Village Voice 05 2014: May


  • May 4th (Sunday) 10am-2pm Main Street Clean Up Day
  • May 17th (Saturday) 8am-11am first Farmers' Market of the season
  • May 17th (Saturday) 10am-5pm Brick Street Market
  • May 18th (Sunday) 7pm ZVRA Garden Club Meeting
  • May 22nd (Thursday) 7pm Zionsville Historical Society Spring Dessert Social

Letter from the President

Hello neighbors,

From shorts to parkas and back to shorts; April is over and hopefully spring has permanently sprung. We had a full agenda for our April 15th meeting. In summary, many of the topics important to the VRA were shared by the many guests that took the time to speak. Some examples of these synergies are:

a. VRA effort to reduce the overall village speed limit is now coordinating with an effort by other Zionsville residents to post “Zlow down” speed awareness signs in all of Zionsville;

b. VRA working with the Chamber of Commerce to clean up the downtown business district;

c. VRA working with the Parks Department on the “Pull for the Parks” weed control effort;

d. VRA donating time to the SullivanMunce to clean gutters, fix gutters and clean light fixtures;

e. VRA, Chamber, ZNAG, Hunt Club Road, and Trader’s Point Historical District all working on bringing in a renowned urban development planner;

f. VRA sponsoring the Lincoln Park Concert Series.

Bottom line, it is great to see the VRA supporting so many worthy causes and working with other groups to maintain a vibrant quality of life in the village.

Here are some more details from the meeting (other topics are covered in stories later in this Village Voice).

*Tom Casalini from the Chamber of Commerce gave us an update on new business moving to the village. He mentioned that a deal to buy Carters is rumored to close in July but could not give us any details. He also appealed for volunteers to help in a “Business District Spring Cleanup” Sunday May 4 10am-2pm. It is a great idea and I will be there. I encourage everyone else to make an effort to assist.

*Jim Holden, Candidate for Superior Court Judge, introduced himself and fielded multiple questions from the audience.

*Todd Rech, VRA Treasurer, requested donations for the Lincoln Park Concert Series and discussed the potential of a VRA golf outing and/or Charity Softball Game this summer.

*Bob Royalty, Zionsville Neighborhood Action Group, discussed the latest on the Buckingham development and outlined the vision for ZNAG of giving all Zionsville residents (not just the village) a voice in potential development.

*Furthering the conversation regarding the 20 Acres along Eagle Creek, Marianne Doyle proposed that the VRA form a committee to explore purchasing the 11 acres south of the village along Eagle Creek. It sounds like a committee meeting at the Doyle’s residence (with beer) is in the offing.

*Chris Bucher, Sally Zelonis (VRA Secretary) and Tom Casilini summarized the discussions that have been happening in the effort to get Randall Arendt (urban development planner) to visit and conduct a two day workshop. The Urban Land Institute may also be able to assist. There was great interest and enthusiasm regarding the prospect of this visit accomplishing multiple community goals. Ultimately, I feel this could be the catalyst to truly get all of the stakeholders in the village moving in one coordinated direction.

Have a great month of May,
Scott Lusk

Village News and Events


Even after twenty-nine years, the Brick Street Market is still going strong. The arts and crafts event returns to Main Street on Saturday, May 17 and promises to be even better than ever.

Visitors can find everything from jewelry to clothing to artwork - and with 180 vendors selling exclusively handmade items you are guaranteed to find something special. When you visit, keep your eyes open for one of the more unique vendors who creates art and lamps from recycled bicycle parts.

A handful of food items will be available this year including newcomer Sages Simple Syrups. They will join sellers of fudge, cinnamon rolls and soup mixes. Many dining options will be available at one end of the market, serving hot dogs, brats and tenderloin along with food trucks Soladine Concessions and Nacho Mama (dishing out vegetarian Mexican cuisine).

Hoping to relieve parking issues around homes in the Village, organizer Dusky Loebel has planned a shuttle service, encouraging visitors to park at Boone Village and town hall. With 14,000 attendees last year, Loebel realizes that on-street parking can be of concern to Village residents.

