Crooked Creek

A TIMELINE OF FAITH AND COMMUNITY: CROOKED CREEK, 1821 TO 1996

1821 Earliest recorded settlers in Crooked Creek area, Jacob Whitinger and Noah Leaverton.
1837 Crooked Creek Baptist Church organized with 14 members.
1842 First Crooked Creek Baptist Church built.
1844 Pleasant View Lutheran Church organized as Zion’s Church, includes a Sunday School.  The founders are from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
1850 Pleasant View Lutheran Church built at Augusta.
1855 Pleasant View Lutheran Church unites with School District No. 8 to erect combination school and church across the road from its present site.
1856 Second Crook Creek Baptist Church built on same site as first.
1863 Pleasant View Lutheran Church moves from Augusta to present site.
1884 Crooked Creek Baptist Church has 98 members, Sunday School has 63 pupils.
1908 Highland Golf and Country Club opens.  The 140-acre golf course is laid out by Scottish golf-architect Willie Parks.
1910 Rocky Ripple is founded on a 1,000-acre tract as a “working class resort.”
1916 Crooked Creek Elementary opens at North Michigan Road and 57th Street.
1921 Broadmoor Country Club, a Jewish club, opens.  The golf course is designed by Scottish golf architect, Donald Ross.
1923 Meridian Hills Country Club opens.
Following approval of the state legislature, construction begins on a new Indiana School for the Blind on a 60 acre campus at 75th Street and North College Avenue.
Construction begins on the Kessler Boulevard parkway.  The Intention is to connect Fort Benjamin Harrison to the northwest side of the city.
1925 The Western Open (Golf) Tournament is held at Highland Golf and Country Club.
1926 Spring Hill incorporates as a town.
1927 The town of Crows Nest incorporates.
Rocky Ripple incorporates as a town.
1929 Kessler Boulevard is completed.  The parkway is named in honor of landscape architect and urban planner George Edward Kessler of St. Louis, Missouri.
1930 The Indiana School for the Blind opens in September.
1931 John H. Holliday, founder of the Indianapolis News, donates his estate to the city for a park.  The area is bounded by White River, Spring Mill Road, 64thStreet, and US Highway 31.
1932 Indianapolis Power & Light executive, Thomas Wynne, divides his family farm and plats the town of Wynnedale.
1936 Holliday Park is to become site of botanical gardens and arboretum.  Work will be done by the WPA.
1937 Meridian Hills incorporates as a town.
The Works Progress Administration constructs a levee to protect Rocky Ripple from flooding.
1939 Holliday Park is scheduled to open.
The residents of Wynnedale vote to incorporate.
1943 Interior of Pleasant View Lutheran Church is remodeled to confirm to “Lutheran appointments.”
1944 Centennial Celebration of Pleasant View Lutheran Church includes publication of a church history by Mrs. Mary Hessong.
1945 Crooked Creek Baptist announces plans to build a new church when war ends.
George J. Marott donates an 83-acre tract to the city for use as a park.  The new park is named the Ella P. Marott Park in honor of the donor’s late wife.  The new facility is bounded on the west by College Avenue, on the north by 75th Street, on the south by White River and 71st Street, and on the east by the Monon Railroad.
1947 Holliday home is popular meeting site of various community organizations, including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, garden clubs, and many others.
1950 Pleasant View Lutheran Church burns mortgage on November 11th.
1951 Crooked Creek Baptist Church is completed.
1953 Jewish Welfare Federation purchases property near Spring Mill Road and 69th Street for Jewish Community Center.
Delaware Trails Elementary School opens at 7411 Hoover Road.
Second Presbyterian Church accepts the gift of a 20 acre tract in Meridian Hills.  The church intends to establish a mission church at the site.
1954 The residents of Wynnedale erect a barrier across Knollton Road in order to keep out additional traffic.
1956 Lilly Endowment and Indianapolis Foundation contribute $50,000 for Jewish Community Center.
1957 St. Monica Catholic Church and School are dedicated on August 11.  Located on an eight and one-half acre tract at 6131 North Michigan Road, construction costs are more than $300,000.  The church has a seating capacity of 550, while the school expects an opening enrollment of 200 pupils.
