Pike Township/Eagle Creek as described in 1975 Book

“It is the nostalgic rural character that makes Pike Township unique and sets it apart from other developing Indianapolis areas. The naturally beautiful rolling farmland and forested areas are still dominated by many of the farmsteads, homes and small villages built by the area’s earliest settlers. Also adding to the liesurely atmosphere of the township are the numerous nurseries and the country estates of some of Indianapolis’ most notable families. Although farming is no longer the primary economic base of the township, a great many farmsteads still remain. Many of these structures, now obsolete due to age, changing farming methods and farm consolidation, have been abandoned. These structures add both a sense of rusticity and depreciation to the area. Other farmsteads, adapting to changing times, continue to prosper, either in their original use or with altered functions, such as serving the growing recreational market. In the north and west portions of the township, and across the county line to the north (Traders Point area, ed. RR), one can see a large number of horses. This area is reputed to be developing a reputation as a major horse-breeding center compared by some to Kentucky’s Blue Grass Area.

While the area’s more modern houses are indiscernible from their suburban counterparts, the older homes tend to reflect the conservative attitudes and limited means of their rural or small-village builders. The largest examples compare in size and ostentatiousness to only the more modest urban examples of the same time period. The most outstanding features of these homes are their intimate scale and the intricate woodwork, which remains intact on many of the houses today. It is reputed that there are more than one hundred houses over one hundred years old still standing in Pike Township. The most notable is the Robinson-Sparks house (7658 Noel Road in Traders Point area). This remodeled log cabin contains its original log walls, a black walnut corner cupboard, the original fireplace and a split-log “punchin’ floor”. The timbers in the attic are black walnut. The terrace along the first story was built using homemade bricks. The home is one of the two oldest houses in Marion County and boasts an 1830 land grant bearing Andrew Jackson’s signature. Also of note is the Hollingsworth Homestead (6054 Hollingsworth Road). A two-story brick pioneer residence built in 1854 with walls three bricks thick, a parlor, a “plunder room” for children on the second floor and three fireplaces. The pioneering Hollingsworth family held the old farmhouse for three generations. It is now owned by the UNIGOV Department of Parks and Recreation. Plans are being made ot establish a Pike Township Historical Museum in the house (*ed. note this never occurred). An application has been made for the admission of the Hollingsworth House to the National Registry of Historic Landmarks.

. . .A large beech tree in the Eagle Creek Park area bears the signature of Daniel Boone reputably carved during a surveying expedition (ed. note, PBS movie on this is available elsewhere on this blog).

Other homes mentioned in the book narrative and that are located within the Traders Point Triangle:
8407 Moore Road: Moore/Asher House, 1879, The original portion of this home is a two-story cubicle-shaped frame farm house. It contains an enclosed narrow stairway, long narrow windows, large beams in the basement and walnut woodwork.
7356 Lakeside Drive: McCune/Sacks House, 1855, This two-story frame house features a “wrap-around” porch now covering 2 1/2 sides, mortar foundation, hewn logs in the basement walls and yellow poplar wood in the exterior brought from Cincinnati. In the early 1900’s the house was owned by Mrs. Carl Fisher (blog ed. note: widow of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Miami Florida developer Carl Fisher) and used as a country home. During Mrs. Fisher’s ownership the Salvation Army operated a summer camp for children on the grounds. One summer Governor Thomas R. Marshall gave a speech on the home’s porch, in connection with the camp.
6360 West 79th Street, Cotto/Ropkey House, 1849. A two-story Georgian frame home, featuring yellow poplar siding, a boulder foundation, hewn timbers in the basement and heavy, wide-board oak floors. The interior of the old home also contains a winding stairway with cherry rail, high ceilinged rooms and some windows containing the original glass panes. A terrace runs around the whole structure. An antique lightning rod atop the roof completes the charming effect.

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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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