Hoosier History Live is an independently produced new media project about Indiana history, integrating podcasts, website, newsletter, and social media. Its original content comes initially from a live with call in weekly talk radio show hosted by author and historian Nelson Price. You can hear the show live Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET. It’s over the air in Central Indiana at WICR 88.7 fm, or you can stream at the WICR HD1 app on your phone.


New show podcasts are up! 

August 19, 2023- Richmond art: a historic colony, a museum and more Click here for podcast.

For a complete list of show podcasts and show enewsletters, please go to ARCHIVES on our website. 

Hoosier History Live is brought to you by:

Logo Lucas oil

Your contribution helps keep Hoosier History Live on the air!

Donate button.

Email newsletter


Check us out on social media!

Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.


Books by Nelson Price

Book cover of The Quiet Hero, A Life of Ryan White, by Nelson Price.

Indiana Legends book cover.Book cover of Indianapolis Then and Now, 2016 edition, by Nelson Price and Joan Hostetler, featuring photos by Garry Chilluffo.


Hoosier History Live thanks our partners who help the show to go on!

Website design, email marketing and PC consulting.

Fraizer Designs
Graphic design and illustration.

Visit Indy
Promoting Indy and providing us with wonderful prizes for our History Mystery contest, including museums, sporting venues and great places to dine.

Our anchor radio station, on the campus of University of Indianapolis.

Heritage Photo and Research Services

September 23, 2023

Northwest Indiana's offbeat aspects and sites: encore

Snicker if you must, because that's an understandable reaction to an annual tradition in Northwest Indiana. At the Pierogi Drop every New Year's Eve in the city of Whiting, a 10-foot tall version of the dumpling associated with Polish cuisine is dropped into a boiling cooking pot at the stroke of midnight. And in the summer, the Pierogi Fest in Whiting sometimes draws more than 350,000 enthusiasts.

Also in Lake County, a historic former courthouse in Crown Point was known for decades as a "marriage mill". Hollywood celebrities like silent movie star Rudolph Valentino, sports icons such as Muhammad Ali and Joe DiMaggio and other notables trekked to Crown Point for speedy weddings. No waiting periods, residency requirements or blood tests were required then. Now known as the Old Lake County Courthouse, the former "marriage mill" structure, which was built in 1878, is a tourist destination that houses a museum and distinctive retailers, including antique shops as well as merchants who sell vinyl records and vintage clothes.

The clothes won't be needed at two rival clubs, one of which dates to the 1930s in the city of Roselawn. The Sun Aura Club (which has had several names during its colorful history) and the Ponderosa Sun Club are nudist colonies. A third such club also flourishes in Northwest Indiana: The Lake O' The Woods Nudist Colony can be found in Valparaiso.

All of these will be explored when Hoosier History Live spotlights offbeat sites and aspects in the distinctive corner of the state often called "The Region". Nelson's guest on this encore show is Joseph Pete, author of  "Secret Northwest Indiana: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure", a new, photo-filled book. Joseph is a reporter for the Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper.

He lives in Dyer, where landmarks include Meyer's Castle, a 28-room replica of a Scottish castle that once was the regal home of one of the first millionaires in Northwest Indiana. Joseph Meyer, a horticulturist, founded a mail-order herb business and built his mansion and expansive estate beginning in the late 1920s. Today, Meyer's Castle is a private venue for weddings and other special events, but visitors are welcome to stroll around the spacious gardens where you can see roaming peacocks, classical sculptures and ornate fountains.

In addition to describing Meyer's Castle, "Secret Northwest Indiana'' poses this question: "Where can you surf by the largest oil refinery in the inland United States?" The answer, according to our guest Joseph Pete, is on a beach at Lake Michigan near Whiting. Even in the winter, surfers in full-body wetsuits can be found at Whilhala Beach near the BP Whiting Refinery, which Joseph says is the country's largest inland oil refinery. Steel mills and foundries also are within sight of surfers who are attracted, according to Joseph, by "powerful waves that break cleanly, especially when old industrial shipping piers or breakwaters block the crosswinds".

During our show, Joseph also will describe Roy Boy's Badlands, a tattoo parlor in Gary that has been patronized by celebrities including Cher. Its founder, Roy Boy Cooper, was known as the "Tiger King" because he kept pet tigers at the tattoo shop. The big cats are long gone and Roy Boy died in 2010, but Joseph reports that his widow, Debra, continues to operate the tattoo parlor that became a mecca for, as our guest puts it, "bikers, rebels and rule-breakers" as well as celebrities.

