Dandy Trail Map dated 1921

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.

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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2 Responses to Dandy Trail Map dated 1921

  1. Peter Lohmar says:

    I read with great interst your outline of the history of Dandy Trail. During the years 1963-66 we lived in the white house which still stands at 7420 Dandy Trail, up near its intersection with Wilson Rd near I-65. I remember it was still owned by Purdue University during this time.

    Does anyone have have any information about this house, when it was first built (maybe the mid-30s?), who originally owned it; is it still occupied?

    Thanks for any information you can provide.

  2. Jim says:

    I hope you’re still monitoring this blog. I recently bought nine 4×5 glass negatives of scenes along the Dandy Trail, all with some sort of Dandy Trail sign in the picture. One reads, “Dandy Trail – 88 Miles Around the City.” Two others have signs that include what might, maybe, be dog silhouettes. One other includes another road sign, for Sargent Road, so at least that one was taken way on the other side of town from Traders Point.

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