"By Terri Horvath
Arcadia Publishing: Images of America series, 2007, $19.99 http://www.arcadiapublishing.com>
Carmel, Indiana, 170 years ago was a trading post and farming community with a reputation for excellent schools, “a tradition started by Quakers who first settled the place.” Carmel, a biblical designation meaning “beautiful gardens,” shed its “small town allure” in the 1950s when the former “swampy, heavily wooded land” carved into “nice homes with well kept lawns” became a destination place for Indianapolis residents desiring a small-town home with easy access to the city. This slim book shows through vintage photographs how Carmel transformed itself. Points of interest are its original residents’ anti-slavery stance, its renown as a horse raising center [especially Percheron] and as the site of “Flowing Well,” a natural underground reservoir of spring water that lures people far and wide to come drink it. Carmel is home to the smallest children’s museum and the “finest” miniatures museum. Carmel is where O’Malia’s Food Markets started and some original homesites continue. It’s Indianapolis’ gateway from the north.