In the 1820’s the early settlers were drawn to the land by a wealth of natural opportunity. The land was flat and perfect to make their home. The area was mainly used as a hunting grounds until the settlers arrived. This land was originally inhabited by the Delaware /Miami Indians.April 13, 1837, the city of Carmel, Indiana was established under the name of Bethlehem by John Felps (Phelps), Alexander Mills, Seth Green, and Daniel Warren. Starting out as fourteen plots of land, this Quaker town gradually developed, taking off with the fur trading economy.
A general store was built in 1837, eight years later the first schoolhouse was built, then in 1846 a post office, but residents were notified that the U.S. Post Office already 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 officially incorporated and adopted the name “Carmel”. It was not until 1883 when the Monon Railroad was laid through the town that the economy exploded.
The rails allowed for quick transportation of crop goods. The road expansion of the 1960’s created a huge boom for the city. In the next decade, Carmel annexed twenty-one properties and still continues expanding to this day. “Land use at the beginning of the 1970s showed 86 percent devoted to agriculture, 8 percent public/semi-public, 5 percent residential, 0.6 percent industrial/manufacturing, and 0.
3 percent office/retail. Twenty five years later, residential land-use comprised 47 percent; agriculture, 34 percent; public/semi-public, 11 percent; industrial/manufacturing, 5 percent; office/retail, 4 percent” (Carmel Narrative). Today some well-known parks are the Cool Creek Park which is a popular place for people to hang out and see a band perform. Another other park is Flowing Well Park which is also a favorite among the community as well, although it might not be big or impacting it has a lot of people that love to visit it. Another huge part of Carmel is the Arts and Design District, also known as downtown Carmel. This area is hugely popular among families and teens to hang out and has been recently renovated to create a commercial, small town village feel.
In this area, there is the Public Library which is another place that people love to visit and spend their time in downtown Carmel. The Monon Center is a large outdoor water park with several indoor pools and a fitness center that the community of Carmel greatly enjoys. This center connects to the Monon Trails which replaced the Monon railroads and is now used to exercise on or enjoy leisurely. Carmel’s most popular location though is probably Clay Terrace. Located ideally along Keystone Parkway which is a major road that connects nearly everything in Carmel together, it is a booming mall that is visited by everyone in the area for anything they need.With the dawn of the 20th century, Indianapolis had become a metropolis. Being close in proximity, Carmel established a series of paved roads connecting it to the urban landscape.
The Carmel Clay Township is one of the fastest growing in Indiana.