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.

The first Fourth of July parade in Carmel was a neighborhood parade for children in 1944. They made costumes and floats ...
07/03/2019

The first Fourth of July parade in Carmel was a neighborhood parade for children in 1944. They made costumes and floats pulled on wagons. The Carmel School Mothers Club sponsored the parade in 1946, and more children were invited to participate. Prizes were awarded for the best costumes. When CHS started a school band 1950-51, it was chosen to lead the parade that 4th. It appears the last of these parades was in 1953. In 1975 the Bicentennial Steering Committee organized a Horse and Buggy Parade that included patriotic floats like the one pictured here. The Bicentennial parade the following year was large and well attended. Parades from late 70s to the early 80s were smaller. Carmel's Sesquicentennial gave momentum for larger parades in 1986 and 1987. In 1988, CarmelFest was born, and this year thousands of people will line the streets to watch the parade.

Join us for a free public screening of the film "The Legend of the Reno Brothers" TOMORROW, 7-8:30pm at the Carmel Clay ...
07/01/2019

Join us for a free public screening of the film "The Legend of the Reno Brothers" TOMORROW, 7-8:30pm at the Carmel Clay Public Library. The film tells the story of the Reno Gang from Seymour, Indiana, who wreaked havoc across the Midwest from 1864-1868 and were responsible for the first three peacetime train robberies in the United States.

The film is recommended for ages 13 and up due to violence, alcohol usage, and strong language.

In 1921 Herman Merklin purchased twenty-two acres on the south side of 116th Street to build Northern Beach Park. Over t...
06/28/2019

In 1921 Herman Merklin purchased twenty-two acres on the south side of 116th Street to build Northern Beach Park. Over the years he made many additions to his park: a playground, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, horseshoe courts, and amenities for fishing and boating. The most impressive feature came in 1928. That year, Merklin built a large, concrete pool that was fed by artesian wells.

Sadly, Merklin did not get to enjoy his creation for very long. He died in 1929, but his family continued to operate the park until 1971.

If you live in Johnson Addition, Wilson Village or Parkside Addition, you live on John W. Johnson’s land. Some of my f...
06/24/2019

If you live in Johnson Addition, Wilson Village or Parkside Addition, you live on John W. Johnson’s land. Some of my favorite Carmel street names are from those subdivisions. Shady Lane is just north of Sleepy Hollow in Wilson Village. Winding Way and Lantern Lane are two others I like.

These pictures are of two of John W. Johnson’s homes. He was born in 1856 in this two story cabin that his father Cyrus Johnson built. Imagine the parents and 7 sons all living in this cabin! It was located on the west side of Oak Ridge Road north of 161st Street. In the 1880s he built an Italianate home on 180 acres between Range Line and Guildford east to west, and Main and 126th Street north to south. Johnson was a successful farmer and livestock trader. In 1900 he served a term as Trustee of Clay Township.

Join us at the Carmel Clay Public Library at 7pm TONIGHT for Mike Pace's presentation, "The Lenape in Indiana." Mike wil...
06/20/2019

Join us at the Carmel Clay Public Library at 7pm TONIGHT for Mike Pace's presentation, "The Lenape in Indiana." Mike will share a bit about the history and culture of the Lenape/Delaware. Don't miss this free presentation!

Last November we published a history of the Lenape/Delaware Village in Carmel. During the research process, we met Mike ...
06/16/2019

Last November we published a history of the Lenape/Delaware Village in Carmel. During the research process, we met Mike Pace. Mike is a former Assistant Chief of the tribe and a descendant of Chief William Anderson. He lives in Oklahoma but spends much of the year in Indiana working in the Lenape Village at Conner Prairie. We are excited to announce that Mike will be sharing about Lenape history and culture this Thursday at 7pm at the Carmel Clay Public Library! The event is free; no registration is required. Join us for this unique opportunity to learn about the original settlers of the Carmel area!

The latest edition of our newsletter was sent to members today! You can read it by clicking the link below! Inside you'l...
06/13/2019
www.carmelclayhistory.org

The latest edition of our newsletter was sent to members today! You can read it by clicking the link below! Inside you'll find an article by Fred Swift about what Carmel was like in the 1950s! There is also information on the opening of our second exhibit of the season, a new Speaker Series event in June, our legacy brick paver program, and more!

