Deerfield's History

Deerfield History:

The 70s
The 80's
The 90's

Deerfield's recorded history begins
  • As of 1973, we have records of the Deerfield Civic League existing and functioning as a neighborhood association.  What follows is a year-by-year recap of the memorable events recorded in meeting minutes and other memorabilia, as well as a listing of who made up the board of directors of the DCL for the year.

In the beginning

  • The land that was to become Deerfield began to be obtained in 1959 by Theron R. Hale, who purchased it from Ruth Lilly <THE Ruth Lilly> Van Riper and her husband Guernsey Van Riper, Jr.  The original plat plan called for a large development to be built in phases, beginning with a grand entrance and circle.  The idea was to create the first high-end neighborhood in the far-out suburbs of Indianapolis.  If this original plan had come to fruition, Deerfield would have looked like this today:


    The developers started in 1960 by designing and building Phase I of Deerfield, which looks like this:

    Note the roads leading out from the Mall and the Circle, connecting to the future roads in the larger neighborhood.  The two planned roads off the Mall are still recognizable as shared driveways.  The planned roads off the circle have been absorbed into peoples' yards and can no longer be seen.

    In 1965, Phase II was platted,

    Apparently the developers (both) died shortly after Phase II was completed, and no one ever followed through on the vision for much larger Deerfield, leaving us with the layout of the neighborhood we know today: