Traders Point Landmark to close

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Traders Point Landmark to close

We have just received the sad news that Hoosier Orchid Co. a Traders Point landmark, will close in August. Bill Rhodehamel, owner, once told me that his interest in orchids began at Madeline Fortune Elder’s greenhouse on Moore Road. For many years he operated in the heart of the Traders Point triangle near West 82nd Street and Lafayette Road. Sad news for our area and a commentary to what’s happening to mom and pop businesses in the United States

Wed. July 30 – 2008

By Erik StegemillerSpecial to IBJ

Hoosier Orchid Co., a far-northwest-side company that grew to become one of the nation’s most specialized orchid growers, is going out of business at the end of August.Founder William Rhodehamel said the ornamental flowers have become a commodity now stocked even at stores like Costco.”It used to be that if you wanted orchids in Indianapolis, you had to come to us,” Rhodehamel said.Business also withered because fewer people are showing interest in the myriad specialty versions that Rhodehamel raised. Membership in the American Orchid Society, a group of hobbyists and enthusiasts, has fallen substantially in recent years.Rhodehamel started Hoosier Orchid in 1989 after a gift of three of the flowers from a friend sparked an ongoing fascination. He eventually cultivated orchids never before grown from seed, as well as some varieties that have never received scientific names.”We have some incredibly rare plants here, some not maintained anywhere else in the world,” Rhodehamel said. “We’ll put those in botanical gardens where we know they’ll be safe.”Almost all the plants in the 5,000-square-foot greenhouse at 82nd Street and Lafayette Road will be offered to the public through Hoosier Orchid’s Web site and sales on site.Operations with mail-order and walk-in customers will continue as usual until Aug. 30, when shelves will be cleared.

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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