Of course, Northwest Indiana is famous for The Dunes, which Hoosier History Live explored in a show in 2019. Dunes history, including accounts about the strip-mining of many of the sand hills, also is documented at a museum in Chesterton that's housed in a three-story mansion. The Westchester Township History Museum "is a repository of information about the Duneland community", Joseph notes in his book. Other exhibits showcase the impact of Irish immigrants, including the clusters of Irish pubs in Chesterton.

No word on whether the Irish community in Northwest Indiana has a New Year's Eve tradition akin to the Polish heritage Pierogi Drop. Those festivities, Joseph says, feature a giant countdown clock and a rousing rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" as well as the giant, tumbling dumpling.




"Fills a niche for the lover of Indiana history."

- Kathleen Madinger Angelone, retired bookstore owner


Roadtrip: Indiana Dunes

Speaking of Northwest Indiana, Guest Roadtripper Terri Gorney Lehman of Fort Wayne is going to give us more detail about visiting Indiana Dunes State Park. Naturalist Enos Mills said in 1915 that the three places in Indiana that needed to be preserved were Brown County, Turkey Run and the Dunes.

The Indiana Dunes State Park encompasses 15,000 acres, and it is completely surrounded by Indiana Dunes National Park. Terri says that most people think of the Dunes and Lake Michigan as one, when in reality the Dunes is a very biodiverse area. The Dunes area contains bogs, prairie, and forests as well as the sand dunes.  Approximately 350 bird species and 1100 flowering plants have been documented here. There is much to explore and many different types of trails to hike as well as the beach! It is a park for all seasons.

This area in northwestern Indiana is full of history. At Beverly Shores there are homes from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, Chellberg Farm, and Bailly Homestead (one of the earliest trading posts).

Since 2015, Indiana Audubon Society has hosted the Dunes Birding Festival in May. It has become one of the premier places to see migrating birds in the country.

The place to begin exploring the Dunes is at the Dunes Visitor Center in Chesterton.

Terri’s suggestions for places to eat: Third Coast Spice Cafe and Lemon Tree Mediterranean Grill. Happy Roadtripping!


Who can you see in this “Hoosier History Live Photo Album” . . .

Swipe through these photos gleaned from the last fourteen years of Hoosier History Live production!

And would you believe that radio technology has completely changed tech wise since we first went on the air in 2008 at WICR?  Can you find Bobby Plump, Chris Gahl, Connie Zeigler, Tom Ridley, Bonnie Britton, Tiffany Benedict Browne, Eunice Trotter, David Baker, Lefty Huntzinger, Keira Amstutz, Cowboy Bob, Janie of “Popeye and Janie”, K.P. Singh, Pam Fraizer, and Dark Rain Thom? The voices of so many Hoosiers blended together over the years to make Hoosier History Live such a unique archive.

And thanks to Richard Sullivan of Monomedia for creating this group of images.

What people are saying about Hoosier History Live


"...Are fulfilling a valuable role..."

"Hoosier History Live is a haven of trustworthy knowledge. Molly Head and Nelson Price are fulfilling a valuable role in making quality scholarship about our state readily available to on-the-go listeners, expanding how we engage with the history and culture of Indiana."

-Wayne Hastings, Bloomington listener and library science student


"...A great service with the creation of independent media..."

"Both Nelson Price and Molly Head do the public a great service with the creation of independent media project Hoosier History Live. The program adds considerably to the public IQ, at a time when intelligence is much needed."

- Tom Cochrun, former news anchor, WTHR-TV Channel 13 Indianapolis


"... an intelligent, well-researched program..."

"I’ve loved listening to Hoosier History Live during the pandemic as an intelligent, well-researched program to escape the news for an hour."

-Lee Little, JD, MLS, Research Librarian, Indiana University


"...'Live' - and 'Lively' as well..." 

"Hoosier History really is 'Live' - and 'Lively' as well. The program brings to new audiences the delight and wisdom that comes with knowing more of our past and our connections as Hoosiers."

- James H. Madison, Emeritus History Professor, Indiana University


"...interactive, more entertaining and more 'relevant'..."

