Fun things to do in Indianapolis

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Indianapolis

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    CROWN HILL - OLIVER MORTON

    by mtncorg Written Apr 27, 2015

    Oliver Perry Hazard Morton - he dropped the "Hazard" in later life - was the governor of Indiana during the Civil War and was a strong ally of Abraham Lincoln. A lawyer before the war and a Democrat in a solid Whig district, Morton's political chances brightened when the Kansas-Nebraska bill divided Democrats - Morton coming down on the free-soil side. In 1856, he became one of the founding members of the Republican Party serving as a delegate at the convention in Pittsburgh. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in that same year, but four years later he got in through the backdoor. He won the lieutenant governor spot and became governor when the governor-elect, Henry Lane, chose to go to the U.S. Senate instead.

    Serving six years as governor, Morton strongly supported the Union cause acting unconstitutionally at times. 1862 brought about a Democratic majority in the statehouse in Indiana not as amenable at working with Morton as the previous legislature. By keeping Republican legislators away from Indianapolis he prevented the formation of a quorum that the Democrats needed with which they could legally pass legislation. Morton bypassed the legislature in funding the State government and war effort, as well, by gaining federal and private loans to keep away from having to call the legislature together to debate appropriations. He used an intelligence agency to deal with anybody opposed to the Federal war effort arresting and suppressing those South-leaning Hoosiers.

    The Indiana constitution allowed for a governor to serve only for four years during an eight-year period, but Morton got around that in 1864 by saying since he had originally run as lieutenant governor, he was eligible to run as governor. Returning soldiers gave him a comfortable edge in the ensuing election.

    In 1865, Morton suffered a stroke and while he recovered somewhat, he was never able to walk again without assistance. He resigned the governor's chair when he was elected to the U.S. Senate by the legislature - now with a Republican majority. In the Senate, Morton supported the Radical Reconstruction programs and voted for the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. He was also able to forestall a Democratic attempt to forestall the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment which gave the right to vote to all.

    Re-elected to a second term as senator in 1873, Morton became associated with the Grant administration and a leader of the Stalwarts who were most deeply committed to Republican Reconstruction. He was a major nominee for president at the GOP convention in 1876 along with another Stalwart leader, Senator Roscoe Conkling of New York. The Stalwarts were forced to compromise and support Rutherford Hayes in a last-ditch attempt to stop the nomination from going to James Blaine - the anti-Grant Republican leader.

    Morton was given a seat on the Electoral Commission that gave the election to Hayes after Hayes let it known he would end Reconstruction. Surprisingly, Morton backed Hayes and urged his fellow Republicans to show patience with Hayes' "New Departure" program.

    The following summer, Morton spent three weeks in Oregon while leading a committee investigating charges of bribery against La Fayette Grover, the Democratic senator from Oregon who was involved in electoral votes going amiss - Hayes won his election by only one electoral vote. Afterwards, Morton was resting in San Francisco when 6 August 1877 he suffered a second severe stroke paralyzing the left side of his body. He died back in Indianapolis four months later.

    Grave of the governor - Canby is beyond Statue of the Governor in front of Indiana Capitol
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    CROWN HILL - OTHERS

    by mtncorg Written Apr 27, 2015

    On the north side of the National Cemetery here at Crown Hill you can find the gravesite of Richard Gatling. An inventor and merchant from North Carolina, Gatling moved to St Louis when he was 36 years old. More inventions followed which helped galvanize agriculture - aids for planting both wheat and rice. After suffering an attack of smallpox, Gatling became interested enough in medicine to graduate from the Ohio Medical College, though he never saw patients. He eventually moved to Indianapolis and continued a long career of invention in a large gamut of fields.

    His best known invention was the Gatling gun. Developed during the Civil War when Gatling noted that more soldiers were dying of disease than gunshots, he thought if he could let one man with a gun do the work of a hundred then large armies would no longer be needed reducing the exposure of so many to battle and disease. Of course, it didn't quite work out that way. His gun wasn't purchased by the army until 1866 but would be an important tool for the next half century.

    Another elegant grave nearby is that of Second Lieutenant Ralph Miller. Miller enlisted in the 128th Indiana becoming a sergeant major during the Spanish-American War. With the war's conclusion, he enlisted in the regular army and served in the cavalry in the Philippines going up through the ranks to become a lieutenant. Shortly after returning from overseas, he died in an army hospital at the Presidio in San Francisco of a kidney disease - sad fact that more men died of disease than of actual battle.

