Carmel Clay Historical Society to celebrate Founders Week in May


By Mark Ambrogi

In honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial, the Carmel Clay Historical Society is holding its first Founders’ Week celebration from May 8 to 15, remembering the origins and history of the city.

Originally named Bethlehem, the settlement was founded by four families – Warren, Mills, Phelps and Green – in 1837. It was renamed Carmel in 1846 and became a city in 1976.

“There will be a variety of thing for everyone,” said Whitney Dennis, CCHS executive director. “It will showcase the origins of the community.”

Dennis said she and the volunteers decided to hold the Founders’ Week and form a committee. During the week, historic photographs will line the streets of the Arts & Design District, recreating Old Town Carmel.

On May 14, the society will provide music, kids activities, a scavenger hunt and a live presentation by historical actor Kevin Stonerock on a day in the life of a Hoosier Pioneer.

All events are free and suitable for all ages. Dennis said there will be updates on the website,, and the Facebook page.

Schedule of events

May 8

1 to 4 p.m. – Opening of exhibits, including interactive presentation “The Story of Carmel” and the traveling exhibit “Hoosier Centennial exhibit, a look back at 1916” to the public at CCHS.

May 11

6:30 p.m. – “Quakers and the Underground Railroad in the mid-19th Century,” a presentation by Tom Hamm at the Museum of Miniature Houses

May 14

1 to 4 p.m. – Performance by the Wendy Reed Band, led by frontwoman, Wendy Reed, a Carmel High School graduate, on the lot at Monon & Main

1 to 4:30 p.m. – Kids’ activities on the Monon Depot Lawn, presented by Sugarbuzz (face painting, balloon animals, etc.)

1 to 8 p.m. – Exhibits open to the public, with refreshments and cookies provided by Market District

2 p.m. – Recreation of the historic Tug of War at Monon & Main lot

2:30 and 4:30 p.m. – “A visit with a Hoosier Pioneer”, a live presentation by historic actor, Kevin Stonerock, on CCHS grounds