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home : hope history and attractions : hope history and attractions July 23, 2017

1/5/2015 10:40:00 AM
The history of a surprising little town
Hope, My Indiana Home 2014-2015

Hope, Ind. is a small, proud, rural community that is known as a "Surprising Little Town" for many reasons, including our unique landmarks and hidden treasures. It is a place where visitors are always welcome.

The Town of Hope is located in the northeastern corner of Bartholomew County in central Indiana along State Road 9. The town revolves around the town square where you can find a beautiful bandstand, many local businesses, a branch library, a park/playground, the Town Hall, and even a community museum. You might find many locals gathered around a cafe table, especially in the mornings while they drink coffee and chat about the latest news.

The story of our town is unique. The normal small town life that we, as Hope residents, have come to know is the result of situations, circumstances and characters from our past.

In the early 1800s, the United States was moving west. New states were being formed and those who were looking for adventure or a fresh start were moving into territories that included Indiana.

Into this setting came a self-taught "minister" of the Moravian Church with the dream of starting a congregational town in the wilderness. A town where the purest form of the Moravian religion could be practiced.

Martin Hauser was determined to move his religion into the frontier area. He had convinced Brother Lewis D. von Schweinitz of the Provincial Helpers Conference of the Moravian Church that he could succeed at starting a new church and a new Moravian town in Indiana. Hauser was to purchase 160 acres of land for the church at the cost of $1.25 an acre. The church would provide the necessary $200 for the purchase once Hauser had established his own home in the area as proof that he was serious about the task.

On Sept. 28, 1829, Martin Hauser left his home near Salem, N.C., with his wife, Susannah, their four small children, Susannah's brother and sister, Samuel Rominger, J.R. Rominger, and J.P. Blum. It took this small band a month to arrive at the home of Hauser's brother Jacob, who lived just north of Columbus, Ind. By the time they arrived in late October, the weather had turned bitter.

Martin was determined to stake a claim to his own land and get on with the formation of a new town. The very next day he traveled about 10 miles to the spot he selected for his own. He purchased his own land on County Road 725E -- just north of what is now our Town of Hope.

Because of the terrible weather, Martin fell quite ill and was not able to begin his own cabin until after Christmas. By March 1, 1830, the Hauser cabin was finished and the family moved in without as much as the comfort of a stove.

But Hauser was quick to notify the church of his accomplishments and the money for the purchase of land for the town arrived in early April as promised.

On April 5, 1830, Hauser sent a messenger to Indianapolis to purchase the 160 acres for what he was going to call the town of Goshen. When they arrived in Indianapolis they learned the name Goshen was already being used by an Indiana town. Thus, they decided to rename the town and Hope was born.

In April 2005, Hope officially reached its 175th birthday. Our bicentennial is in 2030!

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