While the tents are full of crafts on Saturday, the night before carries a very different vibe. From 7 - 11 pm on Friday night the same tents will be filled with a range of food plus beer and wine tastings. Music that evening will be provided by the band LemonWheel - recently named the best wedding band in Indy. The $30 tickets may be purchased at Cobblestone, Akards or at the door.

New to the Brick Street Market is a “Toy Testing” area courtesy of Earth Explorers. According to owner Terri Bracken, there will be a dozen or so stations on the section of Pine Street in front of their store. These stations will each feature different categories of toys sold in the store.

Prizes will be given in certain stations. Although plans are still underway, some of the stations will be dedicated to crafts, science, babies and toddlers, ride-on toys, bow and arrow target practice, hula hooping and double dutch jump rope.

There will be a $3 per child fee which will go towards a children’s charity. Each attendee will receive a wristband which allows them to visit the stations all at once or return later. Parents may leave older children in the area while younger ones must have supervision.

Dusky Loebel summed up the exciting weekend that is planned: “We hope the community will come out and have a good time!”

The Brick Street Market runs from 10am - 5pm on Saturday, May 17. Admission is free. Main Street will be closed from approximately Hawthorne Street to Cedar Street.

Anyone willing to assist in the “Toy Testing” area should contact Earth Explorers at 873-0200.
For those volunteering for Market Eve, you may receive a free ticket to the event for three hours of work.  Please call the Chamber of Commerce at 873-3836 for information.

Zionsville Historical Society Spring Dessert Social

Village Residents Association members and guests are cordially invited to attend The Zionsville Historical Society Spring Dessert Social and Meeting on Thursday, May 22, at 7pm, at the Zionsville Lions Club Community Building, 115 South Elm Street with a program entitled “The Beginning of Boone County History”, presented by Marianne Doyle our Boone County Historian.

Please provide your favorite dessert for some to enjoy and your own tableware!  Please RSVP Jan Stacy at 873-3792 or 

Zionsville Farmers Market

The first Zionsville Farmers' Market of the year is May 17th 8am-11am.

Lincoln Park Concert Series

For a quarter of a century, local music lovers have gathered every Wednesday night in the summer in Zionsville’s Lincoln Park for free concerts. This beloved annual tradition is now being presented by the Zionsville Cultural District in partnership with Zionsville Parks and Recreation with underwriting by Control Tech, Current in Zionsville, and the National Bank of Indianapolis as well as a number of other local businesses and individuals. Recently, the Lincoln Park Concert Series Planning Committee announced the concerts and performers for this year’s series. These performers include:

June 4 School’s Out For Summer: Family Concert featuring Chad Mills
June 11 Downtown Motown featuring Lonnie Lester
June 18 Rock and Soul featuring Karen and the Beast
June 25 Rockin’ The Blues featuring The Breaks
July 2 Jazz Fusion featuring Wade Baker Jazz Trio
July 9 Rhythm and Blues featuring Tommy Baldwin Trio w/special guest Carson Diersing
July 16 Bluegrass on the Grass featuring Cornfields and Crossroads
July 23 Eclectic Eurofolk featuring Tonos Triad
July 31 Broadway Showstoppers featuring area performers accompanied by Douglas Krantz

Also, to bring the culinary arts to the LPCS, the committee has been working with area restaurants to provide a
taste of Zionsville at each concert. Currently Greek’s Pizza, Inga’s Popcorn, Nicey Treat, Patrick’s and My
Sugar Pie have committed to provide a unique food item to the Park for guests to purchase, and the hope is that
every concert will have a signature item to offer from a featured restaurant; guests can always bring their own
picnic to enjoy. Please note that the family concert on June 4th will include an opportunity for children to try
different musical instruments, provided by Paige’s Music before the concert, from 6-7pm.

