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A TIMELINE OF FAITH AND COMMUNITY:

BROAD RIPPLE, 1822 TO 1996

 

1822

Jesse McKay and John Calip purchase 147 acres from US government.  Jonas Huffman purchases 60.05 acres.

 

Washington Township organized.

1836

Indiana General Assembly passes the “Mammoth Internal Improvements Bill,” which proposes a statewide network of improved roads, canals, and rivers.

 

Jacob Coil and family move from Virginia and purchase land from McKays and Calips, establishing a ford across the shallow part of White River.

 

Surveying for the new Central Canal begins at the intersection of what is now Westfield Boulevard and the White River.

 

John Wray builds a home, grocery, and saloon near the location of the river dam.

 

Robert Earl operates a general store.

 

John Burke heads canal project and hires Irish workmen to build a feeder dam and begin digging the canal

1837

Jacob Coil lays out 48 lots north of the canal and calls the community Broad Ripple.

 

James A. and Adam R. Nelson plat Wellington—consisting of 32 lots—on the south side of the canal.

1839 

Canal opens.  Parades and celebration mark the opening.

 

William Switzer opens a store in Wellington.

 

The state of Indiana goes broke due to the Mammoth Internal Improvement Act of 1836.  Only 8.79 miles of the Marion County portion of the Central Canal has been completed to date.

 

Robert Earl begins a canal boat service between Indianapolis and Broad Ripple.

1843

Washington Township Graded School #5 built.

1845

Peter W. Koontz becomes Burke’s partner and builds a grist mill.

1850

Post office opens in Broad Ripple, soon moved to Wellington.  William Earl is the first postmaster.

1851

The state sells the Central Canal to a private company for $2,500.

 

Local residents subscribe to build a Union Church; it stands at the site now occupied by a fire station at 6330 Guilford Avenue.

 

Dr. Harry Kerr is the first physician in Broad Ripple and practices until 1880.

1852

Broad Ripple Methodist Episcopal Church is organized.

1854

Washington Township Grade School #14 opens (Broad Ripple and Evanston Avenues).

1867 

The canal is sold to the Hydraulic Company, later the Indianapolis Water Company, and becomes the principal source of water for the growing city of Indianapolis.

1873

A local chapter of the Grange is established.

1875

A flood destroys the gristmill, the community’s oldest house, and a grocery store on north side of White River.

1877

International Order of Odd Fellows, Broad Ripple Lodge No. 548, is organized.

1883 

Indianapolis, Delphi, and Chicago Railroad comes through Broad Ripple.

1884

Broad Ripple and Wellington merge and incorporate as Broad Ripple with 150 residents.

 

First Methodist Church established at 6145 Guilford.

 

White River breaks through levee constructed in 1875 and floods the town.

 

Broad Ripple school opens.  The two-story school is located on the south bank of White River.

 

Train bridge over White River collapses and several people die.

1886

Broad Ripple High School opens.

1887

Indianapolis, Delphi, and Chicago Railroad becomes the Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville Railroad.

 

Kingan Meat Packers Company establishes several ice houses.

1889

Broad Ripple Hotel burns.

1891

Gas explosion damages the Broad Ripple Hotel, Christian Church, I.O.O.F. Hall, and several businesses.

1894

Electric street cars introduced.  Dr. Robert C. Light and William Bosson establish the Indianapolis and Broad Ripple Transit Company.  Three days of celebration mark the event.

1895

Broad Ripple High School is commissioned by Indiana Department of Education.

1896

Broad Ripple High School is destroyed by fire.

 

Natural gas and oil are discovered in the area.  Local physician Dr. Robert C. Light forms the Broad Ripple Gas Company and joins the drilling operations in the area.

1897

Rebuilt high school opens.

 

Indianapolis & Broad Ripple Transit Company becomes Broad Ripple Traction Company, which eventually becomes the Union Traction Company.

1898

Pentecost Church is established.

1899

Christian Church is established.

1902

Kingan ice houses burn and the company rebuilds.

1903

Floods overrun the town.

1904

Interurban introduced to Broad Ripple.

1906

White City Amusement Park opens.

 

Broad Ripple residents seek annexation by Indianapolis.

 

Extensive fire damages business area.

1907

Masonic Lodge built at Guilford and Broad Ripple Avenues.  It becomes known as “Mustard Hall” when the Mustard family donates money to the Lodge.

 

W.H. Tabb and Robert C. Light form the White City Company of Indianapolis and obtain a nine-year lease for the amusement park facility.

