New CCHS museum director aims to attract more families


In her role as Carmel Clay Historical Society museum director and City of Carmel archivist, Amy Grove wants to attract more visitors.

“We want to invite more people to explore the (Monon Railroad) Depot Museum as well as explore Carmel history as a whole,” said Grove, who started the job in December 2018. “We have wonderful things happening to revamp the city and to move forward but we have to look at the past to do that. One thing I’m looking at is engaging entire families of all age ranges.”

Carmel Clay Historical Society Museum Director and City of Carmel Archivist Amy Grove pauses inside the Museum Depot. (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

Grove, 31, has two other part-time jobs, working as the humanities program facilitator at The Indianapolis Children’s Museum and teaches art history at Ivy Tech Community College.

Grove, who has a master’s degree in art history with a speciality in Holocaust art from Savannah (Ga.,) College of Art and Design, previously worked at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center as program coordinator. The museum was founded by Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor. Prior to that, she worked as assistant director at Evan Lurie Gallery in Carmel.

“I’ve worked in historical buildings and historical societies with center projects,” Grove said. “We needed someone to come in and see the potential that could be here and bring with them a little more museum background and experience particularly in what the Children’s Museum focuses on, which is family programming.”

Grove said the main goal for the Wild Wild Midwest exhibit was to have interactive activities for children to make it fun.

The exhibit focuses on the train heists and the Reno Gang and will run until the beginning of June. An exhibit on Northern Beach will open in June.

“(Northern Beach) opened in the 1920s and I believe it was open until the late 1960s, it was a park where people could camp and there in cabins,” Grove said.  “There was a fresh water pool. There was a giant slide people talk about. Many people have fond memories of Northern Beach. A lot of people donated artifacts for that exhibit.”

Grove, an Indianapolis resident, said there are plans for author and historian talks, film screenings. The maximum capacity inside the depot is approximately 40 people.

Jessica Fisher serves as collections manager and Andrew Wright is the historian.

The hours are now seven days a week at Depot Museum, 211 1st  St. SW, with more hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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