Peek into the Past: Longtime Resident Remembers Quieter Times along Olio Road

Olio & 116th By Sherri Williams –

What a day it has been. Moving is never fun, but today the weather and the “movers” have made it as miserable as possible. It’s November 24, 1975. We actually purchased the small farm on Olio in August; but, it was occupied by renters. As a result, we’re moving in on Thanksgiving Friday.

It’s almost 8 p.m., and the horses are bedded down and fed. They’ll spend the night in the barn so there aren’t any fence accidents. Mom and I will finally get to dig into that stew Mrs. Ross brought by. It’s been tempting us with its aroma for hours. Ah, finally, sitting down, taking my boots off and …….”Sherri, come here, right now!!” Mom calls from the utility room.

Mom is holding the cord for the freezer. She doesn’t look pleased. I am informed that this new house, with the new utility room, does not have grounded plugs. Lovely! Where can we get an adapter plug this time of the evening?

Run down to Ace, you say? No, there is no Ace, nor anything else, other than a small gas station. Fishers is just a bump in the road. It doesn’t even have a traffic light. Only thing open there is a bar.

Well, a quick call to the neighbors informs us there is a hardware store in Fortville that is open until 9 p.m. Now how do I get to Fortville?

Great. On top of everything else I have experienced today, I get to drive on 113th Street for the first time in a still-loaded Olds 98, with the rain pouring and so dark I can barely see the side ditches. I learn later that no “sane” person drives this road at night. Ignorance is bliss; I make it OK and even find the store just as they are locking up. Little did I realize Fortville would become a regular visit for me to buy horse feed.

Back in 1975, mail for most of Olio Road was still delivered by the Noblesville Post Office. And most of what we needed to buy, we found in Noblesville. There was a small grocery in Fishers, Archer’s. They had the best meat around, but for major grocery shopping it was Marsh or Kenley’s in Noblesville.

Planning was a part of life. You couldn’t just hop on the bike and run to the store. A list had to be made and followed. Shopping was accomplished one day a week. After all, gas was an outrageous 79 cents per gallon!

This may seem like a real hassle, but part of me misses the days when Olio Road was a narrow, two-lane country road. It was quiet in the evenings and on weekends. Semi trucks didn’t barrel through all night; blaring radios didn’t rattle the windows. We actually knew most of the folks who passed and would exchange waves.

Of course, progress has its pros and cons, and all in all, I am pleased with the changes on and around Olio Road. But sometimes I still long for the quiet of times past.

bike path on Olio traffic on Olio modern life in Geist

Editor’s Note: Olio existed on the map from the late 1800s to the mid-1940s as one of the numerous small villages dotting the Indiana countryside. Although it has long since ceased to be recognized as an official town, the area along Olio Road is rich in history and memories for atGeist Contributor Sherri Williams and many others who have watched this area of Geist boom in recent years. Williams has lived along this once-quaint, rural road for more than 30 years and owns a house that at various times functioned as a general store, post office, doctor’s office and inn, while the property’s barn was a livery and blacksmith shop. She believes the home’s detatched cellar could have been part of the underground railroad at one time, as there were several stops in this area.

What memories do you have of Olio? Let us know how you feel about the changes taking place along Olio Road by commenting on this post or emailing

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