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Spotlight on Clay Township

During the Hamilton County Bicentennial in 2023, we plan to focus on one township during each month of the year (with some extra fun stuff in other months - see the timeline here.) This week we are continuing our Blog series highlighting each of our townships in the county. This serves as a way for you to get to know the Township representatives and get more connected with the other areas in the county.

On our social media (you can see our Facebook here) we have been highlighting different townships in alphabetical order on Saturdays. Last time on the blog, we talked about Adams Township (blog post here). Let's get started with a new township!

Today we will be putting the spotlight on Clay Township. Clay Township is located in the bottom left hand corner (the southwest corner) of Hamilton County. Carmel is located in Clay Township and takes up a majority of the geographic area.

Some of the highlights from history for Clay Township include:

  • the Monon Railroad (and therefore the Monon Trail!) coming through Carmel

  • the name change from Bethlehem (which came from Quaker settlers) to Carmel

  • the huge rise in population and growth in the later 20th and early 21st century

Of course, it's impossible to summarize a community's history in this small format! If you want to know more (or if you have more you want to add!), check out the Our Book page. Soon, you'll be able to pre-order a copy of our book that will go into more detail about each township, including Clay!

The Bicentennial Commission has members from each of the nine townships to help celebrate and commemorate the history of the county. The representative for Clay Township is Deborah Clark Gangstad. She's the executive director of the Carmel Historical Society and has lived in Carmel for over 65 years. Deborah spent 28 years as a teacher in Carmel. She also has been a member of Tri Kappa for 40 years.

Deborah has been busy making plans alongside the Carmel Historical Society. Some of her ideas include:

  • Using the opening of the new Carmel Historical Society museum building as a chance to highlight the Bicentennial.

  • a woodwind concert with musical selections from throughout history

  • collaborating with Carmel Clay schools for a district-wide history project

If this list excites you (it should!) and you live in Clay Township and you want to get involved, you can contact Deborah at If you live outside Clay Township but this list inspires you to think about projects for your township, then contact us at or call us at 317-674-3150.

We know Deborah and the other township representatives are excited to get involved in the planning process. We hope you are too!


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