Had things gone according to plan, the LST 325 would still be on its annual tour visiting different locations in the region to allow history buffs in those areas the same opportunity to tour the World War II transport ship we here in Evansville are fortunate enough to do any time we want (during their business hours, anyway). However, as it has done with so many other plans over the past 18 months, COVID threw a wrench into things when one of the crew members tested positive for the virus forcing the warship to cut the tour short and return home. But, there is a silver lining. The early return means the ship and its museum on the Evansville riverfront will reopen sooner than originally planned.

The Memorial posted the announcement last week on its official Facebook page stating that after the ship was cleaned and sanitized, it would reopen for tours starting this Saturday (September 18th). The visitor's center (across the street from Tropicana Casino) would operate under its regularly scheduled hours until then.

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According to the Memorial's website, the standard tour includes what seems to be nearly every inch of the ship from "the Main Deck, Troop Berthing, Tank Deck, Mess Deck, Galley, Stern of ship (Guns and Anchor), Wheel House, Officer's Country, and the Captain's Cabin." They also note the standard tour includes climbing six sets of stairs. Since that could be difficult for some, a tour of the main deck with no stairs is also available. It also notes that while not required, "visitors are encouraged to wear masks and practice "social distancing" as best as they can."

I had the opportunity to broadcast live from the deck of the LST 325 a couple of years ago to celebrate the opening of its new home in front of Tropicana Casino, and it ranks as one of my all-time favorite broadcasts in the 24 years I've been in radio. You can just feel the history the moment you step on the deck. To think about the role it played in the war and how hundreds of soldiers, as well as vehicles, once stood on the same ship preparing for battle is truly incredible. I highly recommend taking a tour to experience it for yourself.

For hours and ticket prices, visit out the LST Memorial website.

[Source: USS LST-325 Memorial on Facebook]

25 Hidden Evansville Secrets That May Blow Your Mind

An Evansville resident recently posted a question in the "I Grew Up in Evansville, Indiana" Facebook group asking other members to share any hidden or little-known facts about our city not many residents would know. The answers were wide-ranging, covering everything from our manufacturing history to our place in Civil War, to a couple of popular landmarks still standing today that were the first in the entire state of Indiana. No matter how long you've lived here, chances are there will be a few things on this list you didn't know about the city we call home.

See Inside the Mt. Vernon Home Rumored to be Part of the Underground Railroad

Located at 917 Mill Street in Mt. Vernon, less than a mile north of the Ohio River, there are a few different rumors of how the Robin Hill home was involved in helping slaves escape to the North. One rumor suggested there was a tunnel underneath the home slaves would use to pass through after getting off a boat on the river. That rumor has been debunked, but there once was a creek that ran near the home which was so overgrown with plants it looked like a tunnel. It is believed slaves used the creek as a pathway as they headed north. The home's current owner, Brian Alldredge, says he heard someone who lived or worked at the home during that time period would hang a colored blanket over the balcony to let those assisting the slaves know whether or not it was safe to pass with one particular color providing a green light, so to speak, and another warning there were people in the area looking for runaway slaves (some people in the North were known to capture slaves and send them back to the South).

The home went through a $700,000 remodel from 2001-2008 which included a new foundation and main support walls, all new floor joist and floors, new roof, new windows, and new drywall. It's currently for sale on Zillow with an asking price of $412,500

See How Downtown Evansville Has Changed Over the Years

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