Carmel Clay Historical Society

Carmel Clay Historical Society The Carmel Clay Historical Society collects, preserves, and interprets the history of Carmel and Clay Township. The CCHS fulfills its mission by providing educational services in the following ways: * Public Programs about local topics * Tours of the Monon Railroad Depot Museum * Curriculum materials to schools on local and county history * Historic Home Tours highlighting local architecture and antiques * Providing genealogical assistance to area researchers * Maintaining an archives of letters, diaries, newspapers, documents, and artifacts that pertain to Carmel and Clay Township.
(13)

Operating as usual

When the high school known as Old North opened in 1922, the 1887 Carmel High School building was purchased by C. Y. Fost...
09/02/2020

When the high school known as Old North opened in 1922, the 1887 Carmel High School building was purchased by C. Y. Foster and leased to the B. R. Hunt Manufacturing Company, which manufactured cases for musical instruments. The factory employed about 15 people. In 1925, Carmel lost express service on the Monon, and the company moved its operation to Union City.

The dates of the B. R. Hunt factory (1922-1925) coincide with that of the Carmel Community Orchestra of which the Hunt family was quite involved.

This picture shows the high school building with B. R. Hunt signage across the front.

2020 marks 160 years of high school in Clay Township! Poplar Ridge Seminary was one of the earliest high schools in Indi...
08/30/2020
Carmel Magazine September 2020

2020 marks 160 years of high school in Clay Township! Poplar Ridge Seminary was one of the earliest high schools in Indiana. Learn about it in our article in Carmel magazine!

Following the tragic death of George Floyd, communities across the country united to demand real and lasting change regarding racial equality. In June, Ashten Spilker, a 2014 graduate of HSE, proudly displayed a #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) sign in her Carmel front yard. When the sign was vandalized, she...

Last week we looked at a newly discovered picture of Carmel’s first town hall. This week's post is about a picture of an...
08/26/2020

Last week we looked at a newly discovered picture of Carmel’s first town hall. This week's post is about a picture of another town hall published by the Indianapolis Times in 1937. It was a peculiar building that seemed to be right up against the water tower, and the caption did not give many clues. Newspaper archive searches did not turn up any information about what this building was, so we searched through the Town Board Meeting Minutes because they often gave the location of the meeting. For many years in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the meetings were held at the library (now Woody's Library Restaurant). However, in 1932, the meetings changed from the library to "Town Hall." In the last meeting held at the library, January 5, 1932, Frank Aldred made a motion that meetings be held in the pump house. This was it!! Town Hall was the pump house of the water tower!!!

The second picture in this post was taken from east Main Street looking west towards the intersection with Range Line Road. This photo was also newly discovered. You can see the water tower, which stood at the back of the lot that is now the Lurie Gallery.

We just stumbled across this gem of a picture of an early town hall in the Indianapolis Times in 1937! The town board me...
08/19/2020

We just stumbled across this gem of a picture of an early town hall in the Indianapolis Times in 1937! The town board met in many buildings over the decades, including the library (now Woody's library restaurant) and the old bank building at Main and Range Line, but I had never heard of an early building that was built specifically for the purpose of serving as Town Hall! This is likely the first!

The caption did not give any clues as to when it was built or where it was located, which meant I got to go on another treasure hunt! I was not expecting the answer to come easily, but after searching a couple of newspaper archives, this blurb from a correspondent to the Noblesville Ledger turned up and answered both questions. L J Small, who owned and operated a drug store on the NE corner of Range Line Road and Main Street, built the town hall on the lot to the east of his store in 1887. This building was used until a little after the turn of the century, when they held the board meetings in the bank building.

The last picture attached to this post is of L.J. Small's drug store. An article from the Ledger in 1881 described Small's store as follows: "L. J. Small keeps a full line of drugs (one of the best stocks we have seen in the county), paints, oils, notions and did have jewelry before the thieves robbed him. He is replacing the stolen stock with a new and more extensive lot. . . . Mr. Small is a business man of sound practical ideas, and an ex-teacher or good report. We are glad he has reached the commercial line, because the fate of the pedagogue is poverty." Ouch! That bit at the end was unnecessary!

