Last updated: 1/10/2012
Carmel, Indiana
Street Address
211 First St. SW
Carmel, IN 46032
Mailing Address
211 First St. SW
Carmel, IN
Hours
Archives-Year round
Tuesday - Wednesday8:30 AM - 3 PM
Monon Depot Museum-April 15 to Oct. 31
Friday - Saturday1 PM - 4 PM
Sunday2 PM - 4 PM
Admissions
Free. Donations Accepted.
Museum Type(s)
Services
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Staff
Katherine Dill, Director
Description

Description and History

The Carmel Clay Historical Society (CCHS) was formed in 1975 by a group of local residents as part of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration and dedicated the study of Carmel and Clay Township’s history. That same year the City of Carmel gave the historic 1883 Monon Railroad Depot to the society, which it maintains today as a museum of local history.

Mission

The Carmel Clay Historical Society is dedicated to enriching the lives of the residents of Clay Township and the city of Carmel by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of the Monon Train Depot, the city of Carmel and Clay Township, and the people who have lived here.

History

The Carmel Clay Historical Society (CCHS) was formed in 1975 by a group of local residents as part of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration and dedicated the study of Carmel and Clay Township’s history. That same year the City of Carmel gave the historic 1883 Monon Railroad Depot to the society, which it maintains today as a museum of local history.

Artifact Collections

Collections

The bulk of the Carmel Clay Historical Society’s photograph collection was taken between the late 19th century and early 20th century. It includes several hundred views of Carmel, present Clay Township, and its residents. The Kinzer Collection is one of the most important of the society’s collections. The William Kinzer journals, with daily entries from 1857 to 1912, comprise the largest collection of early-to-late 19th-century documentation owned by the society. The collection also includes many letters and record books. In the absence of local newspapers (only a few have been located), the Kinzer Collection serves significantly to inform of mid-19th century local history through the turn of the 20th century. William Kinzer was the oldest son of the family who arrived in the 1820s as among the first to settle in present Clay Township. Records from the Women’s Literary Club, founded in 1896, are housed at the CCHS. The club began the first “library” by loaning books to the public from the local phone exchange office in 1904 and eventually was instrumental in the building of the Carnegie Library in 1913. The Brown/Brunner Collection includes many records of local schools and instructional materials about “home economics” as once taught in local schools. The collection is named for long time schoolteacher Olive Brown Brunner. The Rohrer Monon Railroad Collection includes an assortment of memorabilia of this once important all-Indiana trunk line from the Ohio River to Lake Michigan and Chicago. The railroad’s “Air Line” was constructed through Carmel in 1883 and served the community with passenger service (discontinued in the 1960s) and freight service (disbanded in the early 1970s). The Carmel Clay Historical Society also maintains many public records and newspapers. In most cases before 1940, our copies of the local Carmel newspapers are the only extant copies. Selected city directories for Carmel from the mid-20th century are also available. Surname files are arranged alphabetically by family name. Abstracts of some wills, marriages, deeds, pensions and cemetery records are also among the holdings. The Society also owns many period maps of Carmel.

Educational Programs

The CCHS fulfills its mission by providing educational services in the following ways:

  • Public Programs about local topics
  • Tours of the Monon Railroad Depot Museum
  • Curriculum materials to schools on local and county history
  • Historic Home Tours highlighting local architecture and antiques
  • Providing genealogical assistance to area researchers
  • Maintaining an archives of letters, diaries, newspapers, documents, and artifacts that pertain to Carmel and Clay Township
ADA

Wheelchair Accessible

Parking

Restrooms

Services

Gift Shop

Group Tours

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CONFERENCES
March 11 - March 14, 2023
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