Herron-Morton Place
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Herron-Morton Place

Summary of History and Significance

The area now known as Herron-Morton Place was originally part of a 160-acre land grant. Except for improvements made by the state in 1839 to remedy drainage problems, the area remained largely undeveloped. A 36-acre wooded tract, now bounded roughly by 19th Street, Talbott Street, 22nd Street and Central Avenue, known at the time as Henderson's Grove, became a popular picnic spot around the middle of the 19th Century.

In 1859 this area was purchased by the Indiana State Board of Agriculture for development as a permanent home for the Indiana State Fair. When the Civil War began, however, the area was requisitioned by Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton for use as an induction encampment. The fairgrounds buildings soon served as the living quarters for some 5,000 new soldiers, and the encampment was named Camp Morton. In early 1862, Camp Morton was enclosed with a stout oak palisade and became a prison camp for captured Confederate soldiers. The picture to the right is of the prison camp. By war's end, 15,000 rebel troops had been interned at the camp, with a peak population of 5,000 men, occurring in July of 1864. Union troops were stationed south of Camp Morton to what is now 16th Street in an encampment known as Camp Burnside.

After the war, the site was once again used as state fairgrounds. The picture to left is of the Fairgrounds. In 1890, however, new fairgrounds were established farther north because the city of Indianapolis had expanded. The property, extending to 16th Street, was sold and divided into 280 residential building lots for an upper class residential neighborhood, and named Morton Place.

Throughout the late 1930s, the neighborhood slowly began to deteriorate. The continuing trend for the affluent to move ever farther north, coupled with the deaths of many of the original homeowners, caused the area to undergo a period of neglect and decay. Many of the large homes were divided up into apartments. Crime became a problem and many of the houses were lost to fire or forced demolition.

This deterioration has largely been halted over the last decade. The Herron-Morton Place Neighborhood Association was founded in 1976 and continues to spearhead attempts to renovate homes within the area, reduce crime, and rebuild the neighborhood spirit. At the same time, Citizen's Multi-Service Center continues to be a force in delivering programs and solving problems for the residents of the neighborhood. Herron-Morton was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Address Ranges

22-426 E. 16th St. (even numbers only) 111-409 E. 22nd St.
22-422 E. 17th St. 1600-2151 N. Alabama St.
22-121 E. 18th St. 1600-2158 Central Ave. (even numbers only)
140-318 E. 19th St. 1600-2154 N. Delaware St.
140-514 E. 20th St. 1600-2151 N. New Jersey St.
114-529 E. 21st St. 1608-2180 N. Pennsylvania St.
115 E. 21st St. 1605-2184 N. Talbott St.

Pictures

                

Latham-Porter House (c.1900)

Latham-Blain House (c.1910)

Herron-Morton Place

Spencer House (c.1889)

   

 

Neighborhood Association

Herron-Morton Place Association, Inc.

Brian Larson, President

(317) 679-4403 bglindy@hotmail.com 

 

  

Herron-Morton Place Foundation Board

Jeanne Pontious, President

(317) 925-7525 - phone

www.herron-morton.org

Please contact a neighborhood representative in order to be placed on the Land Use committee's agenda.