Home of nation's 9th president gets new marketing

Home of nation's 9th president gets new marketing
Created by djackson on 11/16/2013 5:01:22 PM

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP):  Tourism officials in southwestern Indiana hope new signs pointing the way to the home of the nation's ninth president will increase the number of visitors to the house and other local historic attractions.

The Grouseland Foundation is rebranding the former home of President William Henry Harrison to emphasize its significance after urging the Indiana Department of Transportation to change signs it installed about six years ago that advertised the house by its name, "Grouseland."

"At some point, we'd all love to have Grouseland be a nationally-recognized name, but we understand that, clearly, we're not there yet," foundation board president Jim Corridan says, "Once we get people here, we'll talk about how William Henry Harrison named his home Grouseland, but from a marketing standpoint, it just makes sense to go this way."

Harrison was born in 1773 and served as the governor of the Indiana Territory before going on to become the nation's 9th president. He died on his 32nd day in office of complications from pneumonia he'd contracted while delivering an hour-and-45-minute inaugural address in a snowstorm.

He built the home in 1800 on land known for its high population of grouse, a small gaming bird, Corridan said. The former president enjoyed hunting the bird that was his favorite meal, he added.

Board members said INDOT was reluctant to change the signs because of the expense to make and install them, but foundation members persisted.

"Grouseland doesn't explain what it is to people from Florida, California or maybe Vermont," said Nancy Schuckman, the board's vice president.

The new signs installed in recent weeks are more descriptive and advertise the home as that of Harrison, said Grouseland's executive director, Lisa Ice-Jones.

Shuckman said she hopes the signs bring visitors not only to Grouseland, but to other attractions in Vincennes.

"We have so many options, so many beautiful sites," she said. "I'm hoping we see a great influx of people now."

Corridan said board members hope the home someday becomes as popular and well-known as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, George Washington's Mt. Vernon and James Madison's Montpelier.
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