During the Hamilton County Bicentennial, each of our nine townships will get a little extra love for one full month. In this post, we’re heading east to Wayne Township, which will be put on the Bicentennial pedestal in August 2023. (Visit our FAQ page to find out when your township will be the star.)
If you’re a Wayne Township resident or have a special place in your heart for the area, we encourage you to connect to its history and get to know your Bicentennial Commission representative.
Here we go!
Population: According to 2010 Census data, an estimated 7,886 people called Wayne Township home.
Area: The mostly rural community covers 35 square miles.
Boundaries: It’s located south of White River Township, west of Madison County, and north of Fall Creek Township.
Claim to Fame: Wayne Township is the home of Ruoff Music Center, built in 1989 and originally called Deer Creek Music Center. The space is the largest outdoor music venue in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
Some history highlights from Wayne Township include:
The main attraction for settlers in the early 1800s was the terrain. The land was optimal for farming and raising families, a natural advantage that remains today.
During the Civil War, members of the community held military drills in case the war reached this far north.
The one unincorporated town left in Wayne Township is Clarksville. Located on State Road 38 east of Noblesville, Clarksville was founded by Abraham Nicholson in 1848. The town at one time had a blacksmith shop, Masonic and Red Men's lodge for members of those fraternal organizations, coffin maker, two doctors, two general stores and one church. Built in 1860, the Clarksville Christian Church is still very active in the community. The blacksmith shop and Masonic lodge buildings remain but are no longer active. All of the businesses have closed.
With the consolidation of schools, Wayne Township joined with Fall Creek and Delaware townships to form the Hamilton Southeastern School District.
Diane Nevitt, Wayne Township Bicentennial Commission
Diane Nevitt was born in Davenport, Iowa, but her parents moved the family back to their roots in Hamilton County a year and a half after Diane was born. She has called Wayne Township home ever since. At Noblesville High School, she met James Nevitt. The sweethearts married and raised three children in Wayne Township. It was in this same community that she began her career in banking and retired decades later.
“I then embarked on a new career as the museum director of the Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail until 2015, when I once again retired,” she says. But she didn’t stay away long. In August 2019, she took on the museum director role once again.
Her deep roots in the community and affinity for history make her a perfect fit to serve as Wayne Township’s Bicentennial Commission representative. Its August Bicentennial celebration will take place at the Clarksville Christian Church and offer a program on how farming has changed over the years. Two brothers will present the program, telling about their own experiences in the last 50 years. Other participants will include the Wayne Fall Lions Club, Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department, Hamilton Southeastern FFA Club, and the church ladies fellowship group.
The event will likely feature something old and something new as it pertains to trucks, cars, tractors and equipment from the fire department. Of course, plans are still in the works.
“What I hope to show is that living in Wayne Township gives you the best of both worlds. You can choose to live in an apartment, housing development, or individual home on a 10-acre plot or farm,” Diane says.
In Wayne Township, you can buy produce, flowers, beef and pork from the neighboring farms and still be mere minutes away from all the other amenities and hustle that attract people to Hamilton County.
We’re marking our August 2023 calendars!
If this excites you, contact Diane Nevitt at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in some way. If you live outside of Wayne Township but you’re inspired to think about projects for your own township, visit the Plan an Event page. We’d love to help!
The Hamilton County Bicentennial is proudly supported by Duke Energy, Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, Hamilton County Tourism Inc., and Hamilton County Historical Society.