Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Black history of Carmel predates the platting of the town by almost two decades. Before the pioneers settled the area, a Black man named Pete lived among the Lenape near the city’s northeast side.

In the decades that followed, many Black men, women and children escaped from their enslavers by traveling a line of the Underground Railroad operated by Quakers on Hamilton County’s west side. Frederick Douglass, a leader in the abolitionist movement, visited the county in 1843 to speak against slavery.

Several freedmen and freedwomen made their homes in the Carmel area. Some came during the Antebellum Period. Others were part of an exodus from Southern states during Reconstruction.

In the early twentieth century, a Black family group settled in Clay Township. Their members included a veteran of World War I and Carmel High School’s first Black graduate, who was also a track star. In the late 1940s, another Carmel track star became one of the fastest young men in the country.

These stories have been compiled in a book titled The Early Black History of Carmel. You can find it online or at All Things Carmel on West Main Street, or download it for free here.

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.

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.

Looking for a gift for the sports fan in your life?!

We have a new book about the history of baseball in Carmel. Baseball had its roots in the bat and ball games played on the schoolyards throughout Carmel in the 1850s. In the 1900s, Carmel had an unusually good baseball club for a town its size. They played in many championship games and several of the players made it to the minor leagues. This book follows the club and their star spitball pitcher, Curtis Bales, through several seasons of the dead-ball era.

If you would like a copy, stop by the Monon Depot. The books will be available December 16.

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

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.