A live weekly radio adventure through Indiana history with host Nelson Price. Airs live on Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET at WICR 88.7 fm in Indianapolis. 

You can also stream WICR live from anywhere. Go to www.wicronline.org or download the WICR HD1 app on your phone.  

New show podcasts are up!

June 03, 2023-Before Ellis Island: immigration and Benjamin Harrison - Encore Click here for the podcast

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

The live show "Speedway medical care: a sequel" with guest Norma Erickson is currently rescheduled to air on June 17.


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June 10, 2023

The largest Dune and why it’s gone

As by far the biggest of the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan, the legendary Hoosier Slide was a national tourist attraction. Sometimes likened to a sandy version of a Swiss Alp, the massive Hoosier Slide near Michigan City, Ind., stood 18.5 stories high and was the setting for wedding ceremonies, picnics and endless frolicking, with climbers and gawkers traveling by train or ferry to the towering dune during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

By 1920, though, the Hoosier Slide had disappeared.

Hoosier History Live will explore the heyday of the Hoosier Slide, the reasons it vanished from the landscape and the flourishing of Michigan City as a lakeside resort during the era that the huge dune captivated so many tourists. In particular, visitors from Chicago enjoyed spectacular views from atop the Hoosier Slide of Lake Michigan as well as Michigan City's vast lumberyards.

Nelson's studio guest will be Christopher Taelman, who lives in Granger, which is a few miles north of the University of Notre Dame, near Indiana's state line with Michigan. Chris serves as chief development officer of the Hospice Foundation based in Mishawaka.

For several years, Chris, a South Bend native and civic leader, was a manager with NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Co.). It's a utility with a generating station that now sits on the site of the Hoosier Slide, which Chris calls "a wonder of the Hoosier State and a lost landmark of Indiana's Lake Michigan shore."

According to Chris' research, excursion business to Michigan City to view the Hoosier Slide began to flourish as early as the 1880s. For comparison purposes with the Hoosier Slide's height of 18.5 stories, today's tallest Indiana Dune, Mount Baldy, is 11 stories high.

During a 30-year span from 1890 to 1920, though, the Hoosier Slide's sand was hauled away, mined for use by commercial endeavors in Indiana and Illinois. Initially hauled by wheelbarrows, massive amounts of sand eventually were transported from the dune by railroad cars. Among the businesses that used the sand was the glass-making industry, including the Ball Brothers in Muncie that became nationally famous for its canning jars. Glass-making businesses, which used sand in the production process, thrived in east central Indiana beginning in the late 1800s with the discovery of natural gas in the region. Hoosier History Live explored the Natural Gas Boom during a show in 2014.

Michigan City also thrived during that era as a result of recreational and business ventures. "Michigan City offered some of the first large-scale recreational developments along the Indiana Dunes shoreline", Chris Taelman says. By 1910, steamer boats carried as many as 10,000 passengers a day to Michigan City's lakefront, he notes. Postcards featuring the Hoosier Slide were distributed across the country.

Meanwhile, trees on the Hoosier Slide were being cut down for use as lumber in the construction industry. "By removing plants and the root systems from the dune, sand began to blow and blanket Michigan City’s main business district", Chris says.

In addition to benefiting from the lumber and tourist industries during the late 19th century, Michigan City also flourished with commercial fishing and shipping industries. During this era, the Michigan City Salt Co. shipped 150,000 barrels of salt annually, according to Chris’ research.

The Hoosier Slide often was touted as "Indiana's most famous natural landmark". But just as the Natural Gas Boom ended when the gas was depleted, the sand that created the Hoosier Slide eventually was gone.

Roadtrip: Historic Cold Springs Resort in Steuben County

Guest Roadtripper Tim Shelly of Elkhart, who is a partner with the law firm of Warrick & Boyn, LLP, suggests a visit to the 125-year-old seasonal Cold Springs Resort, which sits on the northeast shore of Steuben County's Hamilton Lake in northern Indiana. The historic resort and hotel is currently operated by the fifth generation of the Watkins family. Named for the natural springs originally found on the grounds, the resort's history traces back to the 1870s when the Watkins' first developed a campground, catering primarily to fishing and lake activities. The next two and a half decades saw cabins, concession stands, and boathouses added. In 1897, a hotel was constructed expanding entertainment options to include bowling, golf and baseball.

Religious orators preached and politicians delivered campaign speeches at the resort, including William Jennings Bryan during his 1900 presidential campaign. Seventeen years later, the hotel was expanded with the addition of a third floor and the introduction of electricity. Important at this time, the expansion converted the bowling lanes to a dance pavilion. For decades following, dance music resounded during the summer months; first, jazz, then the big band sounds, including Woody Herman, Glenn Miller, and the Dorsey brothers, all playing Cold Springs. Those bands ultimately gave way to early rock and roll performers; The Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny and the Hurricanes all performed at the dance hall. 

Today, bands still play six times a summer, slightly less than the six times weekly that Cold Springs Resort experienced in its heyday. In addition to offering rooms, golf and lake activities, the hotel also hosts weddings and reunions. Open Friday through Sunday, the resort's restaurant continues to serve its famous frog legs!

Trivia prizes and southside restaurant sought

Would your business or organization like to offer prizes for our trivia on air question? Or, are you a restaurant on the southside of Indy, or near the University of Indianapolis, and open on Saturdays at 1 pm? Would you like to host Hoosier History Live guests for lunch after the show on Saturday? Contact molly@hoosierhistorylive.org for details.  

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

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

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

- Kathleen Madinger Angelone, retired bookstore owner


"...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


"...'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


"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


"... 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


"... 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


"...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.


"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

"...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

"...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


Podcast Listening 101: The Basics

With voice searching on Google, it's incredibly easy to listen to Hoosier History Live podcasts.

We still broadcast live every Saturday on WICR 88.7, but more and more of our listeners are getting their Hoosier History Live shows by podcast, and it's easier than ever!

It's really this simple: If you have a smartphone, go to the Google search engine, click on the microphone button, and say "Hoosier History Live podcasts." Or if you don’t use the microphone, type in the words "Hoosier History Live podcasts" at the Google search bar.You'll immediately get a list of recent shows to choose from. Click on one of them and let the listening begin!

If you have a preferred podcast provider like Apple Podcasts or Stitcher, you can use their search function to call up Hoosier History Live as well. When you see our yellow Hoosier History Live logo, just click on the episode you want to listen to. 

And don't forget to share! You can post links to our podcast on your social media page or send them by email or text.

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