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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

On June 8, 1900, Frank Carey arrested a street preacher named Cyclone Johnson and brought him to trial at the livery stable on W. Main Street in Carmel. A fight broke out, and when the dust settled, both men lay dead, one on top of the other.

Johnson killed Carey, but who shot Johnson? After 120 years, we finally have the answer.

The Preacher & the Constable is available at the Monon Depot Museum. Stop by to purchase a copy or contact us at 317-846-7117 or info@carmelclayhistory.org. The price is $8 (plus $4 shipping for all purchases made online or over the phone).

Carmel Clay Historical Society would like to invite you to share your COVID-19 experiences with us. Our society has collected the city of Carmel and Clay Township’s histories for many years. We recognize that this is a historic time and would like to take a proactive approach to collecting COVID-19 stories and photographs. Please take part in our COVID-19 collecting initiative by participating in our survey.

Click here to start the survey.

Spring Tea – Postponed

March 12, 2020

Due to risks associated with COVID-19, we have postponed our annual Spring Tea. We will schedule this event once it is safe for us to gather together.



The original wooden signs from the 1980’s Carmelot playground will be available for public viewing in the Monon Depot Museum starting Wednesday, February 26 until March 1. The exhibit hours are Wednesday and Thursday 10am-4pm, Friday 10am-7pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm. The Carmel Parks Department salvaged the boards listing contributors of Carmel’s public playground located at Gray Road and 106th Street. Then local volunteer woodworkers from The Barrington of Carmel led by Von Ballew and Woody Hurst reconditioned the boards for the Carmel Clay Historical Society. If you have any pictures or memories of this beloved playground that you would be willing to loan for this exhibit, please contact the CCHS office at 317-846-7117 or email info@carmelclayhistory.org

We are excited to announce that our book, The Early History of Carmel Schools, is now available! Among the many exciting discoveries, we found that Carmel High School was established in 1869, not 1887 as was previously thought. 2019 is the school’s 150th anniversary! You can read more about this discovery in the Current in Carmel newspaper.

You’ll also learn about Carmel’s other high school, the Poplar Ridge Seminary (1860-1888), as well as the pioneer log cabin schools and the one-room district schoolhouses. The book includes pictures of schoolhouses from nearly all the school districts and numerous stories and recollections from the students and teachers who attended them.

The book is on sale at the Monon Depot for $5. Stop in M-F, 11am-4pm. If you would like us to ship you a copy, please give our office a call at 317-846-7117.

The 23rd Annual Holiday Home Tour is fast approaching, and we couldn’t be more excited! This year’s tour will feature six homes of a variety of styles from historic to mid-century modern to new construction. All of the homes are in and around the Carmel Arts and Design District. The VIP tour on Friday December 6, 6-9pm, will be followed by a reception with wine and appetizers at the Heath home on West Main Street. On Saturday, December 7, attendees may tour the homes from 11am-5pm. Both tours are walkable and self-guided.

Friday evening tickets are $60(presale) $65 at the door. This ticket includes a wine and appetizer reception following the home tour.Saturday tickets are $30 presale and for members. $35 at the door.

Patrons may park in one of the City garages or on the street. Maps to the homes will be available at the Monon Depot.

Volunteers are needed! Contact Debbie Gangstad at 317-979-4236 to volunteer or with any questions. We look forward to seeing you at our annual holiday event as you support the Carmel Clay Historical Society’s largest annual fundraiser!

Purchase Tickets Here!

Judy Singleton 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.

On Thursday, June 6, CCHS will offer tours of Judy’s garden at 10:30am and 11:30am, rain or shine. Join us for some refreshments as Judy shares the stories and significance of each area of the garden. Tickets are $15. You can register for this event here.

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 the sidewalk on Main Street or the common area of Midtown Plaza near Monon Boulevard.

There are three paver options.

  • 4×8 Paver with 2 lines of text – $60
  • 4×8 Paver with 3 lines of text – $70
  • 8×8 Paver with 4 lines of text – $100

All messages are centered on each line. You will be notified when/where the paver is installed. If you would prefer to print and mail a form, click here. Email Julie Kingston with questions.

CCHS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Paver purchases are tax-deductible contributions to the extent provided by the law.

Thank you to Ceramica, Inc. and Indiana Brick Co. for their generous support for this project.