Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

On Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30 pm, a video, A Conversation with Hilda Hadley, will be premiered.  Did you know that Carmel was in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not?  Hilda tells us why Carmel is included. And how on earth did Carmel come to have 1st Street SW and 1st Avenue NE? Hilda explains how that happened too and so much more about Carmel.

 Hilda moved to Carmel in 1952 and has always been active whether it was her church, the Girl Scouts, teaching or government. Hilda is an amazing woman, and you will enjoy hearing her story and seeing local history evolve. Join Hilda for the debut of this twenty minute video at Summer Trace, just northwest of Meijer.

Watch the Hilda Hadley Video Trailer

This self-guided driving tour blends the new and the old, the vibrant suburban core with the small-town farming community. By clicking on a site on the map in the app, you will be able to read or listen to the history of that location and see it in a historic photograph. In some cases, you will have the fascinating opportunity to compare a historic photo and current photo side-by-side, using a slider to watch the image change centuries before your eyes.

This self-guiding, interactive driving tour was developed by a partnership between Ball State University and the Carmel Clay Historical Society. It was made possible with support from the City of Carmel and Hamilton County Tourism. A link to the app will have a permanent home under the Local History menu of our webpage.

Access the tour here.

CCHS – in an exciting new partnership with Ball State University history and technology students – will unveil a new interactive “historic walking tour app” to make it even easier for fans of local history to connect with our past.


The new app will be launched April 20 at an interactive press conference at 3 p.m. in front of Bub’s Burgers at Main Street and the Monon Greenway. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard will be the first person to inaugurate its operation.


The new app uses GPS coordinates to indicate the location of historic sites throughout Carmel, and users can turn on their own location as they walk through the Arts & Design District and Old Town areas. Phase I of the app focused on sites in Old Town, but Ball State students are already working on Phase II, which will feature sites all over Clay Township – including historic farms like Lynnwood Farm, street views of residential neighborhoods, and historic homes like the McShane home that was saved from demolition four years ago.


“One of the most fascinating elements of the app is the overlay of a historic photo of a structure with a contemporary photo of it. People can literally slide the photo back and forth to compare the structure’s appearance 100 years ago with what it looks like today,” said Carmel Clay Historical Society Executive Director Emily Ehrgott. “We can add to the app at any time, incorporating local sites on the National Register of Historic Places or even the stories behind the statues in the Arts & Design District. The possibilities are endless.”


Those on the walking tour will be able to see at each site a historic photograph, a written narrative of the site’s significance and an audio recording of that narrative. This allows people walking the trail to appreciate the history without having to stop and read.


The partnership with Ball State is a new one for the Historical Society and was made possible by generous grants from the City of Carmel’s Arts Grant program and the Hamilton County Tourism office.


Students from different disciplines researched and wrote the histories of the sites, photographed them, recorded the audio component, and wrote the computer code to create the app itself.


 “This project meant a lot to me, because it was a great opportunity to use what I’ve learned through my degree, as well as to learn new skills that I could utilize in my future career,” said BSU student Braydon Fox, who worked extensively on the project. “Prior to this project, I had no real web programming experience. I only knew what I had researched on my own in my free time. Throughout this project, I’ve learned many useful web development skills while building an application for a real-world client, which is something future employers will love to see on my resume.”


Professor Ron Morris is teaching the class that initiated the project and approached the CCHS about the partnership.


“I think that the experience of getting to work with the Carmel Clay Historical Society and the City of Carmel will help the Ball State students create multiple ways for the people in the community to discover their heritage,” said Morris. “The mobile experience allows students, visitors, or community members explore the history of their community through their phone, tablet, or lap top from their school, walking in the community, or driving to explore the history of their home.”


After Mayor Brainard launches the app, it will be available free on the CCHS website.

CCHS is kicking off 2017 by exhibiting the rich history of Carmel High School basketball! In 1977 our basketball team won a state championship in the final seconds of the game with an undesigned play! The victory was thrilling!

