Oct 26, 2022
Major landmarks in downtown Indianapolis today include Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts. During the early 1900s, though, the site was the home of Arab Americans. A thoroughfare in the neighborhood called Willard Street (which vanished in the 1920s as the area was repurposed) was the hub of what was known as the city's "Syrian colony" because most of the Arab Americans residents then were of Syrian and Lebanese heritage.
Today, Marion County is the home of more than 5,600 Arab Americans, while about 3,200 others live in neighboring Hamilton County, according to arabindianapolis.com, a multimedia project. In addition to Syria and Lebanon, the immigrants or their descendants now come from an array of homelands, including Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.
Hoosier History Live will explore the Arab American heritage in Indianapolis (which has been far more extensive and has deeper roots than many realize) during the next in our rotating series about ethnic immigration.