Spring Mill Rd.
Seth Bacon’s grist mill, called “Spring Mill”

64th and spring mill road Indianapolis
Spring-Mill-Road (4)
Once know as the Spring Mill-Williams Creek Gravel Rd., Spring Mill was named after an old mill site located roughly where present day Spring Mill Road meets Kessler Blvd and the White River.
Spring-Mill-Road (3)
Seth Bacon was an early resident and businessman of Indianapolis and built the first mill in the town of Millersville around 1824.  He also helped found the town.  Bacon also operated a mill was located at the top of Crows Nest Hill on the west side of “Mill Road,” just south of what is now Holliday Park.  The mill used an old spring that flowed out of the hills, and its remnants and the mill pond are still on the property on the west edge of Spring Mill Road.
Spring-Mill-Road (2)
John Krise, an early settler of Crows Nest, also opeated a mill in the area from 1840 to 1860.  It was a larger and more elaborate mill and was located on the East side of the Road and was also known as Krise’s Mill or Spring Mill.  Most of the natural springs that existed in the area have been eliminated or diminished.
Spring-Mill-Road (1)

All photos courtesy of Sergio Bennett.

7 responses to “What’s in a Name? – Spring Mill Road”

  1. Jim says:

    If you look at maps of the city from before Kessler Blvd. was built, you can see that Spring Mill Rd. used to cross an earlier bridge where the Kessler bridge is now, and connect directly to Illinois St.

  2. Christine Whitson says:

    Is there a way to find out about how other streets in Indy are named? I’ve always wondered who thought of the names and made the decision. thanks

  3. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Hi Christine, thanks for the question. You can keep reading Steve Campbell’s series here on HI (you can read them all by clicking Monday, and selecting the drop-down ‘What’s in a Name’), or be on the lookout for a published book on the topic. Some streets are easier than others when it comes to identifying the genesis of the name. After Ralston’s naming the first streets after states of the union, came streets named for naturally occurring features (after tree names or other geographic things), and of course, family names of those who initially settled or invested in the lands…

  4. lisa says:

    There’s alittle ally downtown names Sahm st after my family. They had a grocery stor ethere back in late 1800’s. I’m not sure if my branch is related to the Sahm restaurants or the golf courses though but there’s a plot of about 20 sahms at crown hill cemetary that are ludwig sahm came from germany via TX

  5. basil berchekas jr says:

    I saw on some 19th Century maps the name “Spring Mill Road” on what eventually became North Illinois Street. It appeared to start at about what is now 16th Street (I think Tinker Street) and ran due north to White River; crossed the river, and was continued to be named Spring Mill Road on north. South of present day 16th Street, the same route was named Illinois Street. Therefore it appears that the “Spring Mill” was known in Indianapolis, and Illinois Street, extended, also connected to Spring Mill from Indianapolis. If possible, someone could look at the old 19th Century maps of Indianapolis and see if I weren’t “seeing things”. it also appeared that “Mapleton” was located at Maple Road (38th Street) and Spring Mill Road, early on, as it were.

  6. Steve R. says:

    Has HI ever researched the origin of the name Ditch Rd.? It seems obvious, but I always thought that a more appealing name could have been chosen

  7. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    Nope! I’m guessing most people would make assumptions or think it’s self explanatory. But there are certainly many curious old street names.

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