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Dubois County: A League of Their Own

The people of Dubois County are located in a league of their own down in southwestern Indiana. A very well-known 90s film, shot in the county, features celebrities, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tom Hanks. The stadium in which this movie was filmed is located in Huntingburg, Indiana. Huntingburg League Stadium was built in 1894 and renovated in the early 1990s before the filming of A League of Their Own in 1991 (3). The comedy centers on the depletion of young, athletic men during World War II, and the rise of an all-female baseball league, the Rockford Peaches. The place that coined “there is no crying in baseball,” is also the place where part of the HBO movie, Soul of the Game was filmed.

Dubois County is surrounded by Spencer to the south, Martin and Daviess to the north, Orange to the east, and Pike County to the west. The county is divided into 12 townships, 2 cities and 3 incorporated towns across 432 miles of territory (1). The first known records of settlement are by Native American tribes, the Piankishaw/ Shawnee. The once forest-covered land inhabited by wild animals is now populated by 42,461 people (2). Before the American Revolution, Dubois County was a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but once the Northwest Territory was established in 1787, the county was officially a part of Indiana (1). Over the course of a 23-year period, Dubois County went from being part of original Knox County to eventually, on February 1, 1818, its own county. During the early years of the county, many German immigrants found their way to Dubois County where they could hear and speak the same language with a large portion of the population (5).

The early settlers of Dubois County had the advantage of two rivers, the White and Patoka, which allowed for access to trade and transportation routes in the southern part of the state. Dubois county is also known for its Buffalo Trace, which is a path that was formed by annual trips of buffalo from the plains of Illinois to the salt licks of Kentucky. Like the rivers, this pathway was very useful for travelers to move from one place to another, but more importantly it served as a straight path to the territorial capital of Vincennes until 1813. This trail was traveled by historical figures, such as U.S. President William Henry Harrison. The first permanent white settlers came to Dubois County in 1801 near Buffalo Trace south of present day Portersville (1). Historic Portersville is located on the White River and was the first seat of county government. Most government business was conducted at Fort McDonald, but soon all government proceedings were done in a two-story log courthouse.

Beyond the Buffalo Trace and Fort McDonald lies Huntingburg League Stadium. Among being featured in movies over the years, the stadium is now home to the present day collegiate baseball team, the Dubois County Bombers. This team puts a unique spin on the meaning of the game by playing “contemporary baseball in a throwback setting (4).” The team uses a vintage scoreboard, signage, and play in old-style uniforms. If you want contemporary baseball in a Golden Era feel check out their schedule for the 2016 season here!

  1.  Dubois County – History   
  2.  Dubois County – Population  
  3.  Dubois County – Attractions 
  4.  Dubois County – Baseball  
  5.  James Madison and Lee Ann Sandweiss – Hoosiers and the American Story