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.

Operating as usual

Here’s another story from our book "Stories from the Boom Years," which is available now at the Monon Depot. In the earl...
04/28/2021

Here’s another story from our book "Stories from the Boom Years," which is available now at the Monon Depot.

In the early spring of 1904, Elmer Davis and Roscoe Mann opened a barbershop in the west building of the Bond Block, a set of three adjoined buildings owned by Calvin Bond. The buildings were located where the Carmel Old Town Antique Mall is today. Bond’s furniture store was in the middle building, and Alpheus Farlow’s General Store was in the east building. When the barbershop was plumbed for gas, one end of a pipe that extended under the furniture store was left unplugged, and gas collected under the floorboards of all three buildings. On the afternoon of March 31, 1904, Davis and Mann struck a match to light their stove and ignited the gas.

The explosion shattered windows across the street and could be heard for miles. Residents reported seeing a sheet of flames lift the roof off the building. The interior of the barbershop was destroyed. Davis and Mann were both cut and bruised about the head. Bond was thrown against the ceiling of his furniture store and was showered with falling timbers. One of his legs was crushed at the knee, and he suffered internal injuries as well. The force of the blast was so great that a chair leg pierced a ceiling board and remained stuck there.

The general store’s sixteen year old clerk, Bessie Wickersham, was hurled through the front window and was covered in debris. Residents rushed to her aid and quickly extinguished a fire that was started by the store’s overturned stove. Fortunately, the occupants of the rooms on the second floor of the block were out at the time of the explosion. Seventy-two-year-old Calvin Bond was not expected to recover from his injuries, but he lived another nine years.

Our new book "Stories from the Boom Years" is now available at the Depot! It begins with the gas boom, which wasn't the ...
04/23/2021

Our new book "Stories from the Boom Years" is now available at the Depot! It begins with the gas boom, which wasn't the boom residents had hoped it would be, but it did provide the town with a cheap and convenient fuel source, and it led to the discovery of the Flowing Well.

After the turn of the 20th century, the real boom began. Between 1901 and 1903, Carmel got Rural Free Delivery of mail, local and long distance telephone service, electricity, and the interurban railroad. The interurban was an electric streetcar line that allowed people to live in Carmel and commute to work in Indianapolis. The population seemed to grow over night and the culture began to change in town.

Carmel had always been a dry town, but people started to smuggle booze in on the interurban, and one of the town's most prominent citizens began selling it under the counter at his drug store. The influx of new residents also led to some tension. It's almost unbelievable, but a group called the Civic Pride Club sneaked around at night tacking up posters on buildings in town ridiculing residents for their poor grammar, unkempt lawns and country ways. The book also includes stories about the Carmel Horse Show and the Great Fire and Flood of 1913. We also printed a few copies of two books we wrote a while ago but never printed.

All three books are available now at the Depot!

Our new book "Stories from the Boom Years" is now available at the Depot! It begins with the gas boom, which wasn't the boom residents had hoped it would be, but it did provide the town with a cheap and convenient fuel source, and it led to the discovery of the Flowing Well.

After the turn of the 20th century, the real boom began. Between 1901 and 1903, Carmel got Rural Free Delivery of mail, local and long distance telephone service, electricity, and the interurban railroad. The interurban was an electric streetcar line that allowed people to live in Carmel and commute to work in Indianapolis. The population seemed to grow over night and the culture began to change in town.

Carmel had always been a dry town, but people started to smuggle booze in on the interurban, and one of the town's most prominent citizens began selling it under the counter at his drug store. The influx of new residents also led to some tension. It's almost unbelievable, but a group called the Civic Pride Club sneaked around at night tacking up posters on buildings in town ridiculing residents for their poor grammar, unkempt lawns and country ways. The book also includes stories about the Carmel Horse Show and the Great Fire and Flood of 1913. We also printed a few copies of two books we wrote a while ago but never printed.

All three books are available now at the Depot!