Next week we'll look at another intriguing early town hall!

Hi CCHS fans! Do you love learning about Carmel and Clay township history through our Facebook posts? Right now, we are ...
08/14/2020
Membership | Carmel Clay Historical Society

Hi CCHS fans! Do you love learning about Carmel and Clay township history through our Facebook posts? Right now, we are looking for people who are interested in supporting CCHS through membership with our organization. Members receive awesome benefits, like discounted tickets to events, free copies of historic documents, early access to exhibits and discounts on gift shop purchases. We rely on memberships to support our mission, and rely on fans like you to help get the word out!

Follow this link to sign up: http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/about/membership.

For questions regarding membership at CCHS, call 317-846-7117 or email Collections and Membership Manager, Emily Hanawalt at [email protected].

08/12/2020
Scene from Viper - filmed in Carmel

Remember that time when a Hollywood production was filmed in a Carmel neighborhood?

In the fall of 1988, Maris Entertainment Group chose to film their espionage thriller called "Viper" in Indianapolis, Carmel and Bloomington. A house on Briar Creek Place in Carmel was used for the main character's home. Actress Linda Purl played the role. Filming took place inside and outside the home and included this explosion sequence. I've posted two additional scenes in the comments. Neighbors watched some of the filming. Maybe you were one of them - let us know in the comments!

A different crew shot a scene in Wilson Village around the same time. Maybe 1987 - 1990. A schoolbus pulled to a stop at the corner of Wilson Drive and Shady Lane, and kids filed off the bus. That was the extent of the shoot. I have never been able to figure out what that was for. It was a small production and may have been for an educational film. If you know, share in the comments!

John F. Haines made quite an impact on Carmel in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was born in the log cabin in the att...
08/05/2020

John F. Haines made quite an impact on Carmel in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was born in the log cabin in the attached picture in 1856. It was located near Gray, a Quaker community around the intersection of Gray Rd and 146th St. John attended school at Gray and then went to Carmel High School in 1872. At the time it was called Richland High School, named for the Quaker community that built the school. It was a three mile hike for Haines to get to CHS, but he enjoyed the walk. The first mile was through one square miles of old growth forest.

After four years of high school, his neighbors asked him to teach at the district schoolhouse at Gray. He did for one term and then taught at the schoolhouse at Pleasant Grove, which later became Home Place. After graduating from the Normal School at Valparaiso, he became principal of Carmel High School in 1883. After three years at Carmel, he was principal at Sheridan and later Noblesville. In 1901, Haines was elected Superintendent of Hamilton County schools and ensured that boys and girls learned practical skills along with their conventional studies. Many of the county's high schools, including Carmel, incorporated manual training, agricultural and domestic science programs into the curriculum. Haines also started what may have been the first Corn Club in the country in 1904. He also started Garden Clubs for girls. These clubs were forerunners to 4-H clubs. He was invited to give talks around the state about the corn clubs and manual and domestic training programs he championed.

Though he was routinely offered positions at universities, Haines thought of himself as a rural educator and turned them down. He preferred to live in Carmel and focus on the education of Hamilton County students. Haines was also leader of the Carmel Coronet Band, sometimes called the Haines Band because of the many members of the Haines family. In 1915 he wrote a history of the county that we reference at CCHS fairly often. He left quite a legacy in Carmel.

08/04/2020
Making History-Church Dolls

Textiles and clothing pieces can by used to make all sorts of other items, even toys! Join us today to "make history" by creating your own Church Doll. These popular Civil War era dolls are easy to make for all ages! Follow along and see how you can turn a simple handkerchief, rubberband, cotton balls and ribbon into your very own Church Doll!

We invite you to continue making history and share your dolls with us in the comments below!

This Making History activity is a part of "Fashionable Society: Civil War to Post-War Textiles of Carmel" currently on display at the Monon Depot Museum. Funding for the exhibit and exhibit programming are offered through Indiana Humanities. Follow CCHS for future Making History programs; where we encourage a discovery of history for all ages through hands-on creative activities!

