A golden retriever owned by the first President of the Hoosier Motor Club has an enduring role in our area. In the early 1920s, the automobile was becoming more than just basic transportation. In an effort to promote weekend motoring, he not only created a destination, he also named the route for his dog. To alert travelers that they had reached the trail and to let them know they were still on it, he placed signs fashioned after a silhouette image of his dog’s head. I would love to see one of these signs, (ideally rusty and maybe sporting a bullet hole). The dog’s name was Dandy. On its north south route on the westside of Indianapolis The Dandy Trail ran alongside Eagle Creek from Clermont on the south to Traders Point on the north. You would then travel south on Lafayette Road also known as the Jackson Trail, and proceed east on West 71st Street.
As Dandy Trail meandered alongside a pre-reservoir Eagle Creek, some sections of the trail are still visible today. A rusty old bridge crossed the Fishback Creek west of Eagle Creek, (just south of a popular birding platform and an area I refer to as the Cassilly Adams homesite). Motorists of the day (1920s – 1940s) knew they had arrived in Traders Point (where Dandy Trail terminated at Old 52, aka Lafayette Road). There were two busy gas stations operated by Homer Resler to the south and George Wilkins to the north, each competent mechanics. If your repairs were not too lengthy, you could grab a bite to eat at Burden’s Lunch. By 1960 the north terminus of Dandy Trail was West 56th Street. Much of Dandy Trail remains buried under the reservoir or was destroyed by the construction of the Interstate 65 bridge over Eagle Creek. Thanks to the Indiana State Library for allowing me to photograph their copy of the map, dated 1921.