There is limited seating, and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Concerts begin at
7:00 PM and end at 8:30 PM. Zionsville’s Lincoln Park is located at the corner of First and Oak Streets. In the
event of inclement weather, the concerts will relocate to the Zionsville Lions Club Clubhouse located at 115
South Elm Street. “Like” the Zionsville Lincoln Park Concert Series on Facebook for weather information and
weekly updates on restaurants and performers.

The Zionsville Cultural District is both the heart of the village district and the name of the organization that
coordinates marketing initiatives for the community as a whole. The purpose of identifying a cultural district
is: to promote Zionsville’s diverse art, culture, history, and community assets to residents, visitors, and
potential employers in order to enhance interest in Zionsville, increase tourism, and stimulate economic

The ZCD organization works to coordinate artistic, history-based and cultural experiences within the
community in order to improve the quality of life for its residents, strengthen local businesses and enrich
experiences for visitors.

Zionsville Main Street Clean-Up Day

The Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Downtown Committee will be holding a Main Street Clean-up Day on Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 10am until 4pm.

During this time the downtown Zionsville area will be cleaned up, streets swept, trash removed and flower beds prepared. Large trash bags will be provided. Volunteers will meet at the Main & Hawthorne Streets parking lot at 10am where Chamber Downtown Committee members will assign clean-up areas and tasks.

Participating in the Clean-Up Day will be members from Zionsville Boy Scout Troop #358, Zionsville Girls Scouts Troop #1880 and the Village Residents Association along with Zionsville Chamber members and downtown store and restaurant owners.

“Main Street is well known as the epicenter for Zionsville’s shopping and dining locations.” Said Chamber Downtown Committee chairman, Tom Casalini, “We felt the best way to introduce the intentions of our Committee is setting an example by cleaning up the Main Street area in time for Brick Street Market.”

The public is invited to pitch in by bringing their own rakes, brooms and sweepers (along with a pair of gloves) and joining other community residents in this undertaking. Bottled water will be provided.

“Hopefully the Clean-Up Day will focus more attention on the economic importance of our Main Street businesses.” Said Chamber Executive Director, Julie Johns-Cole, “As new retail merchants and restaurants consider coming to Zionsville, we want to show them the pride our community has in this area.”

The Zionsville Chamber Downtown Committee would like to thank Lance Lantz and the Zionsville Street and Stormwater Department for their assistance and cooperation in the organization of the Clean-Up Day.

For more information, contact Dusky Loebel, Zionsville Chamber of Commerce at (317) 873-3836 or at Additional information is available at

Village Speed Limit

A petition to lower the speed limit signed by about 85 village residents was submitted to the town safety board in February.

On March 31, 2014, the petition was on the agenda for the safety board meeting. Erika Singler spoke in favor of the petition. The overall theme presented was that there are more people walking, cycling and shopping in the village than anywhere else in Zionsville, speeding is especially dangerous in the village due to the number of people out and about and that the speed limit should be lowered for the safety of everyone. Erika also advocated that lowering the speed limit would make the crosswalk at 5th and Oak more safe by slowing traffic and giving drivers a more time to stop before driving through the flashing crosswalk. Lance Lantz as well as Chief Knox were called on by the safety board to give their opinions regarding lowering the speed limit to 20 in the village. Neither supported the petition, stating that the speed limits that are posted are sufficient. Mr. Lantz referred to a traffic study conducted in 2003 that found speeding was not a problem in Zionsville. The safety board did question whether the 2003 study should be relied upon in 2014 and asked that the study be posted on the Town website.

It is expected that the safety board will revisit the issue at its June meeting. In the meantime, the police department is going to measure speeds in the village at 12 different locations using a radar sign with the numbers off so that drivers don't slow their speeds as a result of the sign. The police department will report the data collected to the safety board.

A notification will go out once the petition is added to the safety board agenda. Additional speakers and attendees will be needed in support of the petition at the meeting. Please e-mail Scott Lusk if you would like to sign the petition or are interested in speaking in favor of the speed limit petition at the next safety board hearing.