We are excited to share another "photo recreation" sent in as a part of our "Making History" programming! Through these ...
08/02/2020

We are excited to share another "photo recreation" sent in as a part of our "Making History" programming! Through these hands-on virtual activities we offer a deeper look into our currently displayed exhibit "Fashionable Society: Civil War to Post-War Textiles of Carmel".

Today we have a photo sent in by local actress Leah, who recreated a photo of her great-aunt from the 1940s. She really is spot on with the clothing, bike, setting and expression! Leah is pretty used to wearing costumes in her many theatrical productions; she has even played the role of Hildegard at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt!

We have had several submitted recreated historical looks since the opening of our exhibit, and are wanting to see more! Show us what you can do! We encourage you to select one of our historic images to emulate, or feel free to use your own past family photos; it's up to you! Once you have your photo(s) dig deep into your closets, craft boxes and imaginations to create your own interpretation. Consider how our clothing today compares to that of the past, and see how you can copy that look!

Follow the link to CCHS' visual collection and show us how you can "make history" right at home!

http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/photographs/vex1/index.htm

07/31/2020
Take a Look at "Fashionable Society: Civil War to Post-War Textiles of Carmel"

Want to know where Carmel's fashionable history began; and take a glimpse into our current exhibit "Fashionable Society: Civil War to Post-War Textiles of Carmel"? Join Museum Director Amy Grove for a virtual walk-through!

With over 100 CCHS collection items on display ranging from the 1850s to the 1960s, there is a lot to explore! You can see methods of 1800s-1900s textile production, historic (and beautiful) garments and accessories, hair and beauty products, and much more! We invite you come and see this timeline of Carmel fashion in person at the Monon Depot Museum!

By the 1980s, Carmel's city government had outgrown city hall (the old Carnegie library - now Woody's Library Restaurant...
07/29/2020

By the 1980s, Carmel's city government had outgrown city hall (the old Carnegie library - now Woody's Library Restaurant. In 1981, the city purchased 13 acres to build a government complex. Neither the mayor nor the city council had a strong idea of what architectural style to use. When City Hall opened in 1990, Mayor Jane Reiman said, “The only thing we all wanted was something lasting to look at. Something that in the year 2020 would still be smashing and make people feel good.” The architectural firm Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff (HNTB) suggested American Georgian architecture. They proposed Civic Square be reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg and designed City Hall after Williamsburg's Capitol Building.

There are plenty of other examples of American Georgian architecture in Carmel. Both the Chase Bank building on Carmel Drive and Coxhall Mansion were designed after the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg. The Indiana Farmers building at 106th and Meridian was also inspired by the Governor's Mansion (especially the north and south faces of the building). If you know of other American Georgian buildings in Carmel, let us know in the comments.

07/28/2020
L.S. Ayres & Co.: 100 Years of Fashion Leadership

We are happy to share our previously live-streamed lecture given by Ken Turchi covering the history of L.S. Ayres & Co.

As the author of "L.S. Ayres & Co.: The Store at the Crossroads of America", Ken shares the secret of L.S. Ayres & Company's success as more than just as a department store founded in 1872 by Lyman Ayres. Turchi discusses how over the course of the next century, generations of Midwestern families visited the vast store to shop for everything from furs to television sets, to see the animated Christmas windows, and, of course to visit Santa Claus and enjoy lunch in the Tea Room.

This talk is a part of our Speaker Series which covers topics highlighted in our exhibit "Fashionable Society: Civil War to Post-War Textiles of Carmel" currently on display at the Monon Depot Museum. Funding for the exhibit display and programming was awarded to CCHS through an Indiana Humanities Action Grant. CCHS is thankful to Indiana Humanities for their generous assistance to our organization, and for their continued support to other Indiana cultural sites and museums.

07/24/2020

“Girls and women of our race must not be afraid to take hold of business endeavours and, by patient industry, close economy, determined effort, and close application to business, wring success out of a number of business opportunities that lie at their doors.” -Madame C.J. Walker

Local historian Dakota Burks shares here an overview of the life of Madame C.J. Walker. An American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist; Walker became a voice for African-American and female rights at the turn of the century. Walker made her fortune by developing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for Black women through the business she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. In 1910 she established her business headquarters in Indianapolis which offered employment opportunities for females of the surrounding Black communities. At the time of her death, Walker was the wealthiest African-American business woman and wealthiest self-made female in America. Dakota will be answering any questions posted in the comments or emailed to [email protected].

