Homer Resler

One-Armed Homer Resler

Homer Resler and George Wilkins were a couple of the earliest auto mechanics on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Their garage greeted motorists from the 1920s through the 1950s who either needed gas or mechanical help at the corner of Dandy Trail and Lafayette Road. This early photo (1920s?) shows Homer at the pump and George near the barn. In later years the two would each operate separate and competing fueling facilities on the original site shown in this photograph. Homer’s first facility had to be replaced after a motorist relieving himself in the men’s room extinguished his cigarette in the outhouse connected to the building. The resulting fire burned the place to the ground but did not ignite the buried fuel tanks. Years later (1959?) the modern facility that replaced it would be featured prominently on the front pages of newspapers as the photo that best summarized the flooding of Traders Point. Water within 4 feet of the filling station’s roof was visible in the background of men in row boats rescuing villagers from their homes. But I digress. Homer was a bit adventurous in his younger years and he may have been one of the earlier folks in the area to own a motorcycle. As the story goes, he was northbound on Lafayette Road when something happened near a spot we now call the entrance to Mill Pond. At that time it was called McCurdy Creek. Anyway, Homer somehow found himself in a tree and doctors were unable to save one arm. So the above photo was probably taken some time after the incident.

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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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