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Whetzel Trace

Location: Indiana State Road 9, 4 miles north of Shelbyville, IN 46176 (Shelby County, Indiana)

Installed 2011 Indiana Historical Bureau, Shelby County Historical Society, and county fourth grade students

ID#: 73.2011.1

Marker Replaced 73.1951.1 Jacob Whetzel Trace.


Side One

After the War of 1812, the U.S. renewed efforts to obtain Indian lands in the Indiana Territory. In October 1818, the Miami, Potawatomi, Wea, and Delaware nations under pressure signed treaties with the U.S. exchanging millions of acres of their lands in central Indiana for annuities and goods, opening this forest region to settlers looking for land to farm.

Side Two

In 1818, Jacob Whetzel, his son Cyrus, and axmen cut an east-west trail that began near Laurel on the Whitewater River, crossed the Big Blue River near here, and ended near Waverly and the bluffs on White River. Settlers from east and south used this trace and helped establish Shelby, Rush, Johnson, Morgan, and Marion counties and the new capital at Indianapolis.


American Indians; Early Settlement