1908

Fire destroys White City Amusement Park.

1909

First organized school basketball squad in Marion County.

 

Indianapolis City Council annexes Broad Ripple but Mayor Bookwalter vetoes annexation.  The council fails to override the veto.

1911

The Union Traction Company buys White City Amusement Park.

1912

Broad Ripple High School basketball team wins the Marion County Basketball Tourney.

1913

New Broad Ripple High School constructed.

 

Floods covers village for several days.

 

Fifteen petitions for and against annexation filed.

1914

Part of Broad Ripple annexed by Indianapolis.

1915

Annexation loses in court decision.

1917

Two existing telephone exchanges merge.

 

The Kingan meat packing company abandons ice houses along White River.

1920

Zivien’s Department Store opens on Broad Ripple Avenue.

1922

Businessman James H. Makin purchases Broad Ripple Park.

 

Indianapolis annexes Broad Ripple.

 

National Swimming Meet held at Broad Ripple Park.

 

Broad Ripple Chamber of Commerce established.

 

North Side Topics begins publishing.

1923

Broad Ripple Park is dis-annexed from Indianapolis.

 

Broad Ripple High School becomes a part of Indianapolis Public Schools.

1924 

Broad Ripple Park hosts the Olympic try-outs where Johnny Weissmuller, the soon-to-be Hollywood Tarzan, wins the 100-meter freestyle qualification.

1927

Broad Ripple Park is sold to Terre Haute brewery executives Oscar and Joseph Baur.

1929

School No. 80 built at 62nd and Guilford.

1930

Public library branch opens in Broad Ripple.

1932

Jail torn down.

1938

“Moonriver” steamship ends cruises on White River.

 

The “new” Broad Ripple Park opens a new season, boasting the “world’s largest concrete pool,” mechanized rides, a new ballroom, and “20 acres of free parking.”

 

Vogue Theater opens.

1940

New Broad Ripple Post Office built.

1945

City of Indianapolis purchases Broad Ripple Park.

 

Broad Ripple Businessmen’s Association established.

1946

C.I.L. Railroad becomes the Monon Line.

1949

New Broad Ripple Library branch opens, the first library built in the county since 1914.

1952

Broad Ripple Park hosts the Olympic swimming try-outs.

 1953

Electric streetcar service ends.

1954

William H. Block Company, a local department store, opens a store in Broad Ripple.

1955

Steam Engine #587 donated by the Nickel Plate Railroad to the city of Indianapolis for display near the entrance to Broad Ripple Park.

1956

Local clothing retailer L. Strauss opens a branch store in Broad Ripple.

1957

Parking meters installed.

1958

Glendale Shopping Center opens at Keystone Avenue and 62nd Street.

1959

Monon Railroad Station is converted to a store.

1961

City constructs parking deck constructed over Broad Ripple canal.

1967

First African-American students arrive at Broad Ripple High School.

 

Monon Line ends passenger service in Broad Ripple.

1969

Broad Ripple Village Association founded.

1970

William E. Jones becomes first African-American principal of Broad Ripple High School.

 

Broad Ripple Merchants Association organizes.

1971

Broad Ripple Art Fair held.

1974

Westfield Bridge over White River replaced.

 

Raft racing on White River begins.

1975

Broad Ripple carrousel is restored and reopened at the Children’s Museum.

1978

First duck-crossing sign erected.

1980

School #80 closed.

 

The Vogue theater reopens as a night club.

1981

Broad Ripple High School becomes a magnet school for the humanities.

 

Shortridge High School closed, leaving Broad Ripple High School to absorb a majority of those students.

 1983

Engine No. 587, on display to the entrance of Broad Ripple Park since 1955, is moved to Beech Grove for restoration.

1984

Restoration of Broad Ripple Park completed.

1985

65% of student body at Broad Ripple High School is African-American.

1986

A new branch of the Marion County-Indianapolis Public Library opens in Broad Ripple Park.

1987

Broad Ripple celebrates its sesquicentennial with parade and festival.

1995

Construction begins on Phase I of the Monon Rail Trail in Broad Ripple.

 

Skateboarding is banned in Broad Ripple.

1996 

Broad Ripple Village Association, in conjunction with local naturalists, decides to relocate the large duck population living along the Central Canal to other nature areas to protect them from the ever-increasing traffic in the area.

 

The Monon Trail, a “rails-to-trails” project, opens between Broad Ripple and 86th Street in Nora.

          

                 

         

         

        

         

        

                 

        

                 


 
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