Skip to main content

Hillforest Historical Foundation, Inc. collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2036

Scope and Contents

This collection includes material regarding activities conducted and sponsored by the Hillforest Historical Foundation, Inc. in the 1970s.

Folder 1 has correspondence, documents and newpaper clippings regarding the Indiana Frontier Picnic that took place in Aurora, Indiana in May 1974 in conjunction with the re-enactment of James Harrod's canoe trip down the Ohio River to commemorate the settlement of Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

Folder 2 contains copies of documents pertaining to a 1978 historical marker survey in Dearborn County conducted by members of the Foundation for the Indiana Historical Bureau.

Folder 3 includes correspondence, documents, maps and other publications ranging from 1964 to 1970s about tourism and tourism resources for Southern Indiana from organizations including the Ohio-Lower Wabash Valley Historical Trails Committee and Historic Trails, Inc. There are also two letters of correspondence from 1980 between Esther Roache and Cornelia Scheid in reference to an Indiana Univeristy Preservation Conference.


  • 1964-1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

Hillforest is an Italian Renaissance mansion in Aurora, Indiana. Built in the 1850s by prominent Ohio Valley industrialist Thomas Gaff, the house remained in the family until 1926 then eventually became a clubhouse for the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). When the VFW decided the home no longer meet its needs, a group of local citizens formed the Hillforest Historical Foundation as a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the home. The home has been open to the public as a historic museum since 1956. Besides maintaining the home, the foundation also sponsors historical and cultural events.

Esther Wilson Roache (1896-1982) was an original charter member of the Foundation and served as the group's executive secretary for 25 years. A longtime resident of Aurora, she was a prominent business woman in the community having served as vice-president and as a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Aurora. Besides her dedicated service to the Hillforest HIstorical Foundation, she was also active in other local organizations, including the Aurora Chamber of Commerce and the Business and Professional Women's Club. She prepared the original application for the National Historical Landmark designation in 1971. Following her death, the home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.


"Esther Roache." Aurora Journal-Press (Ind.), November 30, 1982.

"Esther W. Roache." Indianapolis Star (Ind.), December 1, 1982.

Hillforest Museum. "History." Accessed October 6, 2020.

National Archives. "Indiana SP Hillforest (Forest Hill)." National Park Service: National Register of Historic Places. Accessed October 6, 2020.


0.03 Cubic Feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records transfer from the Indiana Division in 2018/02 of a donation from Jeffrey L. Huntington of the Hillforest Historical Foundation, Inc. in 1991/07.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2020/10/08 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2020/10/08 by Laura Eliason.
Hillforest Historical Foundation, Inc. collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.