Have you ever wondered why Carmel’s seal has a drill rig and a flame? The seal was designed during the gas boom. After n...
04/20/2021

Have you ever wondered why Carmel’s seal has a drill rig and a flame? The seal was designed during the gas boom. After natural gas was discovered in Portland, IN, in 1886, towns all across east-central Indiana began drilling. On February 16, 1888, the Carmel Natural Gas and Improvement Co. struck gas near where the Donald Swails, Jr. Fire Station is on Veterans Way. Gone were the days of lighting a fire every time you wanted to heat your home or cook! Natural gas was a cheap and convenient fuel source. In many cases, small towns grew almost overnight after they discovered gas. Factories came to the state by the hundreds. Glass factories opened in Noblesville, Sheridan, Cicero, Arcadia and Atlanta during the gas boom. Carmel believed its future was tied to the resource as well and adopted a gas-themed seal.

However, Carmel did not grow much as a result of the gas boom. According to the censuses, Carmel only added 27 people between 1890 and 1900. Though the gas boom had a limited impact on Carmel, it is still commemorated on the city’s seal today.

Here is something interesting though, Clay Township has the distinction of being the site of the first discovery of natural gas in the state. According to Zina Warren's history of Carmel, Ezekiel Clampitt purchased land at West Main and Six Points Road in 1832. He soon after dug a water well and heard a hissing sound coming from the bottom. His wife and a neighbor were on hand as he lowered a candle to investigate. The candle ignited natural gas that was seeping out of his well. The explosion blew the hat off his head, knocked his wife to the ground and caught his neighbor's tow-cloth suit on fire!! Clampitt's flaming well was an attraction for some time, but he eventually filled it in.

We have a new book coming out later this week that tells the story of natural gas in Carmel among many others. Swing by the Depot next week and pick up a copy!

On May 23, 1902, the Kemper Brothers were arrested by the Delaware Township constable for “Sabbath breaking.” Five days ...
04/14/2021

On May 23, 1902, the Kemper Brothers were arrested by the Delaware Township constable for “Sabbath breaking.” Five days prior, they had sold goods from their general store in Mattsville on a Sunday in violation of the state's blue laws. Justice of the Peace J. M. Stipp assessed a fine of $1.00 for the crime. However, it seems the Kemper Bros. did not learn their lesson. They were arrested again in March 1903 for the same crime. Fortunately for them, the case was dismissed. Carmel began to relax its enforcement of the blue laws around 1908. That year, the town’s baseball club announced it would play home games on Sunday for the first time.

This is a picture of the Mattsville general store. It was built in 1860 by Madison “Matt” Richardson for whom the town was named. The general store and post office were on the first floor, and there were living quarters on the second floor. Mattsville was a small community located at 116th Street and Haverstick Road.

On May 23, 1902, the Kemper Brothers were arrested by the Delaware Township constable for “Sabbath breaking.” Five days prior, they had sold goods from their general store in Mattsville on a Sunday in violation of the state's blue laws. Justice of the Peace J. M. Stipp assessed a fine of $1.00 for the crime. However, it seems the Kemper Bros. did not learn their lesson. They were arrested again in March 1903 for the same crime. Fortunately for them, the case was dismissed. Carmel began to relax its enforcement of the blue laws around 1908. That year, the town’s baseball club announced it would play home games on Sunday for the first time.

This is a picture of the Mattsville general store. It was built in 1860 by Madison “Matt” Richardson for whom the town was named. The general store and post office were on the first floor, and there were living quarters on the second floor. Mattsville was a small community located at 116th Street and Haverstick Road.

If you missed last night’s Book Talk with Josh Kirsh checkout our videos section at www.carmelclayhistory.org. A recordi...
04/08/2021

If you missed last night’s Book Talk with Josh Kirsh checkout our videos section at www.carmelclayhistory.org. A recording of the Facebook Live reading of Look Where We Live: A First Book of Community has been uploaded there!

If you missed last night’s Book Talk with Josh Kirsh checkout our videos section at www.carmelclayhistory.org. A recording of the Facebook Live reading of Look Where We Live: A First Book of Community has been uploaded there!