First Mennonite Church dedicated.  The congregation was formed in 1953 by a combination of Mennonite conscientious objectors and a group of Mennonite dental and medical students.  The church is located at 2311 Kessler Boulevard, North Drive.
Congregation Beth-El Zedeck lays cornerstone for new building.
1958 Jewish Community Center opens to the public on February 2nd.  The new center located at 6701 Hoover Road, costs $800,000 and is located on a 38-acre tract.
Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation dedicates its new synagogue on May 9th.  The oldest Jewish congregation in the city, Hebrew Congregation was formed in 1856.  The 20 acre site is located at 65thand Meridian Streets.  In order to build in Meridian Hills, the IHC successfully challenged it’s zoning laws in court.
Beth-El Zedeck dedicates new building at 600 West 70th Street.
Holliday Park is proposed as setting for Karl Bitter statues of Races of Man, saved when Westinghouse Building is razed in New York City by Western Electric.
First Congregational Church moves into its new location at 7171 North Pennsylvania Street.  The new structure costs $400,000 and has a seating capacity of 360.  The church was formed in 1908 through the merger of a number of earlier institutions—going back to the Plymouth Church, which was organized in 1857.
1959 Second Presbyterian Church moves into its new building at 7700 North Meridian Street on October 4th.  After abandoning the idea of turning the twenty-acre site into a mission church, the leadership of Second Presbyterian convinced the Meridian Hills town council (under the threat of a lawsuit) to waive its restrictive zoning laws and allow the church to relocate to the Meridian Hills location.  Construction costs are slightly over $1,800,000.
Pleasant View Lutheran Church announces plans for a new building on Hoover Road.
1960 Holliday House (in Holliday Park) is dedicated.
1961 St. Luke Catholic Church and School opens in temporary quarters at 7575 East Holliday Drive.
1962 Ground broken for new Pleasant View Lutheran Church.
Washington Park Cemetery, North’s Great Hall Chapel, and Court of the Living Bible Garden mausoleum are dedicated in July.  They are both part of a $1 million construction program being carried out at the cemetery, located at 2300 West Kessler Boulevard.
Second Presbyterian Church begins a program providing for Cuban refugee families.
1963 Congregation Etz Chaim purchases old Pleasant View Lutheran Church building at 64th and Hoover Road.  This is the city’s only Sephardic congregation.
1964 Overcrowding at Grandview Elementary results in busing of pupils to Crooked Creek and Harcourt Elementary schools, first time that black students attend Crooked Creek.
1965 At Holliday Park, many of the plant identification markers are missing, and bitter statues setting is still unfinished.
The Crooked Creek Community Council, Inc., is formed by local residents fight the development of Foxhill Manor.  The group successfully negotiates for the 50 acres that will later form Juan Soloman Park.  Now a member of Community Centers of Indianapolis, Inc. (CCI), the group serves as an umbrella for twelve neighborhood associations.
1966 First Mennonite Church becomes independent of the Mennonite Mission Board.
Park School relocates to 7200 North College Avenue.  Originally founded as the Brooks School for Boys in 1914, the institution changed its name to Park School after moving to a site near Thomas Taggart Park in 1929.  The school began admitting girls through grade six in 1964.
University United Methodist Church is formed through the merger of Simpson, Gorham, and Christ United Methodist Churches.
1967 Congregation B’nai Torah moves from 34th and Ruckle Streets to 65th Street and Hoover Road.
St. Maur, an interracial seminary, has to occupy former Harrell estate at 4615 North Michigan Road.
1968 St. Maur dedicated.
Senior Citizens Center opens in Holliday Park, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of North Indianapolis and the Metro Park Board.
Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church moves into its new building on a 10 acre site at 5136 North Michigan Road in July.  The church was formed in 1896 and was located at Paris Avenue and Twenty-fifth Street from 1937 until its move to North Michigan Road.
St. Maur expands pastoral training program, now serves Indianapolis and 13 other dioceses and religious orders.
African-American enrollment at Grandview Elementary School, 1750 West 64th Street, rises from three percent in 1958 to 51 percent in 1968.
1969 St. Maur becomes a member of the American Association of Theological Schools, the first step in achieving accreditation.
University United Methodist Church breaks ground for its present church—at 5959 Grandview Drive—on November 30th.
