Carmel Clay Historical Society

Carmel Clay Historical Society The Carmel Clay Historical Society collects, preserves, and interprets the history of Carmel and Clay Township.
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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.

CCHS is proud to highlight our sponsor Wedgewood Building Company. Wedgewood Building Co. is a custom home builder based...
01/06/2020
Wedgewood Building Company

CCHS is proud to highlight our sponsor Wedgewood Building Company. Wedgewood Building Co. is a custom home builder based in Carmel. They have residential developments all over Central Indiana. Some of their Carmel developments include Jackson's Grant, Clay Corner, and The Legacy, as well as developments in the Carmel Arts and Design District and West Clay. We appreciate their support!

After 65 years, Clay Center will have a school again! Carmel Clay Schools recently announced the school will open in the...
12/30/2019

After 65 years, Clay Center will have a school again! Carmel Clay Schools recently announced the school will open in the fall of 2021 along Clay Center Road and will be called Clay Center Elementary!

The first school in Clay Center was held in a log cabin on the north side of 116th Street near Pennsylvania Street in 1835. It was replaced with a frame schoolhouse on the north side of 116th Street east of Ditch Road in 1866. The building was replaced in 1899, when the Poplar Ridge Seminary building was moved onto the northeast corner of 116th Street and Clay Center Road.

In 1903 a well was dug one hundred twenty-eight feet deep on the school’s property and provided Clay Center with clear, clean water. The water was piped down the road to a large steel tank for public use. The well drew such interest that there was talk of opening a sanitarium in the area, and the name of the school was changed from Clay Center to Fountain School for several years. In 1912 the township built a modern brick school on the same lot and consolidated its remaining school districts. The Clay Center School closed in 1956.

This picture is of the frame building in use 1866-1899. The picture was taken in 1892. You can read more about plans for the new school at the link below.

http://youarecurrent.com/2019/12/19/carmel-clay-schools-proposes-name-for-new-elementary-school/

The snow is melting, and the temperatures this week will be ideal for spending time outdoors! In 1900, Frank Hattery and...
12/23/2019

The snow is melting, and the temperatures this week will be ideal for spending time outdoors! In 1900, Frank Hattery and Claude Campbell enjoyed a picnic in the woods. Sounds nice!

I saw some children sledding down the hill at Brookshire this week, and I was reminded that some things are timeless. Ba...
12/20/2019

I saw some children sledding down the hill at Brookshire this week, and I was reminded that some things are timeless. Back in the 1860s and 1870s, sledding was the thing to do. The following memory comes from John F. Haines, who lived in the town/neighborhood called Gray at 146th Street and Gray Road. The pictures are of Clayton Day and Margaret Moon sledding in 1914.

At our school there was a long hill, and when the snow came we soon had the surface of this hill so smooth and slick that our sleds went down like they were shot out of a gun. There were no fancy sleds in those days. They were made by the boy or his father in the farm shop. There was at least one long, wide board, which we called the Mud Boat, long enough to carry ten or twelve passengers. This would go down the hill at lightning speed, across the road and through the fence, leaving the passengers in a pile outside the fence. It all looked dangerous, but I do not remember of anyone getting seriously hurt. The Gray cemetery has spread out over this hill, and many whose joyous laughter and happy shouts made glad the wintry air of those dear schooldays so long ago now lie there in their last long peaceful slumber. - John F. Haines

Our book, The Early History of Carmel Schools, is perfect a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone interested in Carmel’s p...
12/17/2019

Our book, The Early History of Carmel Schools, is perfect a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone interested in Carmel’s past! AND IT'S ONLY $5! The book has over fifty pages of stories about the pioneer schools that used to dot the landscape in Carmel. The book also details the history of Carmel High School and includes over twenty pictures of old schoolhouses. You cannot go wrong with this gift! Stop by the Monon Depot to pick up a copy Monday - Friday, 11am-4pm. If you are unable to visit the Depot, give us a call at 317-846-7117, and we will arrange to ship you a copy.

