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Welcome to Oaklandon Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 10:07 AM EST

Touring the Streets of Oaklandon - AGAIN!

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A Hint...After posting an announcement on the Nextdoor website about the existence of this humble website, I was very pleased with the interest and overall positive response by many of my neighbors (who are also users of that system.) Among the many comments received was one from Nancy Hannet which offered the source photo for the image to the left and the words "An older gentleman who lived in Oaklandon all his life gave me this paper."

I could only make-out the title and the fact that there was a map so I reached out to Nancy to discover the author's name and any other clues that might lead me to a copy I could examine. Knowing only the name Victor Harris and guessing it to be an article from the (now defunct) Lawrence Topics Newspaper this article proved to be very rare indeed.

Through Nancy's neighborly generosity, I was able to scan her xerox document and thereby present the article once more to the public, in an effort to assist the late Mr. Harris in his stated purpose for writing this historical thumbnail sketch of Oaklandon.

The available copy of this article unfortunately had the right-most edge clipped in the duplication process so I have been forced to reconstruct these lines based on the available context. In the transcript that follows these edits have been placed within square brackets ("[" & "]") so the reader may decide if this effort was successful or not.

East Lawrence
Touring the Streets of Oaklandon
Buildings along roads each tell a story
By Victor Harris

Victor Harris Map

In honor of Old Oaklandon Days, a little history of Oaklandon might be in order. I can write only about those things that I know about firsthand, but here are some memories, a bit of history and a tour through Old Oaklandon.

Turn off Pendleton Pike and go north on Oaklandon Road to Fire Station No. 3, then northeast on Broadway until it joins Pendleton Pike again. You have just traveled Pendleton Pike as it was up to the 1930s, At that time, the bypass around Oaklandon was constructed.

In order to locate things of interest, go back to Pendleton Pike and turn north on Oaklandon Road. The large building on the northeast corner was Howard Hauser's automobile agency. The next building was AFNB/Bank One. The shopping center on the west side of the road is in the outfield of Oaklandon High School's former baseball diamond. The Oaklandon School building stood on the high ground just north of the shopping center. It was a 2 1/2-story building housing all 12 grades. Class sizes were 15 - 20 pupils.

The second house north of the bank building on the east side of Oaklandon Road was Erbin "Mickey" McCord's mortuary. My mother was buried from this mortuary in 1956. Mickey and wife Elsie were fine, compassionate people and friends to everyone.

Across the street and a little further north is a tall, red brick house. This was Dr. Kneer's family residence and medical office. His family practice included all athletics examinations. Later on, Dr. Joe Miller had his office in this same building.

Travel further north to the barber shop. This has been a barbershop ever since I can remember. For years, John McGinnis and his family resided there, and his shop was in the front room, same as it is now.

Across Oaklandon Road are the two churches. The frame church was the Oaklandon Christian Church until the congregation moved into its new building across from Oaklandon Elementary School. The yellow brick building is the Oaklandon Universalist Church. Many of the high school functions were held in this church, since it had a larger stage and greater seating capacity than the high school auditorium. I received my high school diploma in this church.

Directly west of the Oaklandon Universalist Church was the grain-elevator office, and further west was the elevator itself. Farmers hauled corn and other grain here for unloading and sale.

The vacant lot next to the church used to be a poolroom. This building was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt.

The next building north was Mickey McCord's confectionery. He sold over-thecounter drugs and candy, and would even whip you up a hamburger, hot dog or bowl of soup. Later, on Maynard Bough's drug store occupied this building.

The next building (now Dave's Market) was Hobart Weaver's feed store. You could buy hay, straw and ground feeds for all farm animals, as well as other farm supplies.

In the parking lot of Dave's Market, you can see remains of the foundation of Everet Harting's gas station.

We will return to this point on Oaklandon Road in a moment, but for now let's travel up Broadway beside Fire Station No. 3. On the right, the large building was Leigh Fisher's Chevrolet dealership. Later, it was Howard Hauser's auto repair.

Travel northeast to the first house on the left (located in the southeast corner of the Play Park). This was the Oaklandon telephone exchange. Mrs. Negley was the operator, and at that time the phones were magnetic crank instruments. Just west of the telephone office was a blacksmith shop, where Adam was the blacksmith.

The little red brick building just northeast of the telephone office was the original Oaklandon Fire Department. I know, when you look at that little building, you will think I am mistaken, because a large passenger car would hardly fit in the building today.

Going back to Oaklandon Road, the American Legion Building was just [north of] where Dave's Market now stands. This building was destroyed by fire and [was never] rebuilt. As we get to the railroad, on the [left] was a small storage building for the [rail]road. Mail personnel would hang the [mail] bags on an arm alongside of the track [and] the mail car would pick up the bag [while the] train was in motion.

The red brick building on the [north side] of the tracks was the Oaklandon State Bank. Assistant cashier Edgar Mock remembers this building only too well. [He] remembers the bank being robbed one [day] and so many people came running [out with] firearms that the bandits were caught a quarter-mile down 63rd Street in an [abandoned] building.