1970 Park Tudor School is formed through the merger of Park School and Tudor Hall School for Girls (established in 1902).  The private, co-educational institution moves into the Park School facilities at 7200 North College Avenue.  The school is operated by the Park Tudor Foundation and serves students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
Hooverwood Jewish Home, a $2.4 million nursing home built by the Jewish Welfare Federation of Indianapolis, is formally dedicated March 22.  The facility is located on a seven-acre tract at 7001 Hoover Road.
The Indianapolis Sportsman’s Country Club opens at 6600 Grandview in May.  Established and backed by 16 African-American professional athletes, the club is designed to be an integrated facility and covers 77 acres.
St. Maur Seminary announces ecumenical cooperation plans.  Negotiations in progress with non-Catholic seminaries to share facilities.
Rev. Landrum E. Shields, pastor of Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church, is elected president of the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners.
United Synagogue Youth of Beth-El Zedeck honored by Parents Magazine for outstanding community service.
Mayor Lugar requests completion of Bitter project in Holliday Park.
Members of the Buttonwood Crescent Neighborhood Association file suit in Marion County Circuit Court, seeking to halt excavation work at the St. Maur Monastery site.  Supporters of St. Maur charge that plaintiff’s suit is motivated by racism.  Plaintiff charges that the construction work has (among other things) dried up wells, caused structural damage to homes, and inconvenienced area residents.
1971 B’nai Torah Congregation establishes the Hebrew Academy, a day school for grades K-3.
Financial difficulties force the Indianapolis Sportsman’s Club into receivership.  The ownership changes and it reopens as the Scenic View Country Club in the spring.
Forty-nine people are arrested in Holliday Park for illegal drug and sexual activities.
1972 Hebrew Academy adds fourth grade.
University United Methodist Church opens a day—care center.
1973 In September, Mayor Lugar orders completion of the Bitter project in Holliday Park.  The project, now known as “The Ruins,” is dedicated on October 21.
The Scenic View Country Club closes.
1974 Menachem Begin visits Hebrew Academy.  The school expands to sixth grade.
Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church burns its mortgage.
St. Maur establishes center for urban ministry at 1456 North Delaware Street.  The student body now includes students sent by African Bishops.  The Institute for Studies of Food and Water Resources is established to prepare missionaries to deal with conditions in Africa.
1975 New Park at 6100 Grandview is named in honor of Jaun Soloman, member of the Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation Board, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and the Mayor’s Task Force.
Holliday Park “Ruins” expansion opposed by John Holliday’s descendants.
1976 A nursery school is added to the growing Hebrew Academy.  Ground is broken for a new building, which will stand on five acres located on Hoover Road.
Motor vehicles are banned from Holliday Park except in parking areas.  Park is plagued by vandalism, largely shunned by neighborhood adults.
1977 Sandy and Dennis Sasso, the first rabbi couple in Jewish history, are installed at Beth-El Zedeck Congregation.
Holliday Park becomes legal property of the city, with the installation of plaque recognizing it as the gift of John Holliday.  Installation of the plaque at gateway was a specific provision set forth by Holliday.
Hebrew Academy moves into its new facility at 6602 Hoover Road.
Dorothy Nevill, assistant minister of the parish, becomes the first ordained woman to be formally associated with Second Presbyterian Church.
1978 A seventh grade is added to Hebrew Academy.
Barbara Levy is the first woman elected president of Jewish Community Center Association.
1979 June Herman becomes the first woman to be elected president of Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation.
1980 Broadmoor Country Club opens its membership to non-Jewish members after years of declining membership.
1981 Highland Golf and Country Club spends $600,000 on renovations.
1982 Second Presbyterian Church enters into association with Westminster Presbyterian Church, located in a working-class neighborhood on the city’s east side.  Under the terms of the program, Second Presbyterian becomes involved in a number of neighborhood projects.
Delaware Trails School at 73rd Street and Hoover Road to close.
Westlane Junior High School becomes Westlane Middle School.
Bob and Margaret Smith become “ministerial team” of First Mennonite Church.  Church sponsors a day—care center at 41st Street and College Avenue.