We still have a few "seats" left for tonight's 7:30 pm "departure" of our "All Aboard the Polar Express" program! This w...
12/14/2019
All Aboard the Polar Express! | Carmel Clay Historical Society

We still have a few "seats" left for tonight's 7:30 pm "departure" of our "All Aboard the Polar Express" program! This will be a magical evening for children in our 1800's Monon Depot Museum with a candlelit reading of the classic book, special gifts, Christmas music, yummy treats, and holiday art activities! Space is filling up fast today, so if you are wanting to "hop aboard" register quickly at:

http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/polar-express

Walk-in space is not guaranteed due to the great response to this event. Please resister by 5:00 pm to ensure a child's magical personalized gift!

We still have open "seats" for our second Polar Express program this Saturday from 7:30-8:30 pm! If you and your little ...
12/13/2019

We still have open "seats" for our second Polar Express program this Saturday from 7:30-8:30 pm! If you and your little ones are wanting to hop "aboard", be sure to get your registration in!

http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/polar-express

Attention Passengers! We are nearly full for our Polar Express event with just a couple more spots open! If you would li...
12/10/2019

Attention Passengers!

We are nearly full for our Polar Express event with just a couple more spots open! If you would like to join our 6:00 pm "departure" please call/email/register online ASAP.

However, we are opening a SECOND event the same evening from
7:30-8:30 pm if you do not make our first "boarding"! All the same fun, just a little later "route"!

Join us for a festive evening of storytelling and fun in our 1800s train station! Enjoy a reading of The Polar Express, cookies and hot cocoa, special gifts, and holiday art activities at the Monon Depot. All ages are welcome. The cost is $5 per child. Holiday attire and pajamas are encouraged!

For more information and to register:

Online Registration: https://www.carmelclayhistory.org/polar-express
(please register each child, adults do not need registration)

Phone: Amy Grove at 317-846-7117
Email: [email protected].

Join us for a MAGICAL evening of storytelling & fun inside our 1800s Monon Depot Museum!Enjoy a reading of "The Polar Ex...
12/09/2019

Join us for a MAGICAL evening of storytelling & fun inside our 1800s Monon Depot Museum!

Enjoy a reading of "The Polar Express", cookies & hot cocoa, special gifts, & a holiday art activity! Pajamas & holiday attire are encouraged!

We will be "departing" from the Monon Depot Museum:
-Saturday, December 14th 6:00-7:00 pm
-All ages welcome! $5 per child, adults are free

We have very limited space, so please register ASAP by:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 317-846-7117
Online at:
https://www.carmelclayhistory.org/polar-express (please register each child)

We look forward to having your little ones "aboard"!

Some people are hard to shop for, but we can help! Consider purchasing a brick to memorialize or honor a loved one. Our ...
12/09/2019
Legacy Brick Pavers | Carmel Clay Historical Society

Some people are hard to shop for, but we can help! Consider purchasing a brick to memorialize or honor a loved one. Our legacy paver bricks can be engraved with the name of a loved one, business or association. The pavers will be placed in the sidewalk on Main Street or in the common area of Midtown Plaza near Monon Boulevard. Visit our website for more information!

The Carmel Clay Historical Society and the City of Carmel invite you to be a part of Carmel’s history by purchasing a brick paver to be placed in a city sidewalk or common area. The paver can be engraved with your name, the name of a loved one, business or association. The pavers will be placed in...

12/06/2019
Demie Johnson

It's our biggest event of the year! Hope to see you tonight or Saturday ...

Carmel Clay Historical Society holiday home tour happening this weekend!

These are a few of the most historically significant and beautiful homes in the Carmel Arts & Design District ... and th...
12/02/2019

These are a few of the most historically significant and beautiful homes in the Carmel Arts & Design District ... and they are on this year's HOLIDAY HOME TOUR ... the most popular event of our year (and our biggest fundraiser that supports all that we do to educate and encourage the love of local history). You know these homes ... you drive by them or walk by them... NOW ... you get to see them on the inside. THIS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, December 6-7. Get your tickets today! Click on the link below ...

https://carmelclayhistory.wildapricot.org/event-3588768

In 1951 Carmel High School was so overcrowded that the principal tried to convert the coal bin in the basement to a clas...
11/26/2019
www.carmelclayhistory.org

In 1951 Carmel High School was so overcrowded that the principal tried to convert the coal bin in the basement to a classroom! The only thing that stopped them was they would have to put in a gas heater and the utility told them they couldn't run gas to the school at the time. The homecoming floats that year made light of the overcrowding. Some of them are pictured here.

