Bicentennial: Terre Haute’s Historian

Photos from inside Mike McCormick's home (Credit: Mike Latta)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s only fitting that Terre Haute’s historian lives in one of the older subdivisions in Vigo County.

Inside his house, pieces of our history line the walls.

You will find old high school memorabilia, actress portraits along with train depot sketches that decorate the home. While the office plays home to sports decor all with Terre Haute ties, Mike McCormick’s home certainly shows his love for history.

But it’s here, where he can really dig into our past. A second property is used solely for storage, researching, and writing.

“I do think we have a fascinating history,” Mike said.

So much so, he’s dedicated years to discovering it.

“I’m amazed by people that I’ve heard say ‘oh you mean we’ve got somebody famous from Terre Haute other than Paul Dresser or Eugene Debs or Larry Bird.'”

For more than 20 years, McCormick has written a weekly column. More than 1,000 articles uncovering stories about residents who came before us.

“I tell you when it becomes embarrassing, I hit upon an idea that I want to write about and get halfway into it and discover in my research, I find my own story online about the same topic I’m writing about, that is embarrassing,” Mike said.

An amazing ability to continue finding new information on topics that are hundreds of years old.

“Sometimes the newspapers are my final source, but I try to go further than that because the newspapers often reveal information I can use elsewhere,” he said.

Hours put in, researching to confirm the facts in endless volumes of old newspapers.

There is no such thing as history if no one takes the time to document it.

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