A Gathering Place By the Water

Did you know that Minnetrista means a ‘gathering place by the water”? How much do you know about the influential family responsible for the Ball jars, Ball State University, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, and Minnetrista? Minnetrista is part of the legacy of the Ball family.

Minnetrista, “a gathering place by the water,” takes its name from the original F. C. Ball home that once stood at the location of our Center Building. Our name now applies to our entire community, as Minnetrista keeps this name alive through programming, workshops, and exhibits, creating a gathering place for all.

Minnetrista: A Ball Family Legacy

In 1887, the Ball family moved its glass manufacturing business from Buffalo, New York to Muncie. Ball Brothers Glass Company became one of America’s best known manufacturers of canning jars.

The Ball family purchased most of the land along the north bank of White River between Wheeling and Granville pikes in 1893. The name chosen by the family for the property was taken from a Sioux word, “mna” (pronounced mini) which means “water,” and combined with the English word, “tryst,” to form “Minnetrista,” or, “a gathering place by the water.”

The origin of the cultural center dates back to 1978, when Margaret Ball Petty wrote to her cousin Edmund F. Ball, suggesting that the Ball Brothers Foundation provide a museum in which to exhibit fine art.

A four-year study of the cultural needs of East Central Indiana determined that top priority should be given to the construction of a state-of-the-art facility to preserve the cultural heritage of the region. Ground was broken March 14, 1987 and Minnetrista Cultural Center opened December 10, 1988.

Minnetrista has always been a gathering place. From Native Americans to settlers to families, past and present, this is a place of community – for socializing, learning, reflection, entertainment and recreation. Minnetrista is a hospitable place where families and groups can experience the rich heritage of the region by connecting with people, places and events through authentic activities and exhibits