In the mid 1970’s the town of Avon had a Pizza King with a train inside that delivered your drinks, a large outdoor sports complex, some strip malls and not much else. Today this town is a thriving, sprawling suburban oasis with a strong housing market.
Even though Avon wasn’t incorporated until 1995, in the past several years home values in this area have gone up over 86% and are still rising. The median list price per square foot is $99 about a $1 more than those in the Indianapolis Metro area.
It’s proximity and easy access to Indianapolis makes the area a popular location for commuters. Avon also offers easy access to the Indianapolis International Airport making it about a 20-minute ride for frequent flyers.
This community offers universal appeal to families with children, young couples, mature couples and singles interested in the Indianapolis nightlife without the high real estate costs. It’s small town living with all the conveniences of a large city.
A great reason to consider buying a home in Avon is the wide variety of housing types and costs. With a median household income of $78,861 most homeowners can choose from single family homes of all sizes to condos and garden homes. The median average house price in Avon ranges between $186,000 to $235,990.
US Highway 36 runs through the center of Avon and is a major commercial center for the city. It features a wide range of chain stores and major retailers. Superstores are popular in the region and include Meijer, Target and Walmart.
There is much more than shopping and houses in Avon. Hendricks County where Avon is located offers plenty of family-friendly entertainment. These include Chuck E. Cheese, Jump-n-Play, Xtreme Lazer Tag, roller skating and Monster Mini Golf. There is also a large theater complex.
Avon is home to a great community park called Washington Township. It features wide open green spaces and a dog park. Additional facilities include playgrounds, hiking trails, a splash park, gazebo, volleyball court and restroom facilities. Over time, the park has developed to meet the needs of the community. More green space helps bring homeowners to town.
There is even a well-known haunted bridge nearby. Built in 1906 for the Big Four Railroad by engineer W.M. Dunne, the bridge is located on CR 625 E about one-half mile south of US 36. It has inspired many tales of supernatural activities including screams and crying babies.
While the median cost of a home is $186,000 there are many very attractive homes readily available for under $100,000. If you want more there are exclusive neighborhoods that feature homes well above $500,000.
When driving down US 36 through Avon it’s hard to imagine that Washington Township didn’t come into being until 1824 after Hendricks County was created. For centuries this area was populated by roving American Indian tribes specifically the Delaware and Pianksihaw Indians.
The county was named after Indiana’s second governor William Hendricks. In 1825 when the county government was created the population was about 1,000. The Avon area was settled around 1830 and named Hampton. It was to have many more names over time. Next, it was called White Lick and its post office was located about a fourth mile from the current site of Avon.
The first noted retailer was John Smoot, a pack peddler who made weekly visits to the area by horse and wagon. He eventually leased some ground and built the first store. It was the beginning of the town.
Even in the 1800’s politics played a large role in the development of areas. Smoot moved his store across the road because the land he leased was owned by a Republican. Unable to buy the land even from a member of his own political party, Smoot moved his store on log sleds about a mile west, The town moved with him.
Smoot’s store prospered and in 1867 he asked Washington for a post office. The town became Smootsdell. Later when the new Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad was being built, a surveyor decided he didn’t like the name Smootsdell and renamed the town New Philadelphia. When the railway’s new train depot was erected in 1870 the sign on it read Avon. The people like the name and petitioned to change the post office name. It’s been called that ever since.
Over time a doctor moved into the corner of SR 267 and US 36. A blacksmith shop, buggy house, and several tile factories were all present by the start of the civil war. The county’s population totaled about 17,000.
After the civil war, the major occupation remained agriculture. However several new businesses came to town including a sawmill, shipman’s wagon shop, and a nursery. Thanks to improved school facilities and new businesses, Avon steadily grew larger. By 1878, Washington Township had 10 schools for students through the eighth grade. The one exception was the town of Avon which also offered a three-year high school course. It remained in place to 1917 when it was abandoned for a new consolidated school.
Today the Avon School system is heralded as having ranked number one in the state of Indiana by the Indiana State School Music Association seven years in a row (until 2008 when they placed second). They were on top again in 2009 and 2010.
The schools in this community are known for more than music. Academically, they are a top performer and offer great sports activities. The system includes a high school and an academy for grades 9-12 shared with the Brownsburg schools, two middle schools, two intermediate schools and seven elementary schools. Additionally, there are two private schools.
Avon has another claim to fame with soybean pioneer Adrian A. Parsons who moved to the area in 1852. After serving and being wounded in the civil war, Parsons settled into farming and teaching schools. He also imported Japanese soybeans and began raising them on his farm. He is the first known farmer to produce soybeans, a hugely successful grain crop in the State of Indiana. He is credited for influencing the history of agriculture in the area and in the U.S. He was recognized by the American Soybean Association and the farm press as Indiana’s Soybean Pioneer.
Avon is also the home of the Hendricks Symphony and Choir. Musician Natalie Walker got her start in Avon. Her music has been on Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty.
Other notable people include William Hornaday, a zoologist and savior of the American bison, Bill Vukovich Jr. former race car driver, Sergio Gomez, singer and numerous sports and racing notables.
In 1952, the Avon area had three businesses, all located on the same corner. Today that has expanded to well over 2,000. In the last two decades and since the town’s official incorporation in 1996 Avon has become a booming suburb offering plenty of opportunity for businesses, homeowners and home sellers. It continues to grow while providing a great quality of life for people of all ages and walks of life. Best of all, the Pizza King with the train from the 1970s is still there in its original spot just waiting to serve you.