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Greenwich was first inhabited by Native Americans. It was later inhabited by French and Native American fur traders. The falls made it necessary to carry canoes along the banks of the river. This made it a convenient place to start a trading post. Later, pioneers used the hard rock river bottom at the falls to cross the White River East Fork on their journey west. The wagon trail that ran through Greenwich was one of the first paths from Cincinnati to St. Louis. In the early 1800ís it was platted and settled. It was the first European settlement in the Indiana territory. This sign posted within the last 50 years was rediscovered recently. It reads "GREENWICH, Settled in 1778, Oldest in Indiana."

Here is a map of the original plots near Greenwich. It was drawn in 1920 but seems to indicate the original owners of the land, listing James Mansfield as the first owner of Greenwich. The map indicates that he purchased it in December 10th, 1807. This was copied from the Indiana History Magazine Vol. 16 No. 4. I will post a better copy soon. Apparently, John Mansfield forfeited his ownership by never paying for it. The deed for the land (the first in county records) was then granted to William Harris in 1816. (History of Martin County, Vol II Harry Q. Holt)


This is an ad for lots for sale in Greenwich posted by William Harris in the Western Star newspaper on May 23, 1818. It gives a good description of the land as it was and several of the details still apply today.


This is an aerial photo of the area taken in 1940. It was obtained from the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences library at Purdue University.

This is an aerial photo from 1990 provided by the USGS via Mapquest.




© Spurgeon 2002