IBJ blog features Cotton Ropkey House

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana is racing to save the Cotton-Ropkey House at 79th Street and Marsh Road just west of I-465. The owner of the property, Kite Realty Group, applied for a demolition permit after no one took it up on an offer to sell the house for $1 in exchange for moving it. But the local developer has agreed to give the foundation a little more time to find a way to save the home, which was completed in 1850 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The foundation is looking at a nearby site where it could move the house, said Marsh Davis, the group’s president. If they can get the home moved, they would fix it up, place covenants and resell it. The home’s façade displays characteristics of Greek Revival and Italianate styles, and a staircase features ash treads and a cherry railing. Farmer John Cotton began building the home in 1848 and it stayed in the family until 1937, when the Ropkey family bought it. They owned it until 2004 when Kite bought the 95-acre farm for development. (Photo: L. Mark Finch

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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