We invite you to relive the excitement of our first basketball state championship 40 years ago. With 11 seconds left in the final game, East Chicago Washington’s star, Drake Morris, put his team ahead by one point with two successful foul shots. Carmel guard Bart Burrell passed to forward Jon Ogle with 4 seconds left. Ogle sunk a baseline jump shot to seal a Greyhound victory 53-52 in front of a packed crowd in Market Square Arena.

Join us on March 21 at Flix Brewhouse as we bring former players to share their memories of the tournament and watch an edited video of the championship game and the community pep session. This event has sold out. Tickets cannot be purchased through Flix Brewhouse or their website. Please contact us at 317-979-4236 for more information.

Our first exhibit of 2017 will celebrate Carmel High School boys and girls basketball from 1900 to the present. Memorabilia from the Shepherd family, the Heady family, and the 1977 championship team will be on display. The exhibit will also highlight the girls 2008 championship as well as the boys back to back wins in 2012 and 2013 with video segments of games and interviews with past coaches. Interactive displays have been designed for younger visitors.

CCHS Members are invited to preview the exhibit on Friday, March 24 from 6-8pm. Refreshments will be provided. The exhibit opens to the public during regular museum hours on March 25. If you have any CHS basketball memorabilia you would like to loan us for the exhibit, please email us at

Letter from Executive DirectorHello CCHS Members!

As interim Executive Director of the CCHS, I would like to introduce myself. As some of you may know, my family and I moved to Carmel three years ago when we bought the historic McShane house on Westfield Blvd. This was my first experience with the CCHS, and I was drawn to them by their passion for historic properties in and around Carmel. I was then asked to be on the Holiday Home Tour that year and had a great experience! If it weren’t for the CCHS, the historic McShane house could have been torn down. Thanks to the passion of their members, my family and I had the unforgettable experience of renovating this amazing house. It has become our forever home. As you can tell I have become one of those passionate people that would like to document and preserve our Carmel history.

I am originally from South Bend Indiana and moved here to attend Herron School of Art where I received my bachelor’s degree in art education. I taught for seven years and then became a stay at home mom for the last twelve years. My husband Paul and I and our three kids moved to Carmel from Fishers, and I consider this the best move we ever made.

After moving to a rental house, we spent one year renovating the McShane house to its former glory. We are in love with not only the house, but the surrounding Carmel area. With that said, I am looking forward to being involved with the CCHS at a much more day-to-day basis. I am looking forward to the programs that we will offer and exhibits that we will share. I have a passion for antiquities and history, and I cannot wait to share with the community what Carmel has to offer.

I am looking forward to interacting with the community as much as possible, and I hope to see you at the Monon Depot or the Holiday Home Tour this year.

Emily Ehrgott

Interim Executive Director

JDH_7641 copy


A new book written by our own Deb May is hot off the presses! Legendary Locals of Carmel tells the history of our city through the profiles over 100 Carmelites from the earliest settlers and town founders to the present-day shapers of our community. You’ll enjoy reading about Francis McShane, William Kinzer, Silas Moffit and other early settlers that you many not have heard of, but you’ll surely recognize familiar faces such as our current mayor, Michael Feinstein, Eric Clark, Katherine Dill and so many more!

Legendary Locals of Carmel is now on sale at the Monon Depot! Stop by any Saturday or Sunday from 1-4pm to pick up a copy and take a tour of the museum!

Have you ever wondered about the origins of Carmel? Who were the first pioneer families? How did Carmel transition from a small town to Indiana’s 5th largest city? What events shaped, impeded and spurred the city’s growth? These questions are answered in The Story of Carmel, an interactive presentation by the Carmel Clay Historical Society in celebration of Indiana’s Bicentennial with funding from Hamilton County Tourism, Inc.

We invite you to view the presentation below or experience the permanent installation in the Monon Depot!


