Minnetrista, also known as Minnestrista Cultural Center, is a museum and cultural center located in Muncie, Indiana with exhibits and programs that focus on nature, local history, gardens and art. The 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus includes a museum with changing exhibits, the historic home called Oakhurst, many themed gardens, outdoor sculptures and a portion of the White River Greenway.
The museum's collections focus on East Central Indiana local cultural history, and include themes of family and community life, entertainment and leisure, industry and work, and East Central Indiana arts.
George Alexander Ball's house, known as Oakhurst, was built in 1895, was designed by architect Louis Gibson. The first floor is furnished to appear as it did in the 1920s.
The grounds feature many outdoor sculptures purchased by members of the Ball family.
There are many themed gardens, which include:
- Nature Area - three representations of Indiana native habitat, a pond, woodland and prairie
- Oakhurst Gardens - located by the Oakhust house, features a formal garden, sunken gardens, woodland gardens and courtyard garden
- Wishing Well Garden - designed in 2000 by the Delaware Master Gardeners, features themes of Four Seasons, Moon and Bird & Butterfly gardens
- Rose Garden
- Children's Garden
- Colonnade Garden
- Orchard Courtyard - a seasonal container garden display
In 1887, the Ball family moved their glass manufacturing company from Buffalo, New York to Muncie, Indiana. Ball Brothers Glass Company became one of America’s best-known manufacturers of canning jars.
The family purchased most of the land along the north bank of the White River in 1893. They committed themselves to community projects that would improve the quality of life for East Central Indiana residents. An unfortunate event, the burning of one of the Ball family homes in the late 1960s served as an inspiration for the second generation of the Ball family. That inspiration would eventually blossom into more than they ever imagined: A place for lifelong learning.
The word "Minnetrista" means "a gathering place by the water", and was the name of the original home built by Frank Clayton Ball in 1894, which burned in 1967. The Ball family created the word from the Sioux word "mna" which means "water" combined with the English word "tryst". The Minnetrista Cultural Center was built on the same site in 1988.
Minnetrista has four annual events: Garden Fair in the spring, Faeries, Sprites, and Lights in July; Summer Stage Fest at various times throughout the summer, and Enchanted Luminaria Walk the first weekend of December. In addition, Minnetrista hosts a Farmers Market that draws 45,000 visitors each year.
Minnetrista has acres of formal and natural gardens, an expansive restored natural area that includes interpretive signs, ponds, and hiking trails. Minnetrista is currently working to create a comprehensive GIS-based map of the entire campus, including a detailed database of the plants available. This project is a partnership between the Horticulture Department at Minnetrista, the Delaware County Office of Geographic Information, and Ball State University (providing internship positions through the Landscape Architecture, Natural Resources, Geography, or Biology Departments).
- Frank Ball
- Edmund Ball
- Ball Corporation
- Beneficence sculpted by Daniel Chester French
- Appeal to the Great Spirit sculpted by Cyrus Dallin
- Hemingray Glass Company
- Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank
- Cardinal Greenway
- http://www.minnetrista.net/History/GatheringPlace/Layers/index.html Layers of Minnestrista