C. Noble Bretzman and Traders Point

William Fortune’s Traders Point home would later become the residence of significant photographer Noble Bretzman. Noble Bretzman is buried in Old Pleasant Hill Cemetery, a short walk across Moore Road from his Traders Point home. The following biographical depiction of Noble and his father Charles, was written by Kathleen Donnelly and was published in the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, 1999. The photographs depicted were taken by Bretzman for Home by The River by Archibald Rutledge, South Carolina’s poet laureate, published in 1941 by Indianapolis publisher Bobbs Merrill Co.
“C. Noble Bretzman, born in Indianapolis in 1909, began his career sweeping the floors of his father’s photography studio, though he soon became a journeyman retoucher and staff photographer. After graduation from Shortridge High School, he attended a school for professional photographers at Winona Lake, Indiana. He worked for a time in New York City where he was Radio City Music Hall’s first public relations photographer and took pictures of the Rockettes. Noble also set up his own studio specializing in illustrative photography. His business flourished as advertisers began to request photography instead of artwork to illustrate their products. He returned to Indianapolis in 1934 after the death of his father, took over the family business and introduced his distinctive style to local advertisers. Before signing an exclusive contract with L.S. Ayres, Bretzman took fashion photographs for a number of Indianapolis department stores. His photography was credited with inspiring the slogan, “That Ayres Look”. He also was a noted portrait photographer. In his later years Bretzman became passionately interested in ballet. He was a co-founding board member of Indianapolis’ first professional ballet company. He later served as Vice President and General Manager of the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre. Just before his death he founded Bravo Project, Inc., a not for profit corporation to interest school age children in the performing arts. Noble Bretzman donated his negative files and his father’s business records to the Indiana Historical Society in 1980.” (blog ed. note: Noble Bretzman’s sister, Julia, enjoyed some notoriety too. Before being married to the country’s top spy, CIA leader Richard Helms, she interviewed Adolf Hitler in 1936 while covering the Olympics in Nurenberg for UPI.)

About Ross Reller

I am pleased you have expressed interest in learning more about the historic Traders Point area in Indianapolis, Indiana. From 1980 to 1982 I was employed in the PR department at Conner Prairie Museum in Hamilton County. There I learned about William Conner, an important figure in Indiana's pioneer days. A decade later I became interested in the history of the Traders Point area and was surprised to learn that William Conner had been the first land owner in the area. In 1823 he acquired, through the Federal land office in Brookville, a patent for an 80 acre tract carved by Eagle Creek and an Indian trail that was about to be named the first toll roadway through the township (Lafayette Road). Thirty years later a village took shape within this tract. A grain mill on the creek, houses, churches, stores, restaurants, and two gas stations would take shape here in the creek valley hamlet of Traders Point. By 1962 all improvements (except a farmer's co-op) had been removed by the Indianapolis Flood Control Board to make way for Interstate 65 and a new reservoir. This blog is dedicated to preserving evidence of this historic area but I will occasionally use it to discuss related topics. To activate this follow, simply click the confirm button below. If you don't want to follow, ignore this message and we'll never bother you again. I am also a member of the Old Pleasant Hill Cemetery, a non profit association still selling burial plots for those who would like to spend all eternity in Traders Point, and I am an officer in the Pike Township Historical Society and the Traders Point Association of Neighborhoods.
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