Looking for something to do with the kids on these long summer days? Take them on a stroll down the Monon to the Depot M...
06/12/2019

Looking for something to do with the kids on these long summer days? Take them on a stroll down the Monon to the Depot Museum! They can activate our kinetic sculpture in the lawn and then mosey into our Wild West themed exhibit in the Depot! We have a kids' corner with toys and games for preschoolers and elementary school kids!

Our hours are:
Monday - Thursday 10am-4pm
Friday 5-7pm
Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm

Tickets for our Generations Garden Tour are now available to non-members! The tours of Judy Singleton's garden are at 10...
06/01/2019
Carmel Clay Historical Society - Generations Garden Tour

Tickets for our Generations Garden Tour are now available to non-members! The tours of Judy Singleton's garden are at 10:30am and 11:30am on June 6. Purchase your ticket via the link below!

Judy lives on land originally purchased in 1856 by her Great-Great Grandparents Hiram and Nancy Haverstick. She was inspired by three generations of women who loved gardening and began her flowerbeds with starts and plants from their yards. She likens the overall design of her yard to a crazy quilt made up of several small distinct pieces. Each area reflects a personal memory of a person, a place, or an experience. Boxwoods, wardi yew, and azaleas provide the unifying thread between the areas including the Live and Let Live Garden, the Rose Gardens, the Brown County Overlook, the Bird Feeding Garden, East Coast Garden, Memory Walk, the Wild Area, the Play Ground, the Climbing Tree Garden, and Grandmother’s Garden.

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A special thanks to Adam's Flooring for beautifying our Monon Depot Museum bathroom floor. We appreciate his donation of...
05/30/2019

A special thanks to Adam's Flooring for beautifying our Monon Depot Museum bathroom floor. We appreciate his donation of time and expertise to help us. He is a wonderful Carmel businessman...like so many others! They make Carmel the great place it is! Thanks, Adam!

This weekend, the girls and boys track teams compete at state! Carmel has a strong history in track. 1909 was the first ...
05/30/2019

This weekend, the girls and boys track teams compete at state! Carmel has a strong history in track. 1909 was the first year CHS competed interscholastically. That year Carmel’s one mile relay team placed 3rd at state. The following year, Joe Roberts took 2nd in the 120 yard high hurdles. In 1913 Hobart Hoskins was runner-up in the same event.

Carmel had its first state champion in any sport when Fred Roeder tied with six other competitors with a high jump of 5’ 8”. Fred is also the reason we are the Greyhounds. During the 1923-24 season, Fred was captain of the basketball team. Coach (and CHS principal) Earl Hinshaw asked him to pick a mascot. He took his inspiration from the team’s speed and stamina and chose the greyhound. Fred is pictured in his CHS basketball uniform and his Earlham football uniform.

In 1925 Lowell Wade gave Carmel an eighth place team finish when he finished 2nd in the long jump and 3rd in the 220yd dash. Wade was also the star of the basketball team, which made it to the state tournament. His senior pic is below.

Good luck this weekend, Greyhounds! Make history!!

This Memorial Day, we’d like to share the story of John Hussey. Hussey was born in Fayette County in 1840. His family ...
05/23/2019

This Memorial Day, we’d like to share the story of John Hussey. Hussey was born in Fayette County in 1840. His family settled in Clay Township in 1853. Four months after the start of the Civil War, Hussey enlisted in Co. F, 10th Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He fought in battles and skirmishes in Mill Spring, Perryville and Rollingfork, KY, in 1862. On September 19, 1863, he was killed in the Battle of Chickamauga. His body was not recovered.

There is no grave to decorate for John Hussey, but there are many veterans buried in cemeteries in Carmel going all the way back to the War of 1812 (Isaac Sharpe in the Pleasant Grove cemetery and Oliver Smith in the Poplar Ridge cemetery). Let’s honor our veterans this Memorial Day by reflecting on their service.

Bill Shepherd Honored As Heritage Award Recipient
05/05/2019

Bill Shepherd Honored As Heritage Award Recipient

The next lecture in our Speaker Series is this Sunday at 2pm at the Carmel Clay Public Library! Justin Clark will presen...
05/02/2019

The next lecture in our Speaker Series is this Sunday at 2pm at the Carmel Clay Public Library! Justin Clark will present "Outlaws, Pinkertons, and Vigilantes: The Reno Gang and Its Enemies." All Speaker Series events are free! See you Sunday!!