CCHS Founders logo (horse and plow)

What are you doing to celebrate the State’s Bicentennial? Join us the week of May 8th – 14th for a full schedule of events! The celebration begins with 2 exhibit openings at the Monon Depot on Sunday, May 8. Members are invited to preview the exhibits on the 7th from 1-4pm.  Our traveling exhibit, The Hoosier Centennial: A Look Back at the 1916 Celebration, and a new permanent installation, The Story of Carmel, will be on display.

On Wednesday, May 11, Thomas Hamm presents “Quakers and the Underground Railroad in the mid-19th century,” at the Museum of Miniature Houses. Carmel lore suggests some of our city’s founders and the Quaker communities that populated Clay Township were active in the UGRR.

On Saturday, May 14, join us in the Carmel Arts and Design district for a performance by the Wendy Reed Band, A Visit with a Hoosier Pioneer by Kevin Stonerock, and the HistoryKids Activity Area!

All events and activities are free and suited for all ages. We’ll see you in a week as we celebrate our State’s Bicentennial and the early years of our community.

Schedule of Events

May 8, 1-4pm – Monon Depot – Exhibit Opening – “The Hoosier Centennial: A Look Back at the 1916 Celebration” & “The Story of Carmel”

May 11, 6:30pm – Museum of Miniature Houses – “Quakers and the Underground Railroad in the mid-19th century” by Thomas Hamm

May 14, 1-4pm – lot at Monon and Main – Performance by the Wendy Reed Band

May 14, 1-4:30pm – lawn of the Monon Depot – Kids Activity Area, brought to you by Sugarbuzz

May 14, 2pm – lot at Monon and Main – Recreation of the Historic Tug of War

May 14, 2:30-4:30pm lawn of the Monon Depot – “Visit with a Hoosier Pioneer”, by Kevin Stonerock

May 14, 1-8pm – Monon Depot – Exhibits on display


Springtime TeaWe are excited about this year’s Springtime Luncheon!  We have a wonderful speaker, Carolyn Goolsby, director of the Carmel Clay Public Library, and a fabulous location in the grandiose Palladium!  Carolyn will speak about the history of libraries, the origin of the CCPL in the historic library that still stands on Main Street, and her vision for the future of our library and its role in the growing Carmel community.

When:  April 28th, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Where: Palladium, 1 Center Green, Carmel
Price:  $30 Non-Members / $25 Members. Use discount code: member.

Members can purchase tickets for non-member guests for $15. Use discount code: newfriend.

Your ticket price includes a delicious and elegant luncheon as well as a tour of the Palladium and a behind the scenes look at the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Exhibit and Archives.

Members, if you bring a friend who is not a member, their ticket will be half price!

You can reserve your seat online or by mailing a check, payable to the Carmel Clay Historical Society, and include “Springtime Luncheon” in the memo. Please include a list of guests who will be attending.

This will be a lovely time of good company in a beautiful setting and supports an important local cause that truly shapes our community. We hope to see you on April 28th; and, members: don’t forget to bring a friend!



B9315563577Z.1_20141228150806_000_GAE9F2I76.1-0Our 2016 program series kicks off with a talk by Carmel’s former mayor, Jane Reiman on February 11th. Jane was elected to Carmel’s first city council in 1975 and served two terms as mayor from 1980 to 1987. She was integral to keeping the parimutuel out of Hamilton County, improving Carmel’s infrastructure to accommodate the population boom of the 80s, and developing Carmel’s Civic Square.

You’ll hear these stories and more from one of Carmel’s most interesting public figures. Join us in the Library’s Program Room to learn about Jane’s tenure in Carmel politics!


February 11th, 7-8 pm: “Did you know?” Jane Reiman

We bet there’s a lot you didn’t know about Carmel’s former mayor, Jane Reiman. And she’s here to tell it all! From the challenging, to the innovative, to the downright funny, Jane has seen it all. Don’t miss your chance to listen in on this personal and unique experience to hear it all straight from Carmel’s first female mayor: a cornerstone of local politics.