Wanamaker is a Franklin Township community centered at the intersection of Southeastern Avenue and South Post Road.
In the 1820s, non-Native American settlers traveledto the area. Several cabins were already at the site when John Messinger platted a village, New Bethel, in 1834. New Bethel prospered serving travelers and farmers, and, in 1884, it counted about 150 people. Five years later, townspeople renamed the village Wanamaker, after President postmaster general, John Wanamaker. Local debate on the change, however, continued for 50 years, as road signs and residents used both names.
The interurban arrived in 1902, and some residents commuted to Indianapolis to work. Others found employment at the nearbythat opened in 1906. A local street fair, begun in 1931 by the New Bethel Baptist Church, grew to become the . In 1954, the fair moved to its present location on Troy Avenue north of Wanamaker.
The popularity of commuting by automobile led to the construction of subdivisions such as Wanamaker Village and Wanamaker Estates in the 1950s. Twenty years later, the population was estimated at 4,500 when Wanamaker became a part of Indianapolis under.
Following its inclusion in Indianapolis, residential development through the end of the 20th century transformed the once rural community into its current status as a suburb.