Next to this building is the [foundation of] the O.W. Mohler & Son grocery. The [post] office was in the southeast corner of [the] store. Upstairs in the building was [the Independent] Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) [lodge.] Leslie and Helen Mohler ran this store [for] many years.

Down 63rd Street stands the new [Masonic] Hall. Between the new building [and the] house on the corner of Oaklandon [Road] stood the old Masonic Hall, which [endured] for more than 100 years. It was torn [down] after the new building was completed.

Back on Oaklandon Road, as you [travel] north past the houses on either side, [notice] the utility poles in each direction from [the] road. This was the old interurban line. [The] station was on the right side of [road.] You bought a ticket and the station [manager] would turn on a red light, signaling [the] interurban operator to stop for [passengers.] The interurban traveled along the [railway] down to 38th Street, followed 38th [Street] along the north side to Fall Creek by [the] State Fairgrounds, and continued on [Martindale] and into the station (now the bus [station]). It controlled the stoplights so [one] could travel from Oaklandon to the [State] House in about 20 minutes. Interurbans were powered by overhead electrical [lines] and sped along at about 70 mph. [Lines] extended in all directions from [Indianapolis.] Oh, what modern-day people would [give for] such a mass-transportation system!

Looking to the north, on the left is new Oaklandon Elementary School. On the right is the new Oaklandon Christian Church.

For old-timers in Oaklandon I [trust] this article has brought back a few [pleasant] memories. For our new friends, [maybe a] little bit of history will help you [appreciate] your community a little more.

 
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Sign-O-Times

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Oaklandon Center Sign

Details from Google Streetview Captures:
October 2017
September 2017
April 2012
August 2009


https://www.google.com/maps/@39.8716331,-85.9574452,3a,75y,296.57h,97.2t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sc3Fjt6RKF2qRJFg42NIS0w!2e0!5s20171001T000000!7i13312!8i6656


 

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Carpenter Realty on Oaklandon

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Carpenter on OaklandonFrom CallCarpenter.com

At the northeastern edge of Marion County, just a few miles past Lawrence and just a step from McCordsville and Hancock County, you’ll find the small community of Oaklandon.

Back in 1849, the now-deceased John Emery laid out a small village northeast of the state capitol. Originally called Oakland, it was changed to Oaklandon around 1870 when they got their post office … and the first "Oakland” in Indiana objected to a second "Oakland.” So we add an "on” and we’re set to go.

In the early years, the town fostered a sense of community, with strong churches, lodges and local businesses. There was plenty of space to stretch out, yet it was close-knit. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there are stories of town bands that were very well-known, playing in their own Oklandon bandstands and other area events, even the Indy 500.

By the 1920s, Oaklandon was beginning to be more suburb than town. Never incorporated as a true town or city, the new State Road 67 (built past, not through Oaklandon) made commuting to Indianapolis an easy task. An interurban line took that a step further.

Interesting story (directly quoted from A History of Oaklandon, The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce): A 1927 feature story in The Indianapolis News explains why there were no saloons in Oaklandon. About 1887, the women of Oaklandon apparently organized a branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, an organization that included a campaign against alcohol. Their target was the lone saloon in Oaklandon.

Adeline Apple, 83, was interviewed. The feature story said, "Mrs. Apple, with a twinkle in her eye, tells how she and the other women went into the saloon unannounced one night and sat down, much to the consternation of the men who soon took to their heels.

The second night, she said, the saloonkeeper had hoped to prevent their staying by having all the chairs taken out. The women, undaunted, stood around the stove. "The nightly visitations of the feminine contingent destroyed business and the saloon soon disappeared according to Mrs. Apple,"

We’re thinking the business disappeared, not the actual building. But we weren’t there, so …

After the second World War, Lawrence and Oaklandon found themselves even more a suburb of Indianapolis. Lawrence, a city, started actions to annex Oaklandon. Oaklandon objected, sued, fought and got all riled up, but Lawrence finally won out in 1976.

Today, the Oaklandon community maintains an identity, with a bright "Oaklandon” water tower, its original Oaklandon Road and a few small monuments celebrating the one-time village, now suburb.
 

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Christopher Apple House

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Western front of the Christopher Apple House
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AChristopher_Apple_House_front_and_side.jpg

Western front of the Christopher Apple House, located at 11663 Pendleton Pike (U.S. Route 36) in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Built in 1859, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination form. [ 3.5MB pdf ]

 

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wikimedia has something

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North on Oaklandon from Nogales
A house and a former church on the western side of the 6400 block of Oaklandon Road in Lawrence, Indiana, United States. This block is part of the Oaklandon Historic District, a historic district that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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A Playground Of Dreams

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MapOfPlayAn image search on keword "Oaklandon" has yielded a bunch more images of the wooden play area that (beyond pictures) exists only as fond memories in the minds of those park-goers fortunate enough to have visited this unique creation. I would surely like to learn who was actually behind designing and building this work of art. I feel a research project coming on...

