Kay Martin, Director
104 E. Washington St.
Lebanon, IN 46052
765-482-3460

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Welcome to the Heritage Center
Heritage Center

Located on the west side of the main floor of the Lebanon Public Library, the Ralph W. Stark Heritage Center occupies the original Carnegie building constructed in 1905.  The core of our collection consists of genealogical and historical resources related to Boone County, including indexes to vital records, microfilmed newspapers, family history files, and some county records.  We also house the library’s Indiana collection.


MISSION STATEMENT

The Ralph W. Stark Heritage Center promotes the collection, preservation, and interpretation of, and access to materials relating to the community, culture, heritage and history of Boone county. 


Ralph W. Stark
1901 - 1984

The local History room at the Lebanon Public Library became what is now known as the "Ralph W. Stark Heritage Room" in 1976. Mr. Stark was a Lebanon businessman for 34 years, an active conservationist and an archivist. He spent many years researching the history of Boone County which earned him the title of honorary historian of Boone County.

Ralph Stark

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The Ralph W. Stark Heritage Center Welcomes Genealogists 
 

The library welcomes family history researchers to the Heritage Center. The following is a list of suggestions for anyone planning a research trip:

•    Decide the branch of the family tree to research.
•    Bring copies of your research and leave originals at home.
•    Check for links to other record repositories in the county.
•    Search the online catalog for books and materials specific to your research.
•    Call the library (765-482-3460) and ask for Heritage Center Staff. They will provide information about other places you may plan to visit while in the area such as cemeteries, genealogical and historical societies, hotels and restaurants.  

Contacting the library prior to your arrival will enable staff to gather vital records pertaining to your research that may save time and ensure a fun, rewarding and successful trip.
 
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Hours of Operation:

Mon- Tues 9 AM - 8 PM
Wed -  Fri 9 AM - 5 PM
Sat 9 AM - 2 PM


 



 

IS There a Ghost in MY House?



Surprisingly, this is not an uncommon question asked in the Ralph W. Stark Heritage Center, the Genealogy/Local History department at the Lebanon Public Library,
 
To determine if your house is haunted by a ghost from the past, first you would have to figure out who lived there, what events may haven place and if and when a person may have died in the house.
 
1.  Start with the year of your house’s construction, or take a guess if it is not known.
It is possible there has been more than one house at that location, but for now work from the angle that it is the current house. 
 
Resources to determine the year of house construction:
  • Lebanon City Directories
  • Boone County Courthouse –Recorder’s office (deeds) 

2.  Determine who lived in your house.
           
           a. City directories from 1900 forward can be checked by address to see who the head of the household and spouse were. 
           
           b.   For 1900-1940 you can check Federal Census records seeing who the minor children were in a household once you have established the parents’ names. 
 
3. Determine which of these people are deceased.
            a. LPL’s online index of obituaries and death notices: http://bccn.boone.in.us/LPL/departments/heritage/indexes.html
               Once a name is found in the index you can get the obituary from the microfilm.  How much information is in the obituary will vary greatly from one to the next.
          
             b.Ancestry Library Edition database – subscription at Lebanon Public Library. 
              (Free In-house Use)
           
            c. Boone County Health Dept.  For a fee you can purchase death certificates which may list cause of death.

            d. http://www.familysearch.org/
           
4.  Figure out the cause of death of the deceased.  If an elderly person dies a peaceful death after a long productive life, this may not be the person haunting your house.  If there is a tragic story behind the death, it may have been reported in the newspaper.  The death certificate might state the cause of death.  An obituary may or may not state this information.  

  
Heritage Center Resources

The Heritage Center resources include: local atlases, maps, and plat books, building and house histories for Boone County, Lebanon City Directories (1893-1999), Indiana histories and reference materials, local and school newspapers, oral histories, published family histories, social club scrapbooks, telephone directories (1916-2013), yearbooks, and an extensive General File.