The Bronnenberg House
German immigrant Frederick Bronnenberg arrived in this area with his wife, Barbara, and several children in 1821. While traveling to Illinois, one of the oxen in their team gave out nearby. The Bronnenbergs decided to make their home here, in Madison County.
Twelve children were born to Frederick and Barbara Bronnenberg. Their second eldest son, Frederick Jr., married Hulda Tree in 1840 and began this home, now one of Madison County's oldest dwellings. It is thought that the limestone foundation was quarried from the nearby White River. The bricks were handmade and fired here for the 14-inch thick interior and exterior walls. The woodwork is large tulip tree harvested from the property.
Much of the land near the park's entrance and in the picnic area were once pastures and fields of grain.
This site is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bronnenberg Family
The Bronnenbergs represent true pioneer spirit and a preservationist ethic.
Frederick Brandenburg was born in 1775 in Germany. As a youth he apprenticed as a tanner. Brandenburg immigrated to America as a young man, changing his name to Bronnenberg. He established a tanning business in Pennsylvania where he met and married Barbara Easter in 1806. The Bronnenbergs lived in Virginia and Ohio before reaching Indiana in 1819 with eight children.
A daughter's illness and death led them to postpone their westward journey to Illinois and stop in Indiana. A nearby abandoned fur trapper's cabin became their temporary home.
Frederick Jr. stayed on his father's farm until the mid-1800s when he built this brick home. Tulip poplars from nearby woodlands provided the timbers. Limestone for the foundation was quarried near the White River. Bricks made from local clay were fired at the site. Cedar trees provided the wood for making roof shingles.
The Bronnenbergs stayed at the Mounds, expanding their farm, tannery and mill. A log cabin located on the bend of the White River was constructed. The family expanded as well with the addition of four more children.
The Bronnenberg Family recognized their responsibility to preserve the mounds. They guarded the mounds against artifact hunters. As the result of their vigilance, the mounds remain among the best examples in the state.
"To write the pioneer life of Madison County, Indiana, without mentioning the Bronnenbergs would be like visiting Massachusetts without seeing Boston." Samuel Hardin