"As museums and educational institutions scramble to make their offerings more interactive, more entertaining and more 'relevant', Hoosier History Live seems to have mastered that formula."

- Glynis Worley, rural Bartholomew County listener


"...a great way to learn more about history..."

"The links on the Friday Hoosier History Live enewsletter are a great way to learn more about history, and from a variety of sources."

- Jill Ditmire, Omni Media Specialist


"I love the podcasts..."

"I love the podcasts! I work on Saturdays and cannot always hear the live broadcasts. Sometimes I also like to listen a second time."

- Terri Gorney, Fort Wayne listener


"...infuses joy into the pursuit of history..."

"Nelson Price, more than anyone I know, infuses joy into the pursuit of history. And that joy rings out loud and clear on the radio show, Hoosier History Live."

- Marsh Davis, President, Indiana Landmarks


"... a compelling and engaging project..." 

"Molly Head and Nelson Price are Indiana-based visionaries who have created a compelling and engaging media project with Hoosier History Live. Podcasts, website, enewsletter, and live call-in radio show; it’s all there!"

- Keira Amstutz, President and CEO, Indiana Humanities


"...does more to promote Indiana history..."

"Hoosier History Live does more to promote Indiana history than does any single source."

- Andrea Neal, Indianapolis author and educator


"...always a great show"

“Hoosier History Live is always a great show.  We did a small  sponsorship as a gesture of support, and I didn’t think a little history show would have much impact. But many people mentioned to me that they had heard our credit on the radio.”

- G.B. Landrigan, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist


"...a great way to represent what I do..."

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with Nelson Price and the Hoosier History Live team. I feel being on the show was a great way to represent what I do with motorsports history. I am particularly excited by the show's new distribution through a podcast and making it accessible live through the Web.”

-Mark Dill, owner, FirstSuperSpeedway.com

"...great value to sponsors..."

"Hoosier History Live has amassed a vast library of content over the years, both with the show audio and newsletter material. I believe that the Hoosier History Live content has great value to sponsors and advertisers via widespread online distribution. Nowhere else do you find the fresh new material each week, the depth of stories, the richness of detail, and the long-term consistency."

- John McDonald, CEO, ClearObject in Fishers, Indiana, Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing IT company in Indiana for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

"...enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable..."

 "Hoosier History Live is a perfect place to consider and reconsider history ... not just what happened in the past, but what it may mean in the present. Nelson Price is the perfect host: enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable. Tune in to Hoosier History Live and be prepared to be surprised."

- James Still, playwright in residence, Indiana Repertory Theatre

"...I want to call in!..

"No, I haven't heard of another call-in talk radio show about history. Our airwaves are now full of the worst vitriol! Give me the phone number for the show. I want to call in!"

- Ken Burns, speaking at a preview of his film "The War" at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, April 18, 2007

"Another Hoosier History Live endorsement from a Hoosier in California ..."

"Hoosier History Live is a bright spot in my media constellation. I also frequently forward your weekly enewsletters to friends around the globe. I may now be a Californian, but my Hoosier interest is endless. The podcasts and streaming are good tools. By all means, persevere!"

- Tom Cochrun, former news anchor, WTHR-TV Channel 13 Indianapolis


"From a Hoosier who knows her books..."

"Fills a niche for the lover of Indiana history."

- Kathleen Madinger Angelone, retired bookstore owner


Podcast listening, and Hoosier History Live copyright policies

We still do a live radio show every Saturday from noon to one broadcasting on WICR 88.7, but more and more of our listeners are listening to our podcasts, which are basically audio copies of our live shows. Our website is www.hoosierhistorylive.org, and you can sign up at our website to get our free weekly newsletter.

At the top of our newsletter and website we put notice, and links, to our newly published podcasts. We also provide a link to ARCHIVES, which is a list of our past enewsletters and published podcasts.

If you have a preferred podcast provider like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you can use their search function to call up Hoosier History Live as well. Look for the yellow Hoosier History Live logo.

We copyrite our work, and we have a crew of very talented people putting it together. But we WANT you to share it! We believe that learning should be accessible to everyone! You are welcome to copy, link to, or forward any of our Hoosier History Live material. Just please do not edit it! Our underwriter logos and voiced credits are on our material; and these underwriters make our work possible. 

Home | About us | Support the show | Contact us | Archives

© 2008 Hoosier History Live. All rights reserved.