At the time, the HS was built for a capacity of 300, but 621 students attended the school! For more than a decade, construction of a new high school was delayed by the inability of Clay and Delaware to work together or adjust their boundary so that they wouldn't have to. The process of consolidating Clay and West Delaware Township took more than a century. You can read all about it in our article, "A Town Divided."

Have you ever heard of Carmel Township!? It was a real thing... for a couple of months. When Carmel was platted on the b...
11/21/2019
www.carmelclayhistory.org

Have you ever heard of Carmel Township!? It was a real thing... for a couple of months. When Carmel was platted on the boundary between Clay and Delaware Township (Range Line Road), half the town was in either township. This of course created many problems. In 1850, residents petitioned the county commissioners to create a new township that would be bounded by what is now Spring Mill Road and White River. The new township was called Carmel Township. Several months later, they asked the commissioners to restore the original boundaries of Clay and Delaware.

You can read more about it in our article "A Town Divided."

Our eNewsletter for the fourth quarter of 2019 is linked below! Inside you'll find information about the Holiday Home To...
11/20/2019
www.carmelclayhistory.org

Our eNewsletter for the fourth quarter of 2019 is linked below! Inside you'll find information about the Holiday Home Tour, holiday gift ideas, a recap our our Annual Meeting, and more! We have also released a new historical article on the history of the consolidation of Clay and West Delaware Township. You can read that article here:

http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/A-Town-Divided.pdf

One of our Facebook friends recently asked how we find all this information. It is rarely the case that we find all the ...
11/14/2019

One of our Facebook friends recently asked how we find all this information. It is rarely the case that we find all the information we need about a subject in one place. More often, we search for bits of information from several sources and then puzzle them together. For this week’s post, we'll give a glimpse of the process. We had this old photo of a schoolhouse in our collection. We knew it had to be either the Hazel Valley school (far northeast side of Carmel) or the White Chapel school in Mattsville (across from the White Chapel church near Flowing Well Park) because we had already identified the other schoolhouses.

Here’s how we figured it out. We know from previous research that flags were not flown above Hamilton County district schools until 1891 with most schools raising them in 1892. Hamilton Co. Superintendent Ellis Hutchens had a picture taken of every schoolhouse in 1892; this photo was most likely part of that series. The trustee in the photo was Wilk Moffitt. Moffitt served as trustee through 1895, so the range of the photo is 1892-1895. We found a blurb in a newspaper in 1900 announcing that a bell was added to the school in Mattsville. As this school had a bell between 1892-1895, it must be the Hazel Valley school. The question then became whether it was the new Hazel Valley on Main Street or the old one on Cherry Tree Road. We found blurbs in the newspaper that said the new Hazel Valley school was built in 1891 and opened in 1892. That information along with the design of the building told us that this is a picture of the new Hazel Valley school on Main Street, which was commonly called the Frog Pond School.

It takes a lot of work to piece together the history of our city, but it is worth the effort! If you are interested in learning more about the schools, purchase a copy of our book!

Tomorrow is the last day to see the WHJE exhibit! So brave the weather and stop by the Depot! We'll be open 10am-4pm.
11/12/2019

Tomorrow is the last day to see the WHJE exhibit! So brave the weather and stop by the Depot! We'll be open 10am-4pm.

The Holiday Home Tour is fast approaching! This year we have six homes on the tour. They are all located in and around t...
11/07/2019

The Holiday Home Tour is fast approaching! This year we have six homes on the tour. They are all located in and around the Arts and Design District, making this an easily walkable tour! Click the link below for more information and to purchase tickets!

https://carmelclayhistory.wildapricot.org/event-3588768

Students in the 1840s-1880s didn’t have youth leagues or school athletic programs, so recess meant everything to them – ...
11/04/2019

Students in the 1840s-1880s didn’t have youth leagues or school athletic programs, so recess meant everything to them – and they had three a day! Sometimes the boys and girls played separately, and the children often separated themselves by age, but there were many games that drew the interest and participation of the entire school. Prison base was a popular, rough version of tag that left the girls with torn dresses and the boys with ripped pockets.

