It’s reader feedback time again!
Remember when I said I knew of no map that showed Dismal Swamp?
That’s essentially true, but Nancy Massey pointed out that “Dismal Creek” appears on a 1912 Hamilton County soil map which you can find on the Hamilton County Surveyor’s website (www.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/647/Maps-Aerials-Plats.)
Although not technically a map of the swamp, it probably gives as good an idea as we’re likely to get of the territory the swamp once covered. Dismal Creek cut a diagonal path from the west side of Deming to a little east of Hortonville.
Interestingly, within the territory marked on the map is an “island” of different soil, immediately south of what is now the intersection of State Roads 31 and 38.
Part of that “island” corresponds to the old Lindley farm. In the days of the slave trade, the Quaker Aaron Lindley and his wife were active in the Underground Railroad. The proximity of their farm to Dismal Swamp helped them hide escaped slaves, including the Rhodes family.
(Remember how the Rhodes family got away from a slave hunter by — ahem — falling through cracks in the bed of the wagon that was transporting them to Westfield? They then trekked through Dismal Swamp to safety.)
While we’re on the subject of Deming, a few years ago when I wrote a series of columns highlighting the histories of Hamilton County’s smaller communities, I made a guess as to why the residents of Deming chose that as the new name for their town. (Deming was originally called Farmington, but that had to be changed when they acquired a post office because another Farmington already existed in Indiana.)
At the time I wrote that column, the only person I’d run across whom I thought might have inspired “Deming” was Demas Deming, Sr., a 19th century Indiana judge and state legislator.
I think I found a better candidate while researching the Foulke murder.
Dr. Elizur Deming of Lafayette, Ind. came from roughly the same time period as Demas Deming and was a member of the state legislature, too, but, more importantly, he was an abolitionist and served as Grand Master of the Indiana Masons from 1847 to 1851.
Although Westfield gets most of the press when it comes to the subject of the Underground Railroad in this county, Deming was also settled by Quakers who played an active role in helping escaped slaves.
Moreover, the tiny community has a strong Masonic connection. Deming has been home to Hinkle Lodge #310 of the Free and Accepted Masons since 1863.
A reader who prefers to remain anonymous confirmed my conclusion that the current Noblesville East Middle School at 16th Street and Field Drive is situated on what was once the northwest corner of the old County Farm.
“Anonymous” also noted that several Indian artifacts, including arrowheads and hand-held grinding stones, have been found on the property.
I’ve never run across any mention of a Native American village being located there, but that tract of land is close enough to the river that it could easily have been the site of a hunting camp, which would explain the presence of the artifacts.
At one time that was a lovely wooded area — so lovely in fact, that the Noblesville Independent was pushing to establish the county fairgrounds there in the late 1870s.
Finally, a little “housekeeping” — it’s wooly worm time!
Keep your eyes peeled for wooly worms. If you spot one, let me know where you found it and what color it was. It will be soon be time to to gather the weather signs together to try to figure out what the coming winter might bring us.

Paula Dunn’s From Time to Thyme column appears each Wednesday in The Times. Contact her at younggardenerfriend@gmail.com