Nashville/Belmont, IN: T.C. Steele State Historic Site

During my fall break in October, I popped over to Nashville and stopped at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site on the way. It's about halfway between Bloomington and Nashville. There is a sign on US 46 -- turn when it says to, then go about 2 miles up a hill and through the stone arches. It was gorgeous the morning I was there.

Theodore Clement Steele is one of Indiana's most famous painters (maybe the most famous painter). He was born and raised in Indiana and lived here for most of his life, aside from stints he spent elsewhere in the US and abroad studying and painting. He and his (second) wife bought this land in Brown County to have a place to paint and enjoy nature. He made his money doing portraits, but he really love painting landscapes.

The site is comprised of several buildings and hiking trails, and it's all totally free to the public. There is also a small gift shop. You can also pay a nominal fee ($7 for adults) to take a guided tour. This was my plan. I found myself asking for a tour about 5 minutes before 50 4th graders from Martinsville were arriving for a field trip. Thankfully, the nice people at T.C. Steele let me just hop on the fun tour with the 4th graders, and luckily the 4th grade teachers and chaperones (and students) didn't mind this random 26-year-old tagging along.

Please enjoy the pictures I took, with some minimal captions and explanations. To really get the full experience you need to head out there yourself. I would love to go back with Eric and explore the hiking trails and nature preserve. The TC Steele staff told me the two best times to visit are in Spring and in Fall.

I tried a persimmon for the first time. Not bad, and now I know what these fruits are.

I was there right after a weekend wedding, and the tents from that were still set up. It would be a gorgeous venue for a wedding.


This is a sassafras tree.

Hiking trails and a small nature museum sit at one edge of the property.

There are two lily ponds connected by a small waterfall.

This red building is TC Steele's studio. He designed it to let it beautiful light.

Impressionist painting is my very favorite style of painting (my favorite artists are Monet, Renoir, etc.). I can't believe it took me so long to visit this site, since I have seen some of his paintings before and enjoyed them.

We also got a tour of the Steele's home. Upon entering you a greeted with a large stuffed peacock.

We were able to see some renovation progress going on. Some other staff were busy repairing a roof as we toured, too.

The visit was very peaceful but also a lot of fun with all the kids (kids ask some great questions and give hilarious answers and comments). I absolutely would recommend checking it out next time you're in the area. I am sure it is beautiful any time of year. The site is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday from 1-5 (closed Mondays and most holidays, except Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day).
Nashville/Belmont, IN: T.C. Steele State Historic Site Nashville/Belmont, IN: T.C. Steele State Historic Site Reviewed by Maria on 5:30:00 PM Rating: 5

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