The most popular game when John F. Haines started at Carmel High School in 1872 was shinny, an early version of field hockey. Haines wrote, “Athletics in those days did not play as prominent a part in the schools as they do at this time, but the champion shinny player of that day was just as proud of his record as the baseball or football player of the present.” These kids weren’t playing around. Haines recalled a particularly contentious game of Shinny. “I shall never forget one incident that occurred on the shinny field. In a scratch I had succeeded in taking the ball and my opponent became very angry; he called me a name that reflected on my mother. Now I was always a worshiper of my mother, she was so good and kind and did so much for her boys, so that any reflection on her good name… made me fighting mad, so I proceeded to pound the offender with my club until he howled lustily. But that did not destroy our friendship for we were friends for more than fifty years.”

In Haines's last years at Carmel High School, town-ball and scrub were the favorite games. They were forerunners to baseball. By the time he was teaching at the Pleasant Grove in the late 1870s, there were enough students at every schoolhouse to play baseball. These stories and more are included in our book, “The Early History of Carmel Schools.” It is on sale at the Depot for $5.

The picture below is of the original Blue School that was located east of Keystone on 106th Street. The picture was taken in 1892.

Carmel High School was small in the 1910s. Each class might have as few as 12-20 students, with a total high school enro...
10/29/2019

Carmel High School was small in the 1910s. Each class might have as few as 12-20 students, with a total high school enrollment between 40-55 students. Because there were so few students, the individual classes were close. One of the big events was the annual intramural basketball tournament. Each class fielded a team and battled for the top honor. There weren’t a lot of extracurricular activities, but students hosted numerous class parties at their houses. It was common for the different classes to prank each other at these parties.

In 1913 Bernice Hussey hosted a Halloween party for the sophomore class. According to the class history, “This [party] was quite successful, for everyone was dressed in fancy costumes; the clown, the farmer, the bride, the fairy and even ‘Wild’ who winked his 'eye' very naturally.” I’m not sure who “Wild” was, but it sounded like they had a good time. When it was time to go home, the sophomores were surprised to find that their buggies were gone! The freshmen had driven the buggies into a field and smeared resin on the harnesses!! The sophomores were amused because a prank of some sort was expected.Keep an eye on your buggy this Halloween!

This story is included in our book, “The Early History of Carmel Schools.” The book is for sale at the Monon Depot. Only $5.

These pictures are of classmates of Bernice Hussey. They likely attended her Halloween party. Unfortunately they weren’t labeled.

10/24/2019

Stop the presses!!!! The WHJE exhibit runs through November 13th! I've had my nose in the history books and didn't realize we had extended the dates! Sorry for the confusion.

This post originally said that this was the last weekend for the WHJE exhibit. That is incorrect. The exhibit runs throu...
10/24/2019

This post originally said that this was the last weekend for the WHJE exhibit. That is incorrect. The exhibit runs through November 13. Our weekend hours are Friday 5-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm.

Yesterday we told you about how the teachers of old could be cruel. The generation of teachers that followed were better...
10/22/2019

Yesterday we told you about how the teachers of old could be cruel. The generation of teachers that followed were better trained and less cruel, but even as late as 1889 four Hamilton County teachers were arrested for abuse. In his history of Hamilton County, former Carmel High School Principal John F. Haines (1883-1886) told of a strange custom that flipped the power dynamic between teachers and students on its head. Students expected to receive a treat from their teacher over the Christmas holiday. If the teacher did not treat them, they would drag the teacher out of the school, take them to a creek or pond, cut a hole in the ice and throw them in the water. It was called “ducking the teacher.” Some of these students were young men and women in their late teens and early twenties. They were capable of overpowering a teacher with strength and numbers. If you’re thinking, “I can imagine the boys doing this, but not the girls,” just consider what occurred in Sullivan, IN, in 1903. That year, five girls and one boy tied their female teacher to an iron trough, threw her in a pond AND THEN LEFT HER THERE! She was rescued, but nearly died from pneumonia. All those children were arrested and fined. School life in the early days was no joke!

This picture is of the schoolhouse on the southwest corner of 106th Street and College Avenue in Pleasant Grove (Home Place). Haines taught at this school in the late 1870s. Fortunately he was a nice teacher and treated the students well. He was never ducked. You can learn all about "ducking the teacher" and other stories about the early schools in our new book. It's available for $5 at the Monon Depot.

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211 1st St SW
Carmel, IN
46032

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