The Founding of Carmel, Indiana: A Historical Overview

Carmel Indiana is a northern suburb of Indianapolis located in Hamilton County. Learn more about its founding history & facts here.

The Founding of Carmel, Indiana: A Historical Overview

Carmel, Indiana, located in Hamilton County, is a northern suburb of Indianapolis, situated 14 miles north of the city. The area was originally inhabited by Delaware (Miami) Indians before Quakers settled there in 1837.On April 13th of that year, John Felps (Phelps), Alexander Mills, Seth Green and Daniel Warren established the city of Bethlehem, which was comprised of fourteen lots. In 1846, the post office was renamed Carmel due to the existence of another post office called Bethlehem in Indiana. Ninety people petitioned Hamilton County Commissioners to change the name of Clay Township to Carmel Township and move the eastern boundary to White River.

This request was granted and Carmel has since become a self-sufficient community with significant commercial, industrial and residential importance. The city is bounded on the south by Marion County (96th Street), on the west by Boone County (Michigan Road), on the east by White River and on the north by 146th Street. The main east-west streets generally end at 6th and include 96th Streets (the southern border), 106, 116, 126, 131, 136 and 146 (marking the northern border). Main Street (131) runs east to west through Carmel's Art & Design District; Carmel Drive generally runs east to west through the main shopping area; and City Center Drive runs east to west near the Carmel City Center project.

The Monon train passes through Clay Township and connects Carmel to Indianapolis, Westfield and Sheridan. Celebrating decades of automotive engineering and craftsmanship, the Carmel Artomobilia Collector's Car Show presents a wide range of classic, vintage, exotic and rare cars and works of art inspired by car design. Carmel has been recognized with numerous awards and ratings for its programs and services. The city is home to the Performing Arts Center which includes a 1,600-seat concert hall called “The Palladium” and a 500-seat theater called “The Tarkington” as well as a black-box theater with a capacity for 200 people.

The inventor of Carmel, Leslie Haines, installed automatic stop and start lights of his design at the intersection of Main Street and State Road 31 in Carmel. Carmel's educational institutions have also grown over time. Two elementary schools were added: Carmel in 1961 and College Wood in 1965; as well as a high school in 1964 which helped alleviate overcrowding in “Old North” which is still used on the high school campus.

Lorene Batteiger
Lorene Batteiger

Unapologetic web scholar. Lifelong zombie ninja. Certified travel evangelist. General pizza aficionado. Devoted beer ninja. Unapologetic travel advocate.

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