The Town of Fishers is home to over a dozen parks and nature preserves. The Fishers Trail & Greenway System has more than 85 miles available for use.
Billericay Park was named after the town’s sister city Billericay, England. The park has eight youth baseball fields, a multi-use trail through Billericay Woods, a playground, and a splash pad with a picnic facility.
Brooks School Park
Brooks School Park is a 16.5 acre park that has an ADA accessible playground for kids, a multipurpose trail, a large athletic field, and a basketball court.
Cheeney Creek Natural Area
Cheeney Creek Natural Area includes the Cheeney Creek Greenway and a natural area. Cumberland Park is the park containing soccer fields. The park also has a trail along the Mud Creek Greenway, a disc golf course, and a community building.
Cyntheanne Park has five multipurpose athletic fields as well as natural areas, two playground areas and trails. Eller Fields are two lighted youth baseball fields and a playground.
Fishers Heritage Park
Fishers Heritage Park at White River is home to the Historic Ambassador House and Heritage Gardens. More than 170 years ago, a two-story log house was built on what is now the northwest corner of 96th Street and Allisonville Road, this was the Ambassador House. The Ambassador House was carefully cut into two sections and moved to its current location in Heritage Park (106th Street and Eller Road) on November 19, 1996.
Hamilton Proper Park
Hamilton Proper Park is a 19-acre park.
Harrison Thomas Park
Harrison Thomas Park is a multi-use park featuring three baseball fields, three soccer fields, a playground and a 3/4 mile trail. Hoosier Woods is a small forest. Mudsock Fields contains three lighted football fields. Olio Fields is home to several softball fields.
Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve
Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve is approximately 127 acres: 42 acres are an Indiana State Designated Nature Preserve and the remaining 85 acres are under a conservation easement governed by the Department of Natural Resources. The preserve offers five trails totaling 2 miles. Cheeney Creek passes through the north end of the property.
Roy G. Holland Memorial Park
Roy G. Holland Memorial Park is the site of the Fishers Freedom Festival. The park also has soccer, baseball and softball fields, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, woods, picnic areas, and a community building.
Wapihani Nature Preserve
Wapihani Nature Preserve is a 77 acre nature preserve located along the White River in Fishers. It was purchased with White River Restoration Trust funds in early 2006 by the Central Indiana Land Trust.
* * *
In 1802 William Conner settled what is now present-day Fishers, Indiana. Conner built a log cabin and a trading post along the White River. The land that Conner settled is now known as Conner Prairie and is one of the nation’s most respected living history museums. Settlers started moving to the area after Indiana became a state in 1816 and the Delaware Indians gave up their claims in Indiana and Ohio to the United States government in 1818 in the Treaty of St. Mary’s.
John Finch and Hamilton County
In 1823, Hamilton County was chartered by the Indiana General Assembly and Delaware Township was established and surveyed. After the state of Indiana moved its capital to Indianapolis from Corydon in 1825, the community started to grow. After the move, John Finch established a horse-powered grinding mill, a blacksmith shop, and the area’s first school. The next year the area’s first water mill was constructed.
During 1826 the Ambassador House was built near the White River, at the modern-day corner of 106th Street and Eller Road. It was later acquired by Addison and India Harris, who was appointed ambassador to the Austro-Hungarian Empire by U.S. President William McKinley. Today, Ambassador House sits on the grounds of Fishers’ Heritage Park at White River.
In 1849, construction began on the Peru & Indianapolis Railroad, extending from Indianapolis to Chicago. This railroad brought several people to the area then known as Fisher’s Switch. In 1872, Fisher’s Switch, also known as Fishers Station, was platted by Salathial Fisher at the present-day intersection of 116th Street and the railroad. Indiana’s General Assembly incorporated Fisher’s Station in 1891. In 1908 the post office changed the name of Fishers Switch to Fishers by dropping “Switch.”
William Conner Farm
After William Conner’s death in 1885, his family farm became a place of interest. The Hamilton County Historical Society placed a marker on the site of the William Conner farm in 1927. Eli Lilly, then head of Eli Lilly and Company, purchased William Conner’s farm in 1934 and began restoring the farm. In 1964, Lilly asked Earlham College to oversee the Conner farm, now known as Conner Prairie.
In 1943, the Indianapolis Water Company constructed Geist Reservoir in order to prevent a deficit in Indianapolis’s water supply. They believed that Fall Creek and the White River would not keep up with the demand for water in Indianapolis. In the 1970s, the company wanted to triple the size of the lake, but the plan was rejected in 1978 and homes began to spring up around the reservoir.
The Fishers population grew slowly to 388 by the 1960 census when rail shipmen declined. Per township referendums in 1961, the town provided planning services for Delaware and Fall Creek Townships and approved residential zoning for most of the undeveloped area in the two townships. The relocation of Indiana State Road 37 to the east side of town and the connection with Interstate 69 ensured the future growth of Fishers as a commercial and residential center. The Town of Fishers would soon become a fast growing suburb of Indianapolis.
Fall Creek Township
Fall Creek Township became the site of a consolidation of area schools when Hamilton Southeastern High School was formed in the 1960s. In 1989 the town’s population reached 7,000 and the first Freedom Festival was held. Every year since the town has held a freedom festival.
* * *