The Hi-Lite (CHS student newspaper) was started in 1935 by faculty member Gretchen Kemp. The editor of that year was Mar...
04/30/2019

The Hi-Lite (CHS student newspaper) was started in 1935 by faculty member Gretchen Kemp. The editor of that year was Martha Myers. The paper was financed solely by advertising so that it could be distributed to the students at no charge. Early editions did not include many photographs but was illustrated by the students. We have old copies of the Hi-Lite in our collection. Of particular interest are the April editions of the the years 1945-1947. There were no yearbooks made for those years, so the students used the Hi-Lite to profile each member of the senior class and included other features like class histories that would normally be published in the yearbook.

The picture below is the Hi-Lite staff in 1956.

04/29/2019
mtpublishing.com

We recently came across a good book about the early years in Indiana! The book is Our Hoosier Heritage and Its Foundation 1680-1820 by Ron Bell. You can find information to order a copy in the link below.

Another first in the 1959-1960 school year was the radio club. This was a precursor to WHJE. Principal Lemme provided a ...
04/23/2019

Another first in the 1959-1960 school year was the radio club. This was a precursor to WHJE. Principal Lemme provided a lot of the equipment to build a ham radio. They were given the call numbers K9UNJ. WHJE made its first broadcast four years later.

Ron Stoops and Mike Hendren are the radio club members pictured here.

Inspired by the girls booster club, the boys created a pep club in the 1959-1960 school year to cheer on their Greyhound...
04/18/2019

Inspired by the girls booster club, the boys created a pep club in the 1959-1960 school year to cheer on their Greyhounds! Some are wearing their senior cords.

The Carmel Clay Historical Society has partnered with the City of Carmel to offer brick pavers that can be engraved and ...
04/11/2019
Legacy Brick Pavers | Carmel Clay Historical Society

The Carmel Clay Historical Society has partnered with the City of Carmel to offer brick pavers that can be engraved and placed in the Arts and Design District or along Monon Boulevard! if you are interested in learning more, follow the link below to the order form!

Our first exhibit of the season opens Saturday, 1-4pm! Members are invited to a Preview of the exhibit on Friday, 5-7pm....
04/10/2019

Our first exhibit of the season opens Saturday, 1-4pm! Members are invited to a Preview of the exhibit on Friday, 5-7pm. Join us this weekend to learn how bandits held up trains in the 1800s, how law enforcement responded, and how the crimes evolved over time!

This exhibit is KID FRIENDLY, so take the whole family for a stroll on the Monon, and drop by the Depot!

Carmel was almost home to the Sylvan Country Club. In 1934 Walter H. Smith, an Indianapolis insurance executive, sought ...
04/08/2019

Carmel was almost home to the Sylvan Country Club.

In 1934 Walter H. Smith, an Indianapolis insurance executive, sought to build a grand country club near town that would cater to Indianapolis’s high society. The Sylvan Country Club would be built on twenty acres of old-growth forest in the Kinzer woods north of Carmel High School’s Old North building. Smith worked with architect Frank B. Hunter to design a two-hundred-foot-long clubhouse of log construction. The main lounge would be seventy-six feet long with a fireplace big enough to drive a car through.

On a nearby plateau, a small village comprised of twelve tepees would be built to provide rentable guest housing for club members. The tepees were eighteen feet in diameter. They had wood floors, high ceilings, and modern conveniences, such as telephones, stoves, and electric lights. They also had comfortable seats, tables, and beds.

The most ambitious feature of the country club might have been the swimming pool. The original dimensions given for pool were one hundred feet by five hundred feet in a horseshoe shape. A later design called for a circular, concrete pool with a thirty-five-foot sand beach all around that could accommodate three thousand people, more than four times the town’s population! The pool’s water would be filtered and changed several times a day by deep wells.

After the clubhouse’s foundation was completed, the project stalled and foreclosure proceedings were initiated. It is not known what caused the club to fail, but the economic conditions of the Great Depression could have been a factor.

To read the full article follow this link.
http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/What-Could-Have-Been-1Q-2019.pdf

This 1920s photo shows a science class in Carmel High School's Old North building.Those pictured include: Iris Hinshaw M...
04/06/2019

This 1920s photo shows a science class in Carmel High School's Old North building.

