Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Join us at the Monon Depot on Friday, March 22 at 5:30pm for the unveiling of our new kinetic art piece.

Carmel Clay Historical Society is partnering with the Carmel Education Foundation in a fundraising event that will celebrate the legacy of Dale Graham with a multi-media presentation on his life as a youngster, a college student, a young educator, and a respected principal of CHS. Several former colleagues, students and friends including Lee Lonzo, Jim Garretson, and Stephanie McDonald will reminisce about Dale. The event will be held in Carmel High School’s Dale E. Graham Auditorium on September 27, 7pm.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Join us Sunday, October 29, from 2-4pm at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room for a free screening of OMNI Centre for Public Media’s Historical Farms of Clay Township documentaries about Twin Walnut Farm and Schwitzer Farm. Twin Walnut Farm received its name from the two stately walnut trees that rest on the side of the driveway of the farm. Bob Huber, owner of Twin Walnut Farm, was born and raised in Clarksville, Indiana. His grandfather, a tenant farmer, moved from Clarksville, Indiana to Clay Township, where Bob’s father was born. His father later returned to the farm in Clarksville.

Bob’s maternal great grandparents, the Browns, walked from North Carolina to Carmel and settled where John Kirk’s Furniture store sits today on Pennsylvania Avenue in Carmel. They farmed oats, corn, and various livestock on an 80-acre farm.

Bob Huber began his obsession with farming when he received his first pig in 4H at the age of 10. He was a highly involved, energetic 4H’er, later raised 2-3 thousand hogs per year at and served as President of the Indiana Pork Producers Association. Today, he remains a shining example of a successful hog operation. At one-time Bob farmed 3,000 acres in Clay Township  In the video, you will hear his wife, Judy, a city girl who had never lived on a farm, tell pig stories about getting stray pigs out of their pool and having pigs chew her clothes at the state fair. Follow Bob’s inspirational story and career in agriculture in the premiere presented by the Clay Township Trustee and The OMNI Centre.

Twin Walnut Farm – Trailer

The Schwitzer Farm, located on 116 Street in Carmel Indiana, consisted of 500 acres and had a 3400‘ air strip running from 116 Street to 106 Street.  The Schwitzer Family owned Schwitzer Corporation, originally Schwitzer-Cummins, and it was the first corporation in Indianapolis to have corporate aircraft. The farm airstrip stayed busy serving corporate needs.

Lou Schwitzer lll traces how Grandfather Lou Schwitzer came to the US, won the opening event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 before it was named the 500, started Schwitzer Corporation, and his relationship with pioneers in the early automotive industry such as Henry Ford.  He talks about his father purchasing the farm in 1949 and stories of Willie Jessup a Carmel pioneer. The Schwitzer house sat where the Lucas Oil estate on 116 Street sits today. The farm grew corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and had Black angus, French Charolais, Hereford cattle.

Lou’s childhood memories at the farm include stories of attending Clay Center School, descriptions of Thanksgiving Fox Hunts at the neighboring farms of Frenzel, White/Hamilton, and Gregg.  his mother serving as a “whip” for the fox hunts, raising thoroughbred race horses, having a skeet range built for his father and the shooting enthusiasts who came to visit and enjoy the skeet range.

Schwitzer Farm – Trailer

We are sad to report that a charter member of the Carmel Clay Historical Society has passed away. In addition to serving as president of the CCHS, Nancy Worysz oversaw the annual Christmas Bazaar for many years. She also helped to form the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
A mass will be said at 11 AM on Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 in the chapel at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, 9001 Haverstick Rd, Indianapolis. Her obituary can be found here.
We were very sad to learn that Hilda Hadley passed away this morning. She was well known to many members of CCHS. She was a past president of the society, and we recognized her dedication to Carmel’s history with our Heritage Award in 2015. She was an extraordinary person who lived an interesting and useful life. We here at CCHS will miss our dear friend.
Visitation will be at 10am on Saturday, July 8, at Carmel United Methodist Church. The funeral service will follow at noon at the same location.
OMNI Centre for Public Media released the video below about Hilda just last month. It is a fine tribute to a beloved Carmel resident. The Current recently published an interview with Hilda. You can find it here.

We are pleased to announce that Betty Estridge will be honored with the Heritage Award at the April 25th Luncheon! Betty has been an integral part of the Carmel community and Carmel Clay Historical Society for many years.

If you would like to attend the Spring Luncheon, you can purchase your tickets here.

While researching forgotten places and communities within Clay Township, we found a set of records that could potentially tell us a great deal about Bethlehem/Carmel and Clay Township in their earliest years. The Post Office Department Reports of Site Locations 1837-1950 is a set of microfilm held by the National Archives. The reports were created by local postmasters to aid the Topography Division in determining the location of existing post offices in relation to mail routes and facilities, as well as potential locations for new post offices.

As the reports often contained maps, geographic information, and information on the number of families or individuals served by a post office, we are eager to learn about forgotten communities in Clay Township, like Eldorado, Gray, or others of which we are unaware. The maps included in the reports may also inform us of the existence of old roads and landmarks. We are currently researching the Native American trail near the Cool Creek crossing at Mattsville. If a map is included in the Mattsville’s location report, it may very well indicate the path of this and other trails.

The National Archives does not lend these microfilms, but they will reproduce them for $125. We are seeking donations to purchase the roll that includes Hamilton County. If you would like to help us obtain this roll, please consider making a small donation ($5-25) via PayPal here or by sending a check. Be sure to indicate in the memo line that your donation is for the NARA microfilm roll. Donations received in excess of $125 will be used to purchase archival records in the future.


20th Annual Holiday Home Tour  – December 2 – 4

HHT logo 

The Holiday Home Tour is a favorite annual tradition, and it’s just around the corner! Participants on this year’s HHT on December 2 – 4 will tour three unique properties.

The Kinzer Cabin built in 1827 is Clay Township’s oldest structure. John Kinzer built the unique two-story log cabin for his wife and children in a dense woods on a hill above a flowing spring. Kinzer built the Georgian home next to the cabin in 1847, which is decorated for the tour by David Jackson.

The Scott Jones Estate on West 116th Street was originally built in 1939 and then extensively expanded in the late 1990’s. In addition to this home’s classic architecture, it is uniquely decorated with some amazing pieces

White Chapel Church was built in 1853 after the Mattsville area Methodists outgrew the first Blue School, aka the Farley Schoolhouse. Construction was completed through donated labor and materials.  The only cost to the church was $14. White Chapel is Clay Townships only pioneer church still standing.


• Friday, December 2nd – 5 and 7:30pm. $50 (evening tours include appetizers)
• Saturday, December 3rd – tours on the hour 9am to 3pm. $30
• Sunday, December 4th – 12pm. $20

Participants will park at the north parking lot of IU North hospital. Buses will shuttle participants to each property. Participants will need a printed ticket in order to board the bus. The tour will take about three hours.



Learn the history, appreciate the antiques, notice the architectural details, get ideas for your own holiday décor…and contribute to a great cause!


Learn the history, appreciate the antiques, notice the architectural details, get ideas for your own holiday décor…and contribute to a great cause!


Volunteers for the 2016 Holiday Home Tour Committee are needed!  Contact us at to see how you can get involved!

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

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!