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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v01n01)
Early Broad Ripple Village History - a synopsys
by Alan Hague
posted: May 13, 2004

In 1821 it was decided to move the capital from Corydon to its present location, Indianapolis.
In the early 1820's the United States government offered vacant land to its citizens. The General Land Office, located in Brookville serving central Indiana, sold parcels of 640 acres and issued a Land Patent [see above] for each parcel. John Colip and Jessie McKay were awarded the majority of the land that is now known as Broad Ripple. These land patents are dated 1823, although the actual land purchases may have been several years earlier.

Land patent of Jessie McKay and John Colip from 1823 for a section of the area that later became Broad Ripple.
Land patent of Jessie McKay and John Colip from 1823 for a section of the area that later became Broad Ripple.
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In 1836 work began on the Central Canal and in 1837 on the feeder dam.
In April 1837, Jacob Coil plotted 48 lots south of the White River and north of the canal and called it Broad Ripple village. According to Sulgrove's History of Indianapolis and Marion County (1884), Broad Ripple village was "so called from the fact that the ripple in the river at that point was the largest and widest in the country, and the place was known by that name from the time of the first settlement."
In Broad Ripple High School's publication, The History of Broad Ripple (1968), it states that, "This ripple was so large, it was said that only one man, Isaac Simpson, could throw a stone across it.
One month after Coil lays out Broad Ripple village, James and Adam Nelson laid out 32 lots south of the canal. This area was named Wellington, in honor of the Duke of Wellington.
The State of Indiana ran out of money in 1839 and all canal building was stopped. Only 8.8 miles of the project were completed, running from Broad Ripple to Indianapolis.
The two villages separated by a canal were great rivals. The post office was moved three times between the two villages. Sulgrove states that by 1884 it was situated in Wellington, but named Broad Ripple. Eventually the entire area north and south of the canal would be known as Broad Ripple.
The graded township high school was built in 1883. The cost of the project was about $7,500.
Broad Ripple Village residents voted for incorporation in 1894 [see column, Old Town of Broad Ripple Meeting Minutes]. It remained the Town of Broad Ripple until 1922, when after several failed attempts, it was annexed into the city of Indianapolis.

The original land records can be viewed at www.glorecords.blm.gov
An original annexation remonstration document can be viewed at BroadRippleHistory.com


alan@broadripplegazette.com
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