genealogy & local history DEPARTMENT
Visit us! Come use the department's microfilm readers/printers, make copies of the information that you find in our reference materials, sit at a quiet table to do your research, and get assistance from our genealogy staff! We love hosting visitors in our department.
LOCATION & HOURS:
Carnegie East Wing - Library Annex
33 W Broadway St.
Shelbyville IN 46176
Genealogy/History: 317-398-8144 or 317-398-7121 ext. 301
Mon-Thurs 9-8:45 pm
Fri 9-6:45 pm
Sat 9-4:45 pm
*All Shelby County Public Library facilities will be closed in honor of the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. The library will close at 5pm on Good Friday and New Year's Eve.
The property at 33 W Broadway St. has been a staple in downtown Shelbyville for over a century. Elbridge Gerry Mayhew, nephew of the Governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry, came from Martha’s Vineyard and built the home in 1887. Later, it housed the Ralph J. Edwards Funeral Home. Fleming Furniture Home, operated by Frank and Marie Fleming, eventually took over the space in 1945. They sold the business to Dick and Sharon Kiefer in 1969. Kiefer’s Furniture Home operated at this location for 37 years before deciding to relocate the business to Harrison St. The library purchased the property in 2007. Renovations were finished in 2018.
brief history of the area:
Situated between Indianapolis, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio, Shelby County was part of the territory called the “New Purchase.” The Delaware Indian Tribe ceded this area by treaty to the United States Government in 1818 at St. Mary’s, Ohio. Soon after, Jacob Whetzel, blazed a wagon path from Franklin County in Eastern Indiana to the ‘Bluff’ on the White River. It was by way of this wilderness trail, known as the “Whetzel Trace,” that many of Shelby County’s pioneering settlers came to make new homes. As one eyewitness testified, “Without money, and without the assistance which money brings, they had come here to make war upon nature in one of her most forbidding forms. Where now we may see broad fields and wide pastures of open woodland, then thickly stood the great oak, the poplar, the beech, the maple and the ash, their limbs and branches so closely intertwined that, when clothed in their summer verdure, a shade so deep and dark was produced as to shut out the sun from May to October.”