BECOME A MEMBER

Join the Carmel Clay Historical Society! Your membership helps support local history and preserve the history around us as well as the history you are making today as a resident. See Membership Page

hi meg

June 27, 2022

The Carmel Clay Historical Society has published a book about the history of Carmel that covers the time period 1917-1976. The book tells how Carmel was shaped by the perils of the early twentieth century: World War I, the flu pandemic of 1918, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, the Great Depression and World War II. In the postwar era, the town experienced tremendous growth as people moved to the suburbs in large numbers and started the baby boom. New schools and subdivisions were built throughout Clay Township as a result. The book also gives a brief history of the fire and police departments and tells how the town transitioned to a city.

The book can be purchased online here and at All Things Carmel on West Main Street.

CCHS is hosting a tour of three beautiful gardens around Carmel! The tours are Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June  4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be an evening tour on Friday from 5pm to 8pm with wine and cheese. Enjoy walking these gardens as you come up with ideas for your own!

The addresses for the tour are:

225 1st St. SW, Carmel, IN 46032

721 1st Ave. NW, Carmel, IN 46032

3666 Walden Place, Carmel, IN 46033

Tickets are $20 for daytime tours and $25 for the evening tour. Click here for more information or to order tickets. If you would like to volunteer for this event and receive a free ticket, call us at 317-846-7117.

We are thrilled to bring back the annual spring tea after it was put on hiatus the last two years due to the pandemic! This year’s tea will be held at the Barrington on May 27, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through May 23. Click here more information or to order tickets for this special event.

Dr. Anita Morgan will make a presentation on the suffrage movement in Indiana. Dr. Morgan is a senior lecturer in the Department of History at IUPUI and is a past president of the Indiana Association of Historians. Her presentation will be based on her book, We Must be Fearless: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Indiana.

Morgan’s book begins with the 1851 Indiana Woman’s Rights convention in Dublin, Indiana, and follows the ups and downs of the suffrage fight, including the formation of the Woman’s Franchise League in 1911, the efforts of the Legislative Council to obtain the vote, women’s support for World War I, the story of the 1917 partial suffrage law and subsequent court battle, and the final passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. The book includes new information on subjects that have been underrepresented in the past: the attitudes of Hoosiers of German descent toward suffrage, the role of African American women, and those women who worked against suffrage.

New Book Available

April 10, 2022

The Carmel Clay Historical Society has published a book about the history of Carmel that covers the time period 1917-1976. The book tells how Carmel was shaped by the perils of the early twentieth century: World War I, the flu pandemic of 1918, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, the Great Depression and World War II. In the postwar era, the town experienced tremendous growth as people moved to the suburbs in large numbers and started the baby boom. New schools and subdivisions were built throughout Clay Township as a result. The book also gives a brief history of the fire and police departments and tells how the town transitioned to a city.

The book can be purchased online here and at All Things Carmel on West Main Street.

We have temporarily moved!

February 19, 2022

The Monon Depot will soon be moving to a temporary location. This decision was made to protect it from machines and materials needed for the construction of the new Carmel Clay History Museum. We will be thrilled when this new facility is close to completion and the Depot is returned to its spot along the Monon, where it will house an important exhibit for the museum!

In the meantime, we have temporarily moved our offices. You are welcome to make an appointment by phoning 317–846-7117 or emailing us at info@carmelclayhistory.org. Our temporary mailing address is PO Box 4777 Carmel, IN 46082.

Our new book, Greyhound Legends, is now available for online ordering! You can find it along with our other books on the link below.

Order Greyhound Legends here!

In the nineteenth century, students in the one-room schoolhouses around Carmel played a variety of sports at recess. In the 1860s and 1870s, shinny, town-ball and scrub were popular. Soccer was the game of choice in the 1880s, and a decade later, it was football. The champions of those long-forgotten games were just as proud of their victories on the schoolyard as any modern-day athlete. When the high school’s first team of record was organized in 1896, Carmel was the smallest town in the county. The basketball team played on grass courts and, later, the dirt floor of a lumberyard. In the late 1940s, Carmel had one of the best sprinters in the country but no track. A decade later, Carmel revived its football program but had to play its home games in a neighboring town because the school did not have a football field.

From these humble beginnings, Carmel developed into one of the premier athletic programs in the country. “Greyhound Legends” tells the history of the evolution of athletics in Carmel from the pioneer games played on the schoolyard to the fall season of 1981, when Carmel solidified its status as a state powerhouse. The book profiles legendary athletes, coaches and teams, including the basketball team that went to state in 1925, the story of Bill Stubbs – Carmel’s nationally recognized sprinter in the late 1940s, Dick Nyers’s transformation of the football program and his role in the founding of the Carmel Dad’s Club, and the remarkable careers of Billy and Dave Shepherd, Mark Herrmann, Eric Clark, Dick Dullaghan, Jim Belden and more.

Polar Express Evenings

November 9, 2021

On December 3 & 4, CCHS is hosting a special holiday event at the Monon Depot for children that will include readings of the Polar Express, treats and hot chocolate!

There are six sessions of this fun event, but space is limited so order your ticket soon! Tickets are $10 per child and free for adults.
The sessions are at 4:30, 6:00 and 7:30 each day.

CCHS Annual Meeting Oct 17

September 16, 2021

All are invited to attend CCHS’s Annual Meeting at noon on October 17. This year’s meeting will be held in the Wilfong Pavilion at Founders Park (11675 Hazel Dell Parkway).

At the meeting we will share an update on the new museum. Executive Director Deb Gangstad will also present our Year in Review as well as what’s in store for 2022! The meeting will conclude after a vote is taken on changes to the by-laws and for the slate of officers and board members.

Officers (1 year term)

President: Dan McFeely 

Vice President: Nick Davis  

Secretary: Christine Owens 

Treasurer: Deb Teets

Board Members (3 year term)

Meg Osborne

Julie Kingston

Lily Pai

You can review changes to the by-laws here.


Museum Update

July 13, 2021

The Carmel History Museum building design is nearly completed, and we have been told by Clay Township officials that the groundbreaking will take place in October! The City of Carmel has offered to fund an exhibit designer and fabricator. CCHS will soon begin its capital campaign for other museum needs. Many of our longtime members initiated this opportunity forty years ago by purchasing the land where the museum will stand. We are grateful for their foresight!


The Depot will close during construction due to safety issues and accessibility to the construction site, but we want to assure you that the Depot will remain! The Depot will undergo some necessary renovations during that time, and when it reopens it will showcase a new train exhibit!

This rain or shine outdoor garden tour includes four gardens around Carmel. The tour is Friday, June 11 from 5:00PM -7:30PM and on Saturday, June 12 from 11AM-4PM . In the event of a dangerous weather cancellation, the rain date is Sunday, June 13 from 11AM -4PM. The four gardens include two back-to-back neighbors at one stop and two more gardens within ten minutes of driving time. The tour can be done in any order. Tickets are available online (credit card), at the Monon Depot Museum (check, cash, or credit) or at the door (cash preferred). Tickets are nonrefundable, but transferrable. Tickets can only be used once in each garden. Please present your printed form at the first entrance to receive your actual Garden Tour ticket. Restrooms will not be available.

For more information and to order tickets, visit our eventbrite page.