Zlow Down

At our April 15 meeting Ann Clark, a Zionsville resident, spoke about an idea her husband had to help inspire slower driving throughout town. They developed the sign pictured and are proposing the posting of “Zlow Down” speed awareness signs throughout the neighborhoods and town. They are looking into the cost of producing the signs. Their hope is that individuals would purchase a sign for their yard (at a cost of $5-10 each) and then there would be a coordinated unveiling throughout the town. They have presented their idea to the town council and the police department with positive feedback. I will keep you informed as this develops. Those in attendance loved the positivity of the message and supported their efforts. The speed limit can be adjusted to fit the particular street being targeted. They are looking for input and feedback, so if you would like more details or to get in contact with Ann and Robert please contact me at

The Thrill of the Haunt

by Jean Apple

Everyone who lives in Zionsville must have heard at one time or another stories of strange occurrences or hauntings in the past here in our little village. There is usually some kind of rational explanation for each of these events. I am as rational as the next person, I think, however, I have experienced more than my share of weird happenings. Before I moved to this town I lived in two other "haunted houses"! If these odd sounds and movements hadn't been witnessed by others, I would chalk up my beliefs to vivid imagination.

At one time I lived in an old house in Kokomo, IN, which produced sounds of footsteps across various rooms. This began at night and often woke me in the wee hours. Finally, I told my husband about the sounds and at his request, I woke him one night. He heard them too. We had no explanation. One day, I returned home form a walk with my children to hear the steps crossing the kitchen and going into the pantry. Needless to say, I didn't go into the house, but instead called my husband who was working a few blocks away. He came home, we went inside and all was quiet. Another time we had a babysitter and went out to a movie. When we returned home the sitter said that our four year old daughter had gotten up out of bed and had run into the kitchen, thinking that we had returned home. The sitter also had the same impression, having heard the footsteps. But: nobody there!

Another "haunted house" in Carmel proved to also have strange occurrences, but these involved the independent opening and closing of doors. These were always upstairs when no person was up there. We could not find an explanation for this.

Now I live in an old house in Zionsville and was really not surprised to find that strange noises awakened me at night. Refrigerator running? No. Furnace clicking on? No. They were walking or movement sounds. Thinking that perhaps someone was actually in the house, I got out of bed several times and waited at the top of the stairs with a baseball bat, but nothing further happened. I learned to simply go back to sleep. Then, one day some friends stopped by, a husband and wife. We took some pictures inside the house just for fun. When they were developed, one picture showed a white cloudy form sitting in a chair. Another showed white, cloudy shoes standing at the edge of a floor register upstairs, across from the forms of the shoes of my friend, who was standing on the other side of the register. Think what you will, but I choose to believe that if there are ghosts in the house, they are benevolent.

My advice: if you hear stories about strange happenings in one of the old house in town, take them as evidence of the past persisting in reminding us that we are not the first residents here!

Maplelawn Farmstead Membership

Do you know Maplelawn Farmstead? You probably do, even if you aren’t aware that you do. We are the family farmstead located next to Mulberry Fields, across from the Zionsville Methodist Church on Whitestown Road. A farmhouse, lots of barns and outbuildings—all white, with red roofs. What you may not know is that all the property around the farmhouse, including the land that has become Mulberry Fields and the Methodist Church, was once Maplelawn. Maplelawn dates back to 1835 and from that time until 2000 was owned by only two families—the Wolff family and the Scott family. Upon the last family member’s death in 2000, the 3.9 acres that now comprises the farmstead was purchased by the Town of Zionsville to be developed into a community park.

But instead a group of concerned Zionsville residents, including the Zionsville Historical Society, worked with Indiana Landmarks and the Zionsville Parks Board to explore the possibility of preserving this intact farmstead for educational purposes.

