American Road Trip Talk

CSI Indiana Part 1

Sometimes the best visits you make during a vacation are those unique, hidden attractions that aren’t on the big maps. It’s a special little cafe, a unique overlook or a remarkable museum that is full of extraordinary displays. Such was my experience when I visited the Indiana Medical History Museum off US 40, the National Highway, just outside downtown Indianapolis. There I met Mary Ellen Hennessey Nottage, the passionate curator of medical history in Indiana. We conducted the interview as we strolled through what had been the pathology lab for the state’s main mental health hospital for more than a century. This interview was not only remarkable because of the historical artifacts and history of the institution but also because it traced the early efforts to hunt down a cruel disabler and often killer, mental illness. In Part 2 of our interview you will find out how death provided both a valuable resource in medical study and a compassionate benefit to the deceased’s family.