It’s important to mark milestones. Heck, it’s one of the most common ways we keep history alive–noting, year after year, the birthday or anniversary of significant events.
With that in mind, we just wanted to note that 5 years ago today, what would become HI, began. And to thank everyone who has been a part of our journey!
My name is Tiffany, and I moved to Indianapolis from Los Angeles in 2003 without knowing a soul. My connection: that my mother was born and raised here. Upon purchasing my Victorian dream house, I set out to learn all I could about its story–which morphed into learning about the history of every house on the block. Then, learning about the neighborhood, and of course, that was all connected to the city. The cool little-known facts were fascinating, and I collected myriad stories over endless hours in the library (at that time, located in Old City Hall). In the meantime, I became very involved in my neighborhood, and eventually became the historian for Herron-Morton Place , co-editor of our neighborhood newsletter and later, neighborhood association president.
Fast forward to 2009, having lost another pharmaceutical sales job–volatile industry, that one–and wanting to do something I loved, while finding another job, decided to start a blogspot account to share the passion/ obsession I’d acquired, relating to Indianapolis history.
At first, the content was comprised of previous work for Herron-Morton’s newsletter, and a few other random snippets of Indy history. A companion Facebook page was also created, in the hopes that I’d find others who might share my appreciation for Indy’s long-lost stories.
For the first year and a half, that blogspot account was a random, get-to-it-whenever proposition where I shared my constantly evolving love of Indy. After gaining a few hundred followers, I wondered if HI could become a full-time endeavor.
In early 2011, Nathan Bilger agreed to partner up, and he built out the first full HI website. Libby Cierzniak and Joan Hostetler also joined the team, as we fleshed out a vision of HI as a daily online publication. This was a huge change and upgrade.
A few months later, Raquel Richardson, of Silver Square, offered to help our fledgling operation with some marketing and branding assistance, and the brand and website you now see was born. Raquel saw the potential and good such a local-loving entity could mean to the community, and stepped up in a way unlike anyone else. We will be eternally grateful for that generosity and vision.
Since then, the HI team has added and subtracted a number of talented individuals, and has had a handful of sponsors and Booster Club members, without whom, HI would no longer exist.
Some readers say the city should be sponsoring HI (if you didn’t know, the city is broke, friends) or that we should restrict our content. Knowing we have elementary school students using HI as a reference, and former residents in their twilight years who want to emotionally reconnect with their roots, that choice has not felt right. There have been months where we’ve barely survived, so we continue to encourage users to help support the site, so that it continues to exist.
HI has grown to have a number of talented writers, photographers and volunteers; we average 40,000 views each month on the website; we have tens of thousands of friends, likes and followers on social media platforms; an archive of 1700+ articles and growing; and most importantly, continue to teach Indy residents new ways to feel proud of their heritage.
Helping people find more love and connection in the world is one of my personal life goals and passions. The whole idea behind HI is that if you love where you live more, it will enhance the quality of your life.
Since this is already getting longwinded, let’s end with our top 5 most read articles to date:
Here’s hoping we make it another five years, and continue to connect, inspire and help people fall in love with Indianapolis.