Indianapolis in 1915

Part IV

The Park System Riverside Park Garfield Park

Military Park University Square St. Clair Square

Brookside Park Fairview Park Other Parks

Thoroughfares Lockerbie Street Churches and Charity

Orphan Asylums The County Poor Asylum

Young Men's Christian Association

The Young Women's Christian Association

The Park System. - Indianapolis began the work of building parks on a systematic plan in 1895, when J. Clyde Power was appointed park engineer. (top of page)

Riverside Park is the largest and most pretentious park in the city. The lands embraced by it were purchased in 1898 and contain 950 acres. White River runs through the park, the water of which is utilized for boating purposes by the erection of a substantial dam, which is one of the handsomest masonry structures of its kind in the country. A splendid boulevard stretches along the river bluffs within the park, golf links have been established, and the clubhouse of the Canoe Club is located here. One of the most entertaining features of this park is the collection of birds and animals. (top of page)

Garfield Park is located in the southeastern section of the city and contains about 108 acres. It is one of the most pleasing bits of landscape in the city. (top of page)

Military Park lies between New York Street and the Indiana Central Canal on the north and south, and West and Blackford Streets on the east and west, and includes fourteen acres. In the early days of the city's history, it was known as "Military Reservation," and was the place where the militia musters were held. All the military companies of the city during the pioneer days camped and drilled there, and at the time of the Blackhawk outbreak 300 Indiana militia camped there before marching to Chicago. It was also the first camping ground of Indiana's quota of six regiments under President Lincoln's first call for troops, and throughout the war, it was used as a campground. The park was then known as Camp Sullivan. Many of the old forest trees still stand, with some hundreds of younger growth. A large fountain is situated in the center of the park at the meeting place of the converging pathways. (top of page)

University Square comprises four acres, lying between Pennsylvania and Meridian Streets on the east and west, and Vermont and New York Streets on the north and south. It was the site of a university that flourished from 1834 to 1846, and thus acquired its name. A statue of Schuyler Colfax stands in the southwestern side. (top of page)

St. Clair Square adjoins the grounds of the Institution for the Blind on the north, from Meridian to Pennsylvania Streets, extending to St. Clair Street. It is four acres in extent, and in its center there is a fountain. Reached by North Pennsylvania street cars. (top of page)

Brookside Park is one of the new additions to the park areas, and is located in the eastern part of the city. It contains about eighty acres of beautifully wooded land. (top of page)

Fairview Park is the most popular outing place near Indianapolis. It is the property of the streetcar company, is located seven miles northwest of the city and is a beautiful expanse of about 200 acres of wooded hills and ravines overlooking White river and the Indiana Central Canal. Ample street car service is maintained regularly between the park and the city, sufficient to handle the large crowds that attend it. The park is well supplied with amusement features, and a well-stocked restaurant conducted at popular prices. (top of page)

Other Parks and Park Places are Elmwood Place, Fletcher Place, McCarty Place, Morris Park, Morton Place, Wayne Place and Hendricks Place, Ellenberger Park, at Irvington, and other parks and places. (top of page)

Thoroughfares. - This city can lay claim to having some of the handsomest streets and avenues of any city in the country. In the original platting, the streets were made broad, but some have been narrowed in recent years. (top of page)

Lockerbie Street. - A little street that has become famous because of its association with the Hoosier poet, whose home is situated in it, is Lockerbie Street. His home has been here for twenty years or more. Mr. Riley's discovery of Lockerbie Street impressed him so much that he indited a poem to it that first appeared in the "Indianapolis Journal." The part he refers to is but a block long, a roadbed of gravel, greensward on the sides, fine old trees with flowers and lawns in front of the old-fashioned houses. The march of improvement has not marred its original quaintness and beauty and it is yet as when he wrote:
"O, my Lockerbie Street! You are fair to be seen -
Be it noon of the day or the rare and serene
Afternoon of the night--you are one to my heart
And I love you above all the phrases of art,
For no language could frame and no lips could repeat
My rhyme-haunted raptures of Lockerbie Street!"

(top of page)

Churches and Charity. - Indiana has from the earliest years of its pioneer history given due attention to the vital matters of morals and religion. In the early French occupation, the missionary priest was always the pioneer, who was on the ground long before the immigrants appeared. In the American settlement of the west the settler came first, but as soon as a small community had been formed the earnest pioneer preacher, full of fervor and zeal, would come to call the people to a realization of their spiritual needs. In the autumn of 1821, the city having been laid out in April, the people of the newly incubated metropolis had the gospel preached to them by ministers of three denominations. Either Rezin Hammond, a Methodist circuit rider, or John McClung, of the New Light School, can be claimed as having been the first to preach in Indianapolis. They came about the same time in 1821, and accounts vary as to which was the earliest, but both came before the Rev. Ludlow G. Haines, of the Presbyterian Church. The first Catholic service was held here in 1833, and the first Jewish congregation was organized in 1855. (top of page)

Orphan Asylums. - Several orphan asylums are maintained in the city. The Indianapolis Orphan Asylum was incorporated in 1851; the German General Protestant Orphans' Home, which is under the supervision of the German Protestants of the city; the German Lutheran Orphans' Home, which is supervised by the German Lutherans of the city, and Home for Friendless Colored Children. (top of page)

The County Poor Asylum is located northwest of the city, and the Poor Farm covers 220 acres. (top of page)

The Young Men's Christian Association of Indianapolis was organized December 12, 1834. In the long years of its existence, its influence for good has been demonstrated in thousands of instances. The public appreciation of the beneficent work of this organization was shown in a practical way by subscribing over $250,000 in 1907 to a fund to further its work and extend its influence. (top of page)

The Young Women's Christian Association was organized in 1870. It maintains amply supplied reading rooms and library, a fine gymnasium, etc. There are also classes in German, literature, sewing, etc. (top of page)