    Grave of Richard Gatling at Crown Hill Grave of Lieutenant Miller
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    CROWN HILL - NATIONAL CEMETERY

    by mtncorg Written Apr 27, 2015

    One of the main reasons for the establishment of Crown Hill was the Civil War. Many of the Federal soldiers who died either while stationed in and around Indianapolis or those dying in local hospitals were originally buried in Greenlawn Cemetery. This cemetery quickly filled and was not well maintained by late in the war, so the Federal government bought 1.4 acres inside Crown Hill in 1863. After the war, in 1866, the remains of 707 soldiers were taken from Greenlawn and reinterred here. Eventually marble headstones were issued and a commemorative monument marks the cemetery within a cemetery. The national cemetery section has filled with burials from other wars after the Civil War to total 2,135 graves here.

    Upturned cannon marks boundary of federal cemetery Cemetery within a cemetery Soldiers graves in the snow General Canby lies at edge of national cemetery
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    CROWN HILL - CONFEDERATE MOUND

    by mtncorg Written Apr 27, 2015

    Camp Morton was the initial training ground for Federal troops in Indiana. The grounds had been used before the war for the Indiana State Fair - as they would be used once more after the war. Today the area is filled with houses except for a granite boulder monument in Herron-Morton Historic Park.

    With the large influx of Confederate prisoners following the fall of Fort Donelson, the camp was converted into a military prison with the first prisoners arriving 22 February 1862 - the last prisoners paroled was 12 June 1865. The prison was one of eight Federal prisons that were established. The average population was 3,214 with a maximum of 4,999 reached in July 1864. The camp averaged about 50 deaths a month with the total of about 1,700 dying in all between 1862 and 1865 - one of the lower death rates. These men were buried in Greenlawn Cemetery as were the Federal soldiers who died in the area.

    The gravesites had been marked with wooden boards which were painted with the man's identification, but time wore away the paint and a fire destroyed the records in 1866. Some families exhumed their loved ones for reburial in the South, but 1,616 remained at Greenlawn. In 1870, enlargement of a neighboring train yard caused all the graves to be combined in one mass grave. With time, the location of the mass grave became unknown. The grave was relocated in 1906 and a monument erected over it in 1912 - the monument is relocated to Garfield Park today. The mass grave remains were removed here to Section 32 of Crown Hill in 1931. The names of the fallen were added on ten bronze plaques in 1993 - the result of the efforts of a couple of local police officers. Some of the dead listed were not soldiers but slaves who followed their masters into captivity as manservants.

    Plaques remember those Confederates who died Names poke above the deep Indiana snow
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    SCOTTISH RITE CATHEDRAL

    by mtncorg Written Apr 28, 2015

    Scottish Rite is an appendant body of freemasonry. Masonry has three levels which members progress through – the top level being that of Master Mason. Several other organizations use the top level as a starting point for further adventures. The Scottish Rite – The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry – has 33 levels. Other similar Masonic side voyages include the Shriners and the York Rite – which can lead to the Knights Templar.

    The Scottish Rite Cathedral is one of the most dramatic Scottish Rite building there is. Neo-Gothic in architecture, the main tower rises some 212 feet high and holds a 54 bell carillon. There is an auditorium seating 1,200; a floating ballroom – the Indianapolis chapter of the Scottish Rite, or Valley of Indianapolis, is the only chapter in the nation with an orchestra in residence; a huge pipe organ plus Masonic symbolism is all around. Besides the obvious Masonic symbols and Zodiac signs, rooms, pillars, panels, dimensions are all built with each figure being divisible by three – three levels of freemasonry – or thirty three – the levels within the Scottish Rite and the numbers of years in the life of Jesus Christ.

    The building cost at $2,500.000 dollars when it was built between 1927 and 1929 – a huge amount of money, especially at the beginning of the Great Depression. Membership was 8,000 in 1921 and growing. Today rentals go a ways in maintaining the building, with weddings always being popular.

    Scottish Rite Cathedral on west side of Mall Cathedral at night ... in a snowstorm Cathedral rising on west edge of the Mall
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    NCAA Hall of Champions

    by leplaya Written Feb 18, 2006

    Alongside the headquarters of the NCAA, the Hall of Champions is a multimedia experience that takes you through the history of US college sports and explains the details of the various sports played across the US. There also various historical displays and a replica of the 1930’s basketball court where you are free to shoot around. This is probably more of a place for NCAA fans. The entrance fee is $3 for adults, $2 for students with an ID.

    The area around here is pretty nice also.
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    City Market

    by Toughluck Written Oct 16, 2007

    Located east of Monument Circle is the City Market. It is still the fresh produce market that it has always been. Althought, it's also become a fun place for lunch. You can browse the stalls to find fresh produce, fresh meat (cut to order), flowers, and have lunch. The market closes early but is open early.

