Eagle Creek navigable to the new state capitol in Conner’s day?

William Conner would have seen a very different Eagle Creek Valley than we know today. In addition to Conner’s knowledge of the Miami Indians of the Eagle Creek Valley, Conner would have seen the creek as a navigable waterway connecting it to the new state capitol established in 1820. The Indian Name for Eagle Creek was Lau a shinga paim honnock or Middle of the Valley so called from the beautiful bottoms that extend along it sometimes from two to four miles in width. This may be correct Lawi is the Delaware for middle schingeu means level pern or peem has the force of near or adjoining and hanni is a river.
A few years before Conner’s Marion County patent on Eagle Creek, he had established his Hamilton County trading post. I recently discovered this map of Indiana in 1811. In reviewing the map I realized that Eagle Creek would have been second only to White River as a navigable waterway into the state’s new capitol. This fact, coupled with his knowledge of trade occurring between settlers and Indians in the vicinity of his Eagle Creek patent, would have made this land patent a compelling opportunity for a second trading post. Page 87

Published by Sentinel printing company, 1908
Original from the University of California
Digitized Nov 16, 2007
320 pages

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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