04/07/2021
It’s time for another installment of CCHS Book Talks! Tune in tomorrow April 7th at 7:00PM to our Facebook Live. Our rea...
04/06/2021
carmelclayhistoricalsociety-my.sharepoint.com

It’s time for another installment of CCHS Book Talks! Tune in tomorrow April 7th at 7:00PM to our Facebook Live. Our readers for the month are Josh Kirsh, Engineering Administrator with the City of Carmel and his son. They will be reading the children’s book, "Look Where We Live: A First Book of Community Building" by Scot Ritchie. The activity of the month is a worksheet where children can interview their neighbors to help build community within their neighborhoods.

The link to the worksheet is below.

On Saturday, the Greyhounds will take on Lawrence North in the basketball state championship! We’ve come a long way from...
03/30/2021

On Saturday, the Greyhounds will take on Lawrence North in the basketball state championship! We’ve come a long way from 1903. That was the first season of basketball at CHS. That year Carmel practiced in a 30’x30’ room on the second floor of the high school. The room was so small the free throw circles touched. The following season they played on an outdoor court. We weren’t the only ones without a gymnasium. Sheridan played in an opera house. Boxley players walked five miles to play in an old hall in Sheridan. Westfield played in the basement of their high school.

Carmel was nearly unbeatable on the two grass courts constructed in 1915. The baskets can be seen in the attached photos. The team learned to pass a lot because it was hard to dribble on the uneven ground. Home games were limited to the fall and early spring. In winter months, Carmel practiced on the upper floor of the Carmel Garage, now the Carmel Old Town Antique Mall. Later, CHS played in the drive-thru of the lumberyard.

Now here we are over a century later going for our 5th state championship. Good luck, Greyhounds!!

Carmel’s first movie theater was opened by William Hawkins in February 1908. He ran the theater out of the block buildin...
03/23/2021

Carmel’s first movie theater was opened by William Hawkins in February 1908. He ran the theater out of the block building his brother had just completed one lot east of Carl Thomas’s general store, which was on the southwest corner of Main and Range Line. The Hamilton County Times reported: “Carmel has a new electric theater, and the people are going wild over the event.”

The theater was a hit, but it was short lived in the block building. By March, Hawkins had relocated the theater to a building east of the L. J. Small drug store on the NE corner of the intersection. Soon after Hawkins vacated the block building, Frank Strattan opened a restaurant, which is pictured here in Oct 1908 during the Carmel Horse Show. You can learn more about the theater and the horse show in our next book, which will be available later this spring!

We have been waiting for this day to arrive with great anticipation! Why? Because it’s the 117th anniversary of the disc...
03/15/2021

We have been waiting for this day to arrive with great anticipation! Why? Because it’s the 117th anniversary of the discovery of the Flowing Well. What’s so important about that, you may wonder… well, until a few weeks ago, no one knew (actually, one man knew - read the article!) when exactly the well was drilled. However, we found some of the missing pieces to the puzzle and that confirm this beloved landmark was discovered on March 15, 1904. You can read all about it in our newsletter linked below!

http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CCHS2101.pdf

We have been waiting for this day to arrive with great anticipation! Why? Because it’s the 117th anniversary of the discovery of the Flowing Well. What’s so important about that, you may wonder… well, until a few weeks ago, no one knew (actually, one man knew - read the article!) when exactly the well was drilled. However, we found some of the missing pieces to the puzzle and that confirm this beloved landmark was discovered on March 15, 1904. You can read all about it in our newsletter linked below!

http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CCHS2101.pdf

Beautify your backyard and mulch to support the Carmel Clay Historical Society throughout the ENTIRE year!When you purch...
03/08/2021

Beautify your backyard and mulch to support the Carmel Clay Historical Society throughout the ENTIRE year!

When you purchase any landscape products from Musselman Landscape Solutions throughout the year, mention our organization in any way, and we will receive 10% of your sale! Orders also can be made online at MusselmanLandscape.com using the code CCHS at checkout.

Beautify your backyard and mulch to support the Carmel Clay Historical Society throughout the ENTIRE year!

When you purchase any landscape products from Musselman Landscape Solutions throughout the year, mention our organization in any way, and we will receive 10% of your sale! Orders also can be made online at MusselmanLandscape.com using the code CCHS at checkout.