Those pictured include: Iris Hinshaw Myers, Myron Starn, Ruth Myers, Ralph VanMeter, Eliza Roberts, Glen Smith, Claude Smith, Cecil Overman, Ruth Day, and Mahlon Day.

Carmel was nearly home to a state park.In the 1870s, John Mendenhall tried to build a 20-acre park just west of Old Town...
03/28/2019

Carmel was nearly home to a state park.

In the 1870s, John Mendenhall tried to build a 20-acre park just west of Old Town Carmel. His plans fell through, and the park was never built, but Mendenhall kept the idea in mind for the next 50 years. In 1927 he published letters in the Carmel Standard and Noblesville Ledger suggesting that Carmel create a state park. Residents were immediately on board. They picked a site just east of town that included the Kinzer woods and the old Mendenhall farm. The park was going to be around 500 to 700 acres, and the committee proposed damming Cool Creek north of Main Street to create a 100 acre lake that would extend to the Interurban tracks north of Smokey Row Road. They envisioned that visitors arriving on the Interurban could get off the train at a stop near the lake and board boats that would take them into the heart of the park.

Officers of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce visited the site and told the park committee that the Chamber would raise the necessary funds to build the park. The state approved of the initial layout, and for a while it seemed like the park would actually come about... until it all fell apart. The Chamber walked back the offer to raise the funds, and the financial hurdle proved to be insurmountable. The entire project stalled until it was finally put to rest.

A park was never built in John Mendenhall’s lifetime, but in a serendipitous turn of events, Carmel broke ground on Meadowlark Park in 1979 on the same spot that Mendenhall had picked a century earlier.

To read the full article follow this link.
http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/What-Could-Have-Been-1Q-2019.pdf

To read our newsletter follow this link.
http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CCHS-Newsletter-2019.pdf

Last Saturday the Greyhounds won a basketball state championship! It was the fourth state title for the boys program. We...
03/25/2019

Last Saturday the Greyhounds won a basketball state championship! It was the fourth state title for the boys program. We invite you to relive Carmel's 1977 basketball championship in our first Speaker Series event of the year! Debbie Clark Gangstad will present "Carmel’s Own March Madness: IHSAA State Champions" this Wednesday, March 27, at 7pm in the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room. The event will include a video presentation of the game. All of our Speaker Series events are free; no registration is required. See you there!

The debut of our NEW LOGO!!
03/25/2019

The debut of our NEW LOGO!!

Tomorrow is Friday! It's a perfect day to grab a bite to eat in downtown Carmel. And while you're out, take a stroll dow...
03/21/2019

Tomorrow is Friday! It's a perfect day to grab a bite to eat in downtown Carmel. And while you're out, take a stroll down the Monon Greenway to Depot Museum. We're unveiling our new sculpture at 5:30pm! It's an interactive piece, so feel free to take it for a spin!

Join us for a fun evening!

Carmel was almost home to the City of Childhood.A month after Carmel was passed up for the reformatory site, a represent...
03/18/2019

Carmel was almost home to the City of Childhood.

A month after Carmel was passed up for the reformatory site, a representative an organization called the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, visited Indianapolis to inspect sites proposed by the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce for a $10,000,000 orphanage they would call the City of Childhood. His description of their vision for the City of Childhood is below.

“We are planning not an orphanage in the old accepted sense of the word, for we want to make this project a school home, a place where the children may live in cottages, twelve or fifteen to the cottage, with older persons to fill in in the places of parents to them. There should be from 100 to 125 of these cottages for the children with the other necessary school buildings, vocational training shops, stores, library, theater, church, power plants and the other things necessary to make it a modern home. We expect to take care of about 2,000 children. Picture these cottages on gently rolling land, nestling among the trees with the whole setting as beautiful as a landscape gardener can make it, and put into the picture the children working in the fields or in the vocational schools, helping to build the community of which they are to be a part, and you will get some idea of the city of childhood this order proposes to establish.”

The reformatory site in Carmel was at the top of the list submitted by the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. In April of 1923, the Noblesville Ledger reported that the John Owens farm located on the west side of White River at 146th Street was also in consideration. However, the Yeomen ultimately looked outside of the state and purchased five hundred eighty acres near Elgin, IL, in June of 1925. The City of Childhood opened in 1926 and continued to serve the needs of children until the sometime in the early 1940s.

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211 1st St SW
Carmel, IN
46032

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