INDIANAPOLIS — History is everywhere.
It is the city around us, maybe even the home you live in.
Amy Vedra with the Indiana Historical Society said Indianapolis came about because they wanted to move the state capital to the central part of Indiana.
"Those early 1820s is when we really started seeing people moving in and building dwellings," Vedra said.
And learning the history behind a home is like putting together a puzzle. That's why doing the legwork for someone else could make a good holiday gift.
Vedra said you can start the process with the Polk's Directories, which go back more than 100 years.
"This is really the homeowner yellow pages," she said. "What we're able to see is the name of the street, what address is on that street are listed, and who was at them."
While Vedra used a directory hard copy during our visit, they can be found online, too.
"The interesting thing about city directories is, for Indianapolis, specifically, a lot of them have been digitized and they're available through IUPUI 's website through the Internet Archive," she said.
Once you figure out who lived at the house, you can cross-reference the person in the same directory to find out what they did for a living.
After the home's history perimeter is laid out, you can fill it in using elements from the historical society's databases.
That could include pictures, old maps, even a family tree.
However, unlike the directories, many of these resources can only be accessed at a computer at the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis.
IHS said they can only provide hi-res images that then need to be taken somewhere else for printing. Enough time needs to be given by the person interested to IHS to gather the images – as well as sign a contract for the images and have the patron pay invoices.
If you want to hire a professional for this service, they charge around $30 per hour.