If you missed Courtney Kingston’s reading of Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham, check it out here or on our website at www....
03/04/2021
Google Forms - create and analyze surveys, for free.

If you missed Courtney Kingston’s reading of Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham, check it out here or on our website at www.carmelclayhistory.org. The link to the survey activity for the event can be found in the comment section of the video or at the link below.

https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fforms.gle%2FPQCGtEWV3GmPDqpW7&data=04%7C01%7Cawright%40carmelclayhistory.org%7C820cff723c1f456c5d6708d8d8b6ae57%7C58956598766742b08c65d471c5f253cd%7C0%7C0%7C637497626428046703%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=HffiG1L1xKSYutbC4E6VoYdUogDAPffaBjty9AhL4NI%3D&reserved=0

Create a new survey on your own or with others at the same time. Choose from a variety of survey types and analyze results in Google Forms. Free from Google.

03/04/2021
CCHS Book Talk

CCHS Live NOW: Carmel Physician Assistant. Courtney Kingston reads Outside, Inside by children’s author, LeUyen Pham. Outside, Inside is a book created to help explain to children the coronavirus pandemic, centered around the idea that everyone suddenly went inside one day at once. This book honors essential workers while helping children understand the great changes of the past year.

Additionally, to go along with the story, we are collecting yours and your children’s stories about living through the pandemic. By filling out this Google survey, you will be helping to preserve history in Carmel and tell the true story of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Carmel's citizens. Within the survey there are places to upload photos and reflect on the past year. This is the beginning of a larger formal oral history project that the Carmel-Clay Historical Society hopes to begin in order to document this part of Carmel history.

Link to Google survey: https://forms.gle/PQCGtEWV3GmPDqpW7

Don't forget! Today at 7:00PM, Courtney Kingston will be reading Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham via Facebook Live. This ...
03/03/2021

Don't forget! Today at 7:00PM, Courtney Kingston will be reading Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham via Facebook Live. This critically acclaimed children’s book can help children process all the changes that have occurred in society due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Follow this link to reflect with your child or alone on the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it has had on your family and your community. This activity is the beginning of a larger oral history project that will document COVID-19's effect on our Carmel community. If you are interested in being a part of that project, please email Emily Hanawalt, Collections and Membership Manager at [email protected]

Don't forget! Today at 7:00PM, Courtney Kingston will be reading Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham via Facebook Live. This critically acclaimed children’s book can help children process all the changes that have occurred in society due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Follow this link to reflect with your child or alone on the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it has had on your family and your community. This activity is the beginning of a larger oral history project that will document COVID-19's effect on our Carmel community. If you are interested in being a part of that project, please email Emily Hanawalt, Collections and Membership Manager at [email protected]

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

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Comments

Also Digital Indiana will be scanning my great grandpas photos taken on the old James FHaines / George W Hinshaw farm in early 1900 ( 1908-14 ) Photos taken by George W Hinshaw (1861-1935)
Rescued my Grandpa Hinshaw's diplomas today! 1926 Elementary school 1930 Carmel HS
I am the webmaster for a site that covers the history of the IHSAA State T&F meet. I'm currently trying to locate the grades for all athletes who medaled at the state meet. I've had success at locating most of the Carmel medalists' grades (both boys and girls), but have not been able to find the grades for the following from Carmel...the year in parentheses is the year the athlete medaled at state which is note necessarily the year they graduated). Joseph Roberts, 2nd in 120 yard hurdles (1910) ? Hoskins (first name unknown), 2nd in 120 hurdles (1913) Fred Roeder, 3rd in high jump (1924) It's a long shot being almost 100 years ago and more, but thought I'd see if anyone here might know or have some leads on where to find out (I tried searching for online yearbooks from that era with no luck) Any help is appreciated!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU Carmel Clay Historical Society for the fabulous Virtual Home Tour! We just finished it and were more than impressed! What a wonderful peek into these beautiful homes, and thanks to Don and Lynnette Gross for the extraordinary tour and guidance throughout their weekend home. If you haven't purchased tickets, I HOPE they are available because you will be delighted you are able to take this virtual home tour! (though now my own home is leaving me a bit disappointed)
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! 😀