History of Indianapolis and Marion County – Pike Township – B.R. Sulgrove – 1884

p. 604: The first road that was surveyed and cut out through this township was the Lafayette Road. It was surveyed and cut out in 1831 and 1832 from Indianapolis to Lafayette. The next was the Michigan Road from Indianapolis to Michigan City; this was surveyed by George L. Conrad in 1832. Some of the citizens are still living who helped cut out these roads. The Lafayette Road runs in a northwesterly direction through the township, and in some places passed through the swampiest land in the township. In such places it was “corduroyed,” and in open, wet winters or in spring this road was impassable for teams and wagons, and in those days it was a great undertaking to go to Indianapolis, a distance of ten or twelve miles, and often required two days to make the round trip to mill or market with a small load. In 1859 to 1862 the Lafayette Road was graded and graveled by Aaron McCray, Issac Meyers, John Bowers, and Manning Voorhes, at a cost of twelve hundred dollars per mile; in these four years twelve miles of this road was graveled and it was made one of the best thoroughfares of the county. Since that time the Michigan Road, the Zionsville, and other roads in this township have been graveled and there are now about thirty five miles of gravel roads in the township, fully half of which are free roads. Quite an improvement has been made in the other roads of the township, all the wet and low places being graded and graveled. In the summer of 1877 the first iron bridge was built in this township across Big Eagle Creek, on the Lafayette Road at Trader’s Point, at a cost of twelve thousand dollars.

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 History of Indianapolis and Marion County – Pike Township – B.R. Sulgrove – 1884

  1. v kwasigroch says:

    any idea on approximate date on this photo?

    • Archivist says:

      no but judging by the condition of the roads and the age of the house it could be from the 1920s or 1930s. The archives of Pike Twp are located in Pike High School and they may have better info on this photo.

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