Area History

The central region of Indiana, in which Pike Township is located, was a favorite hunting ground of various Indian tribes through the early 1800’s.   The township was a part of the area held by the powerful Miami Confederacy which surrendered in 1818.   The treaty reserved the right of the Indians to occupy the region until 1821, and some continued to trap and fish in the surrounding streams as late as 1824.   The site of Indianapolis was selected as the future state capital on June 7, 1820.   The area in the northwestern part of the township was inhabited by Indians and the first white man to purchase (or patent) land in the area was Hamilton County’s William Conner, who served on the state capital’s site selection committee.   In 1823 (the same year he completed the first brick home in Hamilton County) Conner selected an 80 acre parcel in Pike Township; bisected by Eagle Creek and an Indian trail that would become Lafayette Road (1831), the first tollroad in the county.   Within the 80 acres would later be born the village of Traders Point (1852) which was removed by the city of Indianapolis in the 1960s during the construction of Interstate 65 and Eagle Creek Reservoir.   James Harman is credited with being the first white man to settle in Pike Township.

According to area historian Barry Sulgrove, History of Marion County (1884), Harman was a soldier in the War of 1812 and came to the north part of the township in 1820 and settled on the east side of Eagle Creek.   Harman is buried near the West 86th Street residential subdivision in the Cotton cemetery near West 86th Street and Conarroe Road.   David McCurdy, Sr. was the second white settler in the township.   He was advised by the Indians at Broad Ripple to go to Eagle Creek to get good farm land and good water.   He eventually acquired 2580 acres along the creek between Clermont and Zionsville.   The second road through the township, Michigan Road (1832)

The first community along Michigan Road was named Augusta and was situated between West 71st Street and West 79th Streets.   The Boardman house (1834) at 7718 Michigan Road is the most notable remnant of Augusta.   New Augusta, (1852) was founded the same year the route was determined for the Lafayette and Indianapolis Roadroad.   The oldest part of the town is adjacent to the railroad track.   Seventeen businesses were located in New Augusta including six general stores, two blacksmiths, three physicians, a flour/grain mill, a saw mill/lumber company, two carpenters, an apothecary, and a wagon maker.

Leave a Reply