Deputy Mayor Discovers Pike's Historic Treasures

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Barns at Trader's Point Creamery are refurbished from the Civil War era.

Photo by Linda Karn

(posted Apr 27)

Elected officials, neighborhood association representatives and city administration representatives were treated to a glimpse of Pike Township's past, present and future during the City sponsored April 22 bus tour of the area.

Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams substituted for Mayor Greg Ballard, who changed his plans due to the Huntington Bank robbery that resulted in a pregnant teller being shot. Williams said the tour gave him a better understanding of the rural neighborhoods of Trader's Point, New Augusta, and Intech Park, and the Colts Complex. Williams said most people associate neighborhoods with urban areas, but the rural neighborhoods have their issues. "It is my job to know all of the neighborhoods," he said.

Steve Jones, president of Trader's Point Association of Neighborhoods (TPAN), said Trader's Point was a town that existed on the north side of 71st Street by Eagle Creek, but in 1964 construction and flooding of the reservoir destroyed the community. Trader's Point is now called a "Golden Triangle", bordered by 86th Street on the south, I-865 on the north,  I-465 on the east and I-65 on the west.

Jones said TPAN was formed to protect the historical nature of the area. He said Moore Road is actually a former Indian trail, and William Conner purchased the first tract from the Indians. The trail continued to foster trading among the Indians and settlers.

He said the area's history also tells of wealthy people, including the families of Lilly, Block and Ayres, building hunting lodge estates in the once isolated area.

Today, Trader's Point Creamery is a thriving destination point on Moore Road, but TPAN's major concern is commercial development creeping westward past I-465. Jones said the 1973 Comprehensive Plan recommended the west side of the interstate remain residential.

Rural life can still be observed. Angie Campbell of Trader's Point Creamery said the certified organic farm is comprised of 142 acres with grass fed cows and chickens. The cows are grazed by a rotational management system that has captured the attention of farmers across the nation to visit. She said the young cows that have just calved for the first time are hand milked. She said the organic milk is pasteurized but not homogenized so the fat remains in the milk. She said the grass fed cows have high amounts of omega three fatty acids.

State Representative Phil Hinkle, who was raised on a farm in Walton, Indiana, shared some of his own farming stories. He said it is important for the hands not be cold when milking because cold hands reduce milk production. The proper way to milk is by squeezing the udder, not pulling. He also asked Campbell if the chickens have adapted to daylight savings time. She said it's ironic but the chickens go inside their coop an hour earlier despite the additional day light.

Williams and his guests also took a brief tour of New Augusta. The area was platted in 1831. Mark Patty, president of the New Augusta Village Association, said the Purdy Lane is named after a prominent family that preserved the town's historical value. He credited Olive and Emma Purdy for preserving many of the historical homes and the railroad station. Their grandfather, Dr. Ephriam Purdy, moved to the town in 1870.

Patty called it a unique place that has been able to freeze time since the 1940s. There are about 70 homes and 20 businesses. The 1999 Conservation District continues to preserve the heritage by controlling building standards. Patty said the conservation requirements are more restrictive than the national historic preservation designation. He explained that New Augusta is vulnerable to developer encroachments since it is no longer a town. The village is now surrounded by retail, residential and a light industrial warehouse park.

Williams called the Traders Point and New Augusta "treasures."

Present day locations included a tour of Intech Park. Jack Hogan of Lauth said the 210 acres is the biggest office park in the state with 900,000 square feet of office space, and will total 2.5million square feet when finished.

As far as future development, a Hilton Garden Hotel is planned for the the office park with a 9,000 square foot conference center.

Susan Blair, president of the Pike Township Resident Association, said she has been in discussions with Drury Inn about locating across the street from Intech Park. The company is planning to build a hotel on the vacant land just north of Bob Evans at 71st Street. The plan also includes an office park. She said no formal petition has been filed at this time.

Another part of Marion County's present and future is the Colts Complex. Bill Brooks, former Colts player from 1986-1992 and executive director of administration, gave a tour. He said the digging observed at the front entrance is the start of construction for future office space and rerouting the driveway entrance.

The brief tour highlighted the intense workouts and practices that these professional athletes must endure. Brooks explained that nutrition and body composition are critical to prevent players from fatiguing during a game. The football player's body composition of fat and muscle is more important than monitoring the actual body weight.

Jon Torine, conditioning and strength coach, pointed out a sign that says "drink chocolate milk within 15 to 30 minutes after a work out", explaining chocolate milk is considered a recovery drink. The NFL does not want players to consume supplemental drinks, so chocolate milk is recommended. Gatorade is used to restore the body's electrolytes. It is important to replenish electrolytes because without them the body succumbs quickly to exhaustion and fatigue. Torine said maintaining good nutrition and physical condition are critical for the off season. Off season training has been in progress for about three weeks. During the off season critical changes are made to a player's diet.  He stopped short of saying the nutritional program is enforced, using the words "highly recommended."

Brooks said nutrition is taken a lot more seriously than when he played because of the growing amount of information that comes from research.

At the end of the tour, Williams learned that not all neighborhoods are at peace. One future development is raising concerns with the neighborhoods located on Reed Road. Blair told Williams the PTRA plans intervene with Pike Soccer Club's desire to build an indoor soccer facility on the land its leases from Indy Parks at 56th and Reed. She said the surrounding neighbors are not happy about the proposal.

Blair hopes the two parties will be able to reach a compromise. She explained that one compromise is building the indoor facility at Northwest Way Park. The other option is to build the indoor facility closer to the Colts Complex instead next to the Mayor 's Garden at 56th and Reed. She thinks it will be a heated battle between the neighbors and the soccer club before the compromise is struck.

Blair said the soccer club needs to raise about $1 million to build the facility. She does not know how long the fund raising will take since the economy is softening.

Janice McHenry, District 6 City County Councilor, told Williams that she was familiar with the issue. A exchange of heated words occurred between a member of the soccer club and neighborhood representatives at her March Town Hall meeting.