Oaklandon is a suburb located in Marion County, approximately 15 miles northeast of downtown Indianapolis along Pendleton Pike (SR 67) and the railroad tracks. 

A brick church building with central tower at the entrance.
Universalist Church, Oaklandon, 1910 Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

In 1849, John Emery platted the town alongside the approaching railroad tracks and named it Oakland for the surrounding oak forest. The post office changed this name to Oaklandon when it was established in the town in 1870. By then, the area’s bustling railroad depot served local farmers as a shipping point for livestock and grain. The village’s first homes were built along what became the New York Central Railroad tracks.

Oaklandon developed slowly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Never incorporated, the village had no local government or police department. A civic group addressed community needs, such as raising funds, to purchase street lights. Churches also played an important role in the community. The Universalist Church, first built in 1850, was among the first congregations in the area. It currently survives as the Oaklandon Unitarian-Universalist Church.

In 1979, Lawrence annexed Oaklandon. By the mid-1980s, suburban sprawl from the Geist Reservoir development had reached the town. The population of the area, which had been only about 500 in 1960, grew to roughly 2,600 by the beginning of the 1990s. The farms and vacant land that once surrounded Oaklandon were now encompassed by the urban sprawl of Indianapolis and Lawrence.

In 2013, a portion of Oaklandon located between the 6300 and 6400 blocks of Oaklandon Road to the north and south, and the 6400 Block of Maple Street and 117 Oshawa Street to the east and west was designated as a National Historic District. The most prominent structures in the district include historic church buildings: the former Oaklandon Christian Church (1908) and the Oaklandon Universalist Church (1921). The rest of the district’s building stock includes small and medium-sized residences and outbuildings that date from the 19th  and early-20th  centuries.

Revised April 2021

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