    City Market National Historic Register Site

    Recommended: Breakfast and lunch stands have everything from Irish (stuffed potatoes) to Italian, Middle Eastern/Greek, and American cuisine. Gourmet foodstuffs are for sale as well.

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    ArtsPark!

    by Scaramouche21 Written Jul 24, 2006

    If you've only a few hours to see Indianapolis, be sure to visit ArtsPark. This combination nature walk/public art museum is simply incredible. Located in the funky and vibrant Broad Ripple Village neighborhood, ArtsPark contains sculptural masterpieces to astound, amuse, and amaze. Not only is Artspark home to some of the best public art I've seen in the U.S. (as well as water wildlife such as beavers and canadian geese); it's completely free! An evening stroll through the park can be quite romantic.

    Twisted House Stick-hut sculpture A goose spreads its wings in the Broad Ripple Cree
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    Broad Ripple Village

    by Scaramouche21 Written Jul 24, 2006

    Like many an artistically-inclined, college-aged traveller, my first move upon visiting a new city is often to find the funky/edgy/boho area of town. It wasn't too hard to find in Indy! At the advice of a gas station clerk, my boyfriend and I found ourselves headed toward Broad Ripple village. A little tough to locate for two first-time visitors, this neighborhood was worth the effort. Broad Ripple's mélange of artists, musicians, university students and other all-around cool people sould appeal to those looking for a fun place to explore. The village is absolutely brimming with galleries, unique boutiques, coffee houses, and cheap ethnic foods. Come the night, one can also find a lively music, bar & club scene! While in Broad Ripple. be sure to check out the nearby ArtsPark.

    Bridge over Broad Ripple Creek Indy CD, Broad Ripple's main er,indie record store hip babywear
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    clubs

    by ronald13 Written Jun 16, 2005

    ahh i miss my hometown so much , if you know your way around indy there is a lot to do on the weekends if you like to party . you can go north to broad ripple or stay downtown ..my favorite clubs are have a nice day cafe, tiki bobs , loctus, they r all located downtown in the same area. plus the area that these clubs r in is very safe , so party away and get drunk , make sure u take a cab there , so you can get extra drunk , also a sober friend might be needed.. if downtown ain't your scene you can go north on college to 62nd to broad ripple (trust me you can't miss it ) it's a more laid back place a lot of bars and clubs (u'll have fun there)..!!!!

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    Indiana State capital building

    by pourparafor Updated Nov 10, 2004

    Indiana ROCKS! it is made with Indiana Limestone quarried form limestone quarries around Bedford and Bloomington, Indiana.Indiana Limestone was also used on the Empire state building in New York. Limestone is great to carve with. It is odd because this limestone comes from the skeltons of tiny sea creatures. Yes at one time Indiana was covered with water. 35 of the 50 U.S state capital buildings have Indiana Limestone

    Indiana Capital Building from the south east George facing Washington street
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    The Indianapolis Artsgarden

    by pourparafor Updated May 2, 2014

    The beautiful glasshouse hovers one floor up from the corner of Washington and Illinois Street. The Artsgarden is attached to The Circle Centre mall. Bring your lunch here or bring it from the food court. It is a nice place to rest and enjoy the view. The Artsgarden has a ticket booth to purchase tickets to events in the arts around town or ask questions. FREE exibitions and performances are held here also.

    Artsgarden
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    An Evening Downtown

    by EvaWalls Written Mar 21, 2003

    Start at the Rock Bottom Brewhouse, eat lightly, you must save room for what's to come. A big salad, a sampler of beer, and we're off to walk to Victory Field.
    Grab yourself a beer, take your seat and watch some nice minor league baseball. After the game, stop at the Slippery Noodle, listen to the band, and enjoy the night.

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    Broad Ripple

    by sticki Updated Dec 19, 2002

    Despite its reputation, this is not just a place for skaters and head shops. There's a lot of unique stores, decent clubs, and good restaurants. Driving down Broad Ripple Ave is a bit of an adventure, as is finding a parking space (hope you can parallel park), but even if you have to park it and walk, you'll probably pass a few interesting places on the way. Good health food stores there, too. This is also a great place to get on the Monon Trail.

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    Indiana State Fair

    by sticki Written Jan 15, 2003

    Indiana at its most cliche. Square-dancing, Marching Band Day, livestock, and deep fried candy bars. If nothing else, it's good people-watching. The Fair runs every year around late-August, but there's almost always something going on within the Fairgrounds all year round. I avoid the livestock areas at all costs (with the exception of a morbidly curious peek at the Worlds Largest Hog), but some people are into that kind of thing, I guess. The rides are a little lame, but the big ferris wheel is nice on a clear summer night. Most people really only go for the food. My required fair fare: lemon shake-up, corn on the cob, and an elephant ear (preferrably with cherries).

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