There are many influences that formed Carmel as a "fashionable society"; some came from directly within the city, and some innovations were brought in from Indianapolis, other parts of Indiana and beyond. It is important to understand and acknowledge how the many fashion, beauty and textile trends grew within our city. We are happy to be able to share these stories with you through our speaker's series. This talk is a part of our "Fashionable Society: Civil War to Post-War Textiles of Carmel" exhibit currently on display at the Monon Depot Museum. We invite you to visit the exhibit to view over 100 historic clothing pieces, accessories, beauty products and textile production tools ranging from the 1850's to the 1960's.

Please join CCHS in learning more about the history of Carmel and Indiana as a "fashionable society" through our virtual...
07/22/2020

Please join CCHS in learning more about the history of Carmel and Indiana as a "fashionable society" through our virtual lecture series.

Our next presentation features local historian and museum professional Dakota Burks. Dakota will be discussing the life and achievements of Madam C.J.Walker; from Walker's upbringing, move into hair care and cosmetics, the immediate impact she had on Indianapolis and a look at how she stands to this day as a symbol of women's empowerment and civil rights.

This pre-recorded talk will be posted here on CCHS' page, as well as our website, this coming Friday.

The lecture is a part of our "Fashionable Society: Civil War to Post-War Textiles of Carmel" exhibit currently on display at the Monon Depot Museum. We invite you to visit the exhibit in person to learn more about the timeline of Carmel style.

To learn more about CCHS and our programming initiatives, please visit www.carmelclayhistory.org.

Have you ever heard of THE CARMEL COMET?From 1947 to 1950 Bill Stubbs was one of the fastest young men in the country. T...
07/22/2020

Have you ever heard of THE CARMEL COMET?

From 1947 to 1950 Bill Stubbs was one of the fastest young men in the country. The newspapers tried out many nicknames for him - the Carmel Meteor, Blazing Bill, Bullet Bill, Carmel’s One-Man Track Team… but the Carmel Comet is the one that stuck.

When Stubbs finished his track career at Carmel High School, he held school and Hamilton County records in all three of his events – 100yd dash, 220yd dash and the broad jump (now long jump). He also had the Regional record for both dashes and Sectional record for the 220. He posted the state’s best time in either of the dashes his sophomore, junior and senior years, and in 1949, he received national recognition for running the second fastest 100yds in the country with 9.8 secs.

Carmel was small potatoes back then. The population was around 750. Sports were only offered to boys, and they only had one each season - softball in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in the spring. Carmel didn’t usually compete at the state level. Back then, the county tournament was the big show for Carmel athletes. Now here’s what made Stubbs so remarkable, Carmel DID NOT EVEN HAVE A TRACK! He trained on grass, and he had three different coaches in four years, none of whom had a background in the sport. His accomplishments were made on talent alone. Imagine what he could have done if he had been properly trained.

Stubbs was a big reason that track was as popular in the county as football and basketball in his day. The Ledger wrote that the county tournament his sophomore year had “an overflow crowd which jammed the bleachers and lined the fence four or five deep – undoubtedly the largest crowd to ever witness a track meet in Hamilton County.” The following year, it was reported that 1,000 people attended the tournament. The tournament was a whole thing back then. Included in the pageantry was a parade of competitors led by the Noblesville HS marching band and the crowing of a Noblesville HS student queen of the meet, but Stubbs was the star of the show.

A State Championship eluded him, and perhaps that’s why he has been somewhat forgotten. His junior year, the year he posted the 2nd fastest time in the country, he arrived at the state tournament with an injury and without a coach. His coach was in Washington D.C., chaperoning the senior class trip, so CHS Principal Lester Parker accompanied Stubbs to the tournament instead. Stubbs hobbled across the finish line in the 100yd finals and had to pull out of the rest of the tournament. His senior year, he qualified for Regionals, but did not compete. He graduated the day before, and the Ledger said he got a job and wasn’t going to run in the meet. He and his family moved to Indianapolis soon after, and just like that, it was over.