The following images were retrieved from MapOfPlay

Oaklandon Play Park 2011Oaklandon Play Park 2011 Oaklandon Play Park 2011 Oaklandon Play Park 2011 Oaklandon Play Park 2011 Oaklandon Play Park 2011 Oaklandon Play Park 2011

All Images Uploaded on August 26, 2011 by Angie Six
Source: https://mapofplay.kaboom.org/playspaces/99578

Oaklandon Play Park is located near Oaklandon Road and 65th Street. Oaklandon's unique feature is that it is a wooden playground. It is nicely shaded and has many places to sit while children play. It also features a gazebo. The playground sits near some railroad tracks . . . if you're lucky a train will go by and the kids will love it! Though it is an older playground, it is well-maintained and kids will appreciate its uniqueness.
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Parkour Reviews Oaklandon Play Park

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A nice look back on the wooden structures of the good old
Oaklandon Play Park of days gone by...

Published on Jul 26, 2013
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American Dirt Explores Oaklandon

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I was performing a Yahoo search of the web using the keywords "Oaklandon" and "History" and several pages deep into the results I was rewarded with a link to "American Dirt" a blog maintained by Eric McAfee and purporting to offer "Observations of Contemporary Landscapes - An Amature Lens and a Semi-Professional Eye."

Observations of Contemporary Landscapes - An Amature Lens and a Semi-Professional Eye.

The particular article of interest is titled "MONTAGE: Small town in the big city." In this piece Eric M. turns his lens toward several of the more obscure "historic rural enclaves in Marion County" wherein he explores Mars Hill, Maywood, Mickleyville, Lynhurst, Bridgeport, Flackville, Snacks, University Heights, Oaklandon and Julietta. Posted to the internet on December 31, 2009 many of the Oaklandon photos presented are already of historical significance and the pertanant section of the story is readily embraced by this website and is reproduced below with the very  gracious permission of the author.


•••
Oaklandon

As far northeast as you can get and still be in Marion County, the community of Oaklandon retains a considerable number of old commercial buildings, at the intersection of Pendleton Pike and Oaklandon Road. Most of the heart of the community focuses on its intersection of Oaklandon Road with an old Conrail line. It is one of the less obscure rural enclaves, and it’s surrounded by suburbia to the north, east, and west.


Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com
 

The majority of this community appears very well-maintained and preserved—particularly remarkable considering it sacrificed any political autonomy it might have had, after 1970’s Unigov.


Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com


Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com


Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com

Bad weather and the encroaching dusk prevented me from taking more lingering photos.

Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com


Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com

The community organized itself enough to dedicate and build a pocket park at the foot of the old water tower.

Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com


Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com

This blurry Unitarian Universalist church is one of several in the area that reference Oaklandon in its name.

Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com

The small-town character dissolves rapidly into suburbia on the north side of the railroad tracks, though the heavily-skylighted structure in the background clearly dates from Oaklandon’s origins as an old rail stop.

Image by Eric M. - DirtAmericana.com

•••
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Oaklandon Community by Cyndi Sloop

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The following article was written in 2007 by Cynthia Sloop for her blog, Cyndi Sloop's Community Scoop.  It represents one of the few articles I have found on the internet that attempts to address the Oaklandon Community as a whole (albeit from the point of view of a realestate professional.)

Source: http://activerain.com/ | Permission To Use Submitted: 10/13/2016
Oaklandon Water Tower

Water Tower

Oaklandon is located in Lawrence Township on the very edge of Marion County.  A few steps further and you would be in Hancock County - McCordsville, Indiana.

After a six year court battle, Oaklandon was annexed into Lawrence Township, Indianapolis.

In researching the Internet for the history of this community, I was able to find a PDF file at The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce website that gave some background about the Oaklandon Community.

John Emery platted the village that was originally called Oakland.  When Germantown relocated it's post office in 1870, the name of Oaklandon was taken.  I understand this was to keep from having any confusion about another part of Indiana that had a town named Oakland as well. 

 

Bell Tower

Bell Tower

(to the right Bell Tower - Original Building for Oaklandon Christian Church est. 1866).

Westminster Village North a retirement community on 57 acres, at one time was known as the Sunnyside Sanatorium.  This sanatorium was the first state sanatorium in Indiana.  It was thought that the abundant sunshine and fresh air helped to promote faster recoveries from tuberculosis infection.

While Oaklandon has a long history, I have had a difficult time tracking down some of the homes that are still here in the area.  I will share the building and what I know at this time.                                                                       

Benjamin F. Smith House [1885]

Benjamin F. Smith House [1885]

If you are considering a move, please visit my website http://cyndisloop 4indyhomes.com.
 

Christopher Apple House [1859]

Christopher Apple House [1859]
Dr Charles J. Kneer House [1923]

Dr Charles J. Kneer House [1923]
Historic Oaklandon Home

Historic Oaklandon Home
Oakland Lodge #140

Oakland Lodge #140
Oaklandon Unitarian Universalist Church

Oaklandon Unitarian Universalist Church
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