis. The museum hosts a huge, three-day event call the "Museum Days" Festival. This event features a car show with approximatily 2000 cars, a James Dean Look-A-Like contest, showings of his movies and numerous other events. Fairmount Historical Museum
P.O. Box 92
203 East Washington Street
Fairmount, IN 46928