Video highlights woman’s 65 years in Carmel


By Christine Fernando

Hilda Hadley has lived in Carmel since 1952. During her 65 years in the city, she has worked with her church, the Girl Scouts and local government. She’s gotten married and raised a family. And she has watched her city evolve and grow, just as she has.

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Hilda Hadley shares about watching Carmel grow during the past 65 years in a video to be released June 14. (Screenshot)

Now 90-years-old and living in in a retirement community called Summer Trace, Hadley finally has a chance to tell her story.

Hadley teamed up with the Carmel Clay Historical Society to craft a 20-minute video about Carmel’s history, from its rapid development to why it was included in the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” book series. The video will premiere at a free screening at 6:30 p.m. June 14 at Summer Trace, 12999 N. Pennsylvania St. The video and screening are sponsored by Clay Township Trustee Doug Callahan.

“I’m very excited,” Hadley said. “All my friends will be there, and I’m excited for everyone to hear these stories.”

But Carmel is no longer the old country town Hilda remembers from days gone by. Times have changed things, and Carmel is now a suburban city, no longer the community she said it once was.

Hadley recalled getting a pedicure from a friend who was talking about wanting to buy a simple, one-story house in Carmel. It’s not as easy to do as it once was, Hadley said, with high-rise apartments being built throughout the city.

“It’s just apartments, apartments, apartments—all of these big, tall apartments and retirement homes,” she said. “There’s too many of ‘em.”

But Hadley said she wouldn’t go back in time. Change is good, she said—as long as it doesn’t happen too quickly.

And Carmel is still Carmel at its core, she said.

“The big farms, the churches, the community, it all makes it Carmel,” she said.

Hadley said it’s important, especially for young people, to learn about what makes Carmel what it is and how its identity has changed over time.

“You need to know our history to understand what’s to come,” she said.

See the trailer

See a trailer for the video at