St. Luke Catholic Church dedicates its new building in November.  Located at 7575 East Holliday Drive, the 800-seat structure is built of Indiana Limestone at a cost of $2.4 million.
1983 St. Monica Catholic School begins day-long Gifted and Talented program for kindergarten and first—grade pupils in fall semester.
B’nai Torah discontinues Sunday School program because so many of it’s children attend the Hebrew Academy.
1984 Crooked Creek and Grandview Elementary Schools are combined.  Students attend Grandview while a new structure is built on the former site of Crooked Creek Elementary.  The new building is expected to be completed in time for the 1985-86 school year, at which time the former Grandview facility will be sold.
1985 Enrollment at the Hebrew Academy reaches more than 200 and the chapel is converted into a classroom.  In September, ground is broken for a new wing.
Beth-El Zedeck builds Kaufman-Schuchman Chapel.
1987 Harcourt Elementary School undergoes a $4 million renovation, including a four-room addition.
Westlane and Eastwood Middle Schools undergo partial renovations costing $7.8 million.
1988 Seven members of Witherspoon Presbyterian ask the Presbytery of Whitewater Valley to investigate allegations of financial mismanagement and “dictatorial leadership” against Reverend Landrum Shields.
Fred Sanders, a fourth—grade teacher at St. Luke Catholic School, is shot, beaten, and arrested following an altercation at his home in which he fatally wounds Indianapolis patrolman Matt John Faber.  The “Fred Sanders Case” will be argued all the way to the United State Supreme Court—where Sanders loses his appeal, and lead to an intensive reexamination within the Indianapolis Police Department of policies regarding the investigation of civilian complaints.  Extensive media coverage of the case reveals a public sharply divided over the propriety of police actions.
1989 The Sycamore School (school is for gifted grade school-age children)
moves to 1750 West 64th Street.
1991 Fox Hill Elementary School opens for 1991-92 school year.
1993 Session of elders supports Reverend Landrum Shields, of Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, as financial mismanagement case goes to the Marion County Circuit Court.
OASIS expands its tutoring program into Washington Township’s elementary schools.  The group provides activities for people 55 and older.
1994 Westlane Middle School receives an $11,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education as part of the Indiana 2000 program.
Westlane Middle School is one of 24 schools in an eight-state region to receive a Pioneering Partners for Education technology award from the Council of Great Lakes Governors.  The award is for $3,000, with another $2,000 in matching funds if the school can raise that amount from other community partners.
Reverend Landrum Shields, former pastor of Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church, forms a new church, Covenant Community Church.  Audit of Witherspoon Church records does not validate rumored theft by Reverend Shields, but it does indicate the church failed to follow methods prescribed by the Presbyterian Book of Order.
CCI/Crooked Creek Multi-Service Center receives $5,000 grant from the Community Enhancement Fund.  Money is to be used for arts, gardening, and nutrition portions of a summer youth program.
OASIS begins offering tutorial services in Crooked Creek Elementary School.
Beth-El Zedeck Mitzvah Corps composed of women 14 to 80 years old, knits scarves, caps, mittens, and booties for Dayspring Center, homeless shelter.
1995 The Floral Park Cemetery Association plans to open a new 11,000-square-foot mortuary and community center in Washington Park North Cemetery.
Covenant Community Church breaks ground at 5610 North Cooper Road.
Hebrew Academy celebrates 25 anniversary with announcement of Plan 2000, a technology—upgrade program.
Congregation Beth-El Zedeck announces plans to expand, with construction to begin in 1996.
B’nai Torah installs youngest synagogue leaders in the country—Bernard Hasten, aged 28, and Rabbi Shlomo Crandall, aged 32—as co-presidents.
1996 Crooked Creek Community Council receives a $4,000 award from the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis.
Crooked Creek Elementary School has an African-American enrollment of 48.2 percent.
Hebrew Academy dedicates new Melrose Gymnasium. Elie Weisel is keynote speaker at 25 anniversary dinner.
Juan Soloman Park, 6100 Grandview Drive, adds an additional 22 acres thanks to the efforts of the Crooked Creek Community Council.  The organization saves the wooded land from becoming a subdivision by raising $475,000 from a variety of sources.  Crooked Creek is named “Neighborhood of the Year” by Neighborhoods USA for its efforts.