Interview with a Local – Norbert Brown

Have you ever been on a trip and met someone that made an impact on you? Maybe they were incredibly welcoming or made the new place you were visiting seem less scary. Sometimes a friendly face is all it takes to turn a bad trip into a good one. This is our goal with our Interview With a Local Series; to introduce you to new people—familiar faces—who we hope will not only make your visit to our small towns in Knox County better but also make you want to come back and see more.

A lifelong Vincennes resident, Norbert Brown is a beloved member of the community. Knowledgeable in many areas of Vincennes history and always willing to lend a helping hand. Keep reading to learn more about him.

Have you always lived in Vincennes/Knox County?

“I was born in Vincennes and have lived here my entire life except while attending Indiana State University.”

What site or sites do you volunteer for?

“I have volunteered for many organizations over the years.  A couple of my favorites were the Old Northwest Corporation which used to own and operate the old French House on North First Street and InVin.  Being a part of those and other groups enabled me to meet new people with interests similar to mine.  I also very much enjoy volunteering for some of the special events held in our historic downtown area such as Spring on Main and Autumn on Main.”

What made you want to volunteer?

“I love the feeling being downtown gives me.  I think about how many people have undoubtedly walked down the same street during different eras in time.  There are countless stories to tell about things that happened there. I love the fact that great efforts have been made to help ensure that future generations get to enjoy our downtown area.”

What did you do before you started volunteering for local organizations at local events? 

“I taught in the Automotive Technology Program at Vincennes University for over twenty years and currently teach at Vincennes Lincoln High School in a similar capacity.  I love researching and learning about local area history.  I have a passion for finding and enjoying old photographs from this area.”

What is your favorite part of volunteering for the Main Street events? 

“I enjoy volunteering for the main street events because it brings people together that may have not seen each other in a long time.  It also helps bring more familiarity with many of the unique businesses that have chosen to locate in that area.

I also love the architecture of downtown Vincennes.  It is really rare to have many examples of the various types of architectural styles in one location.”

Tell us something about yourself that visitors may not know. 

“I used to be shy and disliked history… Funny, but very true.”

Can you tell us a little-known fact about Vincennes or Knox County?

“Vincennes’ Main Street was called “Market Street” among other things.  The Street’s name was changed to Main Street in 1855.”

For lodging, do you prefer hotels, camping, or B&B’s?   

“I prefer hotels but enjoy all three.”

Where do you like to eat locally?

“I would say that El Corral is my local favorite but enjoy many others as well.”

What is your favorite festival or event in Knox County?  Why?

“I enjoy the homecoming celebration that Vincennes offers.  It is unique and very enjoyable for me.  I get to interact with many people that I ordinarily do not get the opportunity to.”

What is your favorite season in Knox County and why? 

“I am a summer guy.  I love the summer because I can get out and do all sorts of fun things with my two sons.”

If someone only had 24 hours to spend in Knox County, what would you tell them they needed to do while they were here?

“Call me and let me give them a tour!”

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