None of Stubbs classmates knew it, but he joined the National Guard during his Junior year. He went active duty in the regular Army during the Korean War and remained in the Army Reserve until his death in 1977.

If you want to know the whole story with year-by-year breakdowns of his track career, you can find it in an article we wrote awhile back linked below. If you look thought the photos attached to this post, you'll see the distance he put on his competitors.

https://www.carmelclayhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/CCHS1704-reduced.pdf

Address

211 1st St SW
Carmel, IN
46032

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 17:00 - 19:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 13:00 - 16:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(317) 846-7117

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Carmel Clay Historical Society posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Carmel Clay Historical Society:

Videos

Nearby museums


Comments

Carmel High School class of 1941 My father and his twin are in this picture. He tried to ID everyone at sometime but I can tell it is not accurate. Possibly the first row and the last row are accurate. For sure my father is Larry Bauer back row 4th from left and his twin Harry Bauer 2nd from end. back row. See if you can id your parents grandparents.
Can anyone tell me if there is a group locally that investigates what were once homes/habitats here in Carmel. I know of one that needs some explaining.Thanks.
The Carmel Clay Historical Society would like to invite you to share your COVID-19 experiences with us. Our society has safeguarded the city of Carmel and Clay Township's histories for many years. We recognize that this is a historic time and would like to take a proactive approach to collecting COVID-19 stories and photographs. Please take part in our COVID-19 collecting initiative by participating in our survey.
Calling all Forest Dale Elementary Alumni! Go Falcons! We are holding our PTO Silent Auciton on February 29th, 2020 this year. We are looking for photos from Forest Dale Alumni to display at our PTO Silent Auction this year. Our theme is "Leap Into the Future". As we "Leap" we thought it would be fun to see images of our past. Photos can be sent digitally to [email protected] and put "Silent Auction Photos" in the subject line. We will be displaying the photos by decade at the Silent Aucition being held at the Woodland Country Club on February 29th, 2020. If you would like to participate in our Online Silent Auction, you can register here https://qtego.net/qlink/forestdale/register to bid on one of over 180 auction items for local businesses here in a variety of categoreis: restaurants: wellness, travel, family activities, adult activities, wine and spirits, and so much more! Also, if you have a local business and you would like to either donate an item for auction or become one of our sponsors for the event, email [email protected] for more information. For sponsors, you can also click here https://www.ccs.k12.in.us/pto-fde/fundraising/silent-auction. Thank you so much for helping us make this event a success! The Forest Dale Elementary PTO Silent Auction Team
I've been doing some family research and discovered Range Line became US 31 to at least the county line to the north. Does anyone know how Range Line got its name?
Just a couple of the wonderful homes on the upcoming Holiday Home Tour! Go to the website to buy tickets ! Please share! carmelclayhistory.org
do you have any more pics with Wilson or Redwine? I love doing ancestry and was excited to see you just post a pic of my grandfather and my mother had a story to go with it! 😀
Ruth and I are looking forward to meeting folks at "Five-Ten" this weekend! Come in and take your ease... :)
I collect bowling pins (some old ones) and came across one branded Mac's with Carmel, IN in the label. I think it has to be from the 1930s or so. Was there a company in Carmel that made these pins?
Best perk of membership ever! The dog and I have been reading the rest of the Ketchum's Town since the mail arrived along with my newsletter and this wonderful booklet. Thanks to Andrew Wright for a wonderful, well documented story. I love knowing more and more about Carmel. If you aren't a Historical Society member, you should be so that you can enjoy this wonderful perk.
I am looking for anyone who has a copy of a recording or pictures from the 📣👠1985/86 school year production of The Wizard of Oz. 🎥 I was a freshman and my mom found the munchkin costume she made me for the musical. I’ve already contacted the present Director of Theatre and Film at the high school and he said he has never even seen anything about that production. Not even pictures. Can someone point me in the right direction, please?