In the 1830s when Maplelawn was established the family farm was home to 70% of the US population. Today it is home to less than 1%. Nine years ago Maplelawn Farmstead was incorporated as a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the spirit of the family farm, to educate future generations about this largely disappearing way of life. From that point to today volunteers from the Zionsville community have worked to bring this property from ruin to usability, and we have done this without a single dollar of taxpayer money.

However, to make this work we must ask for contributions—membership, capital renovation campaigns, or other grants from our Zionsville community. So I am asking for your support to help us continue in our educational endeavors, in our ongoing renovations, in our mission to create experiences that connect people to the rich, rural heritage of an Indiana family farm. All contributions to Maplelawn Farmstead, Inc. are tax deductible.

In 2011 Maplelawn Farmstead was officially recognized as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. 

For more information on membership, to schedule a tour, or to learn more about our educational programs and events (including Summer Camp at Maplelawn for children entering grades 3 – 5)  please contact Shelley Lakshmanan, 873-4801 (  or visit our website

Old House Love

By Jennifer Bucher

Old homes have stories to tell.

If you live in an old home you know about engaging in archeology and genealogy projects. Old homes hold histories like families. There is sometimes unexpected pride or a startling skeleton in the closet. Did you find an old liquor bottle in the cellar? Old shoes in the attic (I mean OLD shoes…not just old shoes)? A black and white photo lodged behind a cabinet?

Putting together the pieces of an old home’s story is like working to solve a puzzle or a mystery.

I often wonder who built our home or who removed the original wood stove? We have two old chimneys in our house-one on the exterior and one that is capped off inside the attic. When were these chimneys last used? Were they for coal? Wood? That place where the wall seems a little wonky-did a door used to be there? And did there used to be a wall where the floor doesn’t quite match? I ask myself these questions all the time.

Even though I have the abstract for my home, I really haven’t been able to tell who built it. I do know that Zionsville’s postmaster, John Hodge and his wife, Edna, lived in this house-which they purchased in 1927-with their children Vivian and Margaret. After he resigned as Zionsville’s Clerk-Treasurer, Mr. Hodge was appointed postmaster by President Truman (my six degrees of separation from President Truman is because of this home!) and the home stayed in his family until we purchased it from Margaret’s daughter in 2011. The Hodge’s were active in the Zionsville community and John served on the very first board of the Zionsville Lions Club.

After John and Edna passed away, their daughter, Vivian (Mrs. Alfred Mills) operated a “boarding house” at the site. My friend, Drew Kogan, remembers riding his bike past the house where a “Rooms for Let” sign hung above the door. According to my neighbors, Roger and Nancy Seale, Mrs. Alfred Mills would only allow women boarders in the home. Nancy recalls that Mrs. Mills was even anxious about allowing a man in to help change a light bulb or make repairs inside the home.

The Hodge’s daughter, Margaret, couldn’t bear to part with her childhood home and it remained in her ownership as a rental for many years. Unfortunately, rental homes live a very hard life and not many clues remain in the house. This old home is a difficult puzzle to solve.

The Pantry/Laundry Room 

The room at the very back of our home was clearly an afterthought. This room was originally an exterior porch that was converted to a sleeping porch and finally completely enclosed to hold the laundry room. When we purchased the home, there was a Formica counter over the cellar’s trap door, an old sink with a lovely top and rusty metal base, and peel and stick vinyl tile on the floor. I was honestly completely aggravated every time I walked through this room. It was the back entrance to our home and was often a dumping ground for anything that needed to go in or out of the house. The only thing charming about this room were the walls that were still covered in exterior siding.

It needed a new layout and much better storage, but the trap door limited our options. 

We drew up some simple plans and enlisted village craftsman, Ken Byler, to move pipes and ducts, build new cabinets and lay a pretty new floor. 

We wanted to keep the sink top and Ken was able to build a new wood cabinet base. He crafted a glass door cupboard above a built-in poplar-topped table. Porcelain tiles from Claghorn Custom Flooring were cut into brick shapes and laid in a herringbone pattern.

As with the rest of the home, everything was painted a crisp white.

I now come home to a delightful and welcoming pantry.