In the 1820’s the early settlers were drawn to the land bybecause of the huge natural opportunities.
The land was flat and perfect tomake their home. The area was mainly used for hunting grounds until thesettlers arrived. This land was originally inhabited by the Delaware /MiamiIndians. April 13, 1837, the city of Carmel, Indiana was established under thename of Bethlehem by John Felps (Phelps), Alexander Mills, Seth Green, andDaniel Warren. Starting out as fourteen plots of land, this Quaker towngradually developed, taking off with the fur trading economy.
A general storewas built in 1837, eight years later the first schoolhouse was built, then in1846 a post office, but residents were notified that the U.S. Post Officealready had another town registered by the name of Bethlehem in Indiana. In 1874,by a referendum vote of 33 in favor and 12 against, the town was officiallyincorporated and adopted the name “Carmel”. It was not until 1883when the Monon Railroad was laid through the town that the economy exploded.The rails allowed for quick transportation of crop goods. Theroad expansion of the 1960’s created a huge boom for the city.
In the nextdecade, Carmel annexed twenty-one properties and still continues expanding tothis day. “Land use at the beginning of the 1970s showed 86 percent devotedto agriculture, 8 percent public/semi-public, 5 percent residential, 0.6percent industrial/manufacturing, and 0.3 percent office/retail.
Twenty five years later, residential land-usecomprised 47 percent; agriculture, 34 percent; public/semi-public, 11 percent;industrial/manufacturing, 5 percent; office/retail, 4 percent” (CarmelNarrative). Today some well-known parks are the CoolCreek Park which is a popular place for people to hang out and see a bandperform. Another other park is FlowingWell Park which is also a favorite among the community as well, although itmight not be big or impacting it has a lot of people that love to visitit. Another huge part of Carmel is theArts and Design District, also known as downtown Carmel. This area is hugelypopular among families and teens to hang out and has been recently renovated tocreate a commercial, small town village feel. In this area, there is the Public Library which is another place thatpeople love to visit and spend their time in downtown Carmel.
The Monon Center is a large outdoor waterpark with several indoor pools and a fitness center that the community ofCarmel greatly enjoys. This centerconnects to the Monon Trails which replaced the Monon railroads and is now usedto exercise on or enjoy leisurely. Carmel’s most popular location though isprobably Clay Terrace.
Located ideallyalong Keystone Parkway which is a major road that connects nearly everything inCarmel together, it is a booming mall that is visited by everyone in the areafor anything they need.