Speaker Series

2017 Schedule of Speakers


Wednesday, April 5,  6:30 pm: Kristen Barry at the Museum of Miniature Houses

Kristen Barry from the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State will speak on the Gothic Revival in domestic architecture and furniture.

Monday, April 10, 6:30 pm: Elizabeth Brand Monroe at the Museum of Miniature Houses

Elizabeth Brand Monroe will be speaking about the Early Industrial Age in America and Furniture Design & Production. Elizabeth is the Director of Graduate Studies in the Dept of History at IUPUI.

Thursday, April 20, 7:00 pm: Barns of Indiana: A Presentation of Indiana Landmarks at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room

The landscape of Indiana is changing rapidly as the vestiges of our agricultural history slowly disappear. Standing as sentinels in fields across the state, barns attest to these agricultural roots. This program will highlight the vast range of barn types and styles represented in the Hoosier State through a series of outstanding examples. Guests will learn about the design, construction, and diverse functions of this useful and beautiful building type. This presentation, sponsored by the Carmel Clay Historical Society, will also include an overview of guidelines and tools for preserving the barns that contribute so much to our heritage and landscape.

Presenter Sam Burgess is the Community Preservation Specialist for the Central Regional Office of Indiana Landmarks. He learned valuable lessons in historic preservation through a series of internships at Indiana Landmarks before joining the organization full time. He holds a B.A. from Miami University and has completed graduate coursework in architecture and historic preservation.

Tuesday, May 16, 6:30 pm: The Pillar and the Scroll: American Empire by Professor Robert Brandt at the Museum of Miniature Houses

Professor Robert Brandt of the Notre Dame University School of Architecture will talk about “The Pillar and the Scroll: American Empire” furniture in the early to mid-19th century. The lecture is made possible by a grant from Indiana Humanities.

Tuesday, May 23, 7:00 pm: Who actually killed Cyclone Johnston and Carey? Finally, we have an answer. at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room

Author Phil Dunlap tells the story of 1900 shootings of Cyclone Johnston and Officer William Frank Carey.

Thursday, June 15, 7:00 pm: Screening of 1816 at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room

This theatrical documentary dramatically traces Indiana’s rich living history from the earliest inhabitants to statehood in 1816 and into the 21st Century.

Saturday, June 17, 2-4 pm: Screening of OMNI Centre for Public Media’s Historical Farms of Clay Township documentary at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room

OMNI Centre presents documentaries about two Clay Township farms. In the late 20s and early 30s when agriculture was depressed, Charles Nickel was fortunate to manage Eli Lilly Vice President Charles Lynn’s 600-acre farm. Lynnwood Farm was comprised of extravagant barns, enriched livestock, and flourishing childhoods. Nickel’s grandson, Jerry Nickel and Ernie Hawk, a frequent visitor of Lynnwood Farm at the time, speak about the layout of the farm, the buildings, the livestock, and their firsthand stories on the farm. Watch the Lynnwood Farm Trailer.

Two Gaits Farm was named for the trotting and pacing gaits of the Standardbred horse it raised and bred for harness racing. The farm was purchase by the McNamara family in 1934.  It eventually encompassed 700 acres located between 136th Street to Greyhound Pass and Oakridge Road to the Monon Trail and had 500 horses at its peak. Richard McNamara tells the story of his family’s farm, its famous horses, streets in the Village of Mount Carmel named after winning horses and how para-mutual betting changed Two Gaits. Watch the Two Gaits Farm Trailer.

Thursday, June 22, 7:00 pm: The Jazz Legacy of Indianapolis at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room

Join Rob Dixon for a trip through Indianapolis’ rich jazz legacy and its impact on the world of jazz. Expect a bird’s-eye view of the celebrated Indiana jazz masters and how their contributions continue to shape the jazz world.

Thursday, August 24, 7:00 pm: The Banner Stone at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room

Join Strawtown Koteewi Park Historical Resource Specialist Christy Brocken and Carmel Engineering Administrator Josh Kirsh to discuss Kirsh’s recent find of a prehistoric banner stone during the construction of a roundabout at 136th Street and Gray Road in late June. The stone is more than 4,000 years old and had a variety of uses for the native people who lived here. Brocken will talk about local Native American history to put the stone in context. She will also bring other prehistoric artifacts that have been found in Hamilton County for the public to view.

Sunday, October 29 2-4pm: Screening of OMNI Centre for Public Media’s Historical Farms of Clay Township documentary at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Program Room

OMNI Centre presents documentaries about Huber 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