Back in the Day: Looking back at Carmel’s Kinzer cabin

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By Terri Horvath

The howl of wolves could still be heard in the countryside when John and Ruth Kinzer built their cabin in 1828. The closest settlement would be known as Bethlehem in 1837, with the name changed to Carmel in 1846 when the town residents decided they needed a post office.

The name of Bethlehem had already been claimed by another Indiana town.

As two of the earliest white settlers to the area, the Kinzers had several acres of trees to clear before they could plant any crops. By 1832, the couple added to the cabin’s occupants with the birth of their first child named William. As the years passed, the family continued to grow and prosper as farmers.

Today the Kinzer name lives on in another significant manner—the cabin itself. The structure was moved and renovated and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it sits on private property along Main Street, east of Keystone Avenue.

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