I feel it is time to dispel one of the most common myths about Indianapolis. Â I have seen it time and time again, most recently on one of my favorite local blogs Historic Indianapolis. Â But I don’t mean to pick on them, as they are not alone in believing that the Riley Tomb marks the highest point in Indianapolis. Â A Google search for “highest point in Indianapolis” reveals many such claims. Â My favorite instance of thisÂ occurrenceÂ is this article:
The highest point in Indianapolis lies at Crown Hill Cemetery atop Strawberry Hill (the tomb of famed Hoosier writerÂ James Whitcomb Riley) with an elevation of 842Â feet (257Â m), and the lowest point in Indianapolis lies at the Marion County/Johnson CountyÂ line, with an elevation of about 680Â feet (207Â m).
Variations in elevation from 700-900 feet occur throughout the city limits.
Obviously, 900 feet is a higher elevation than the one given to the Riley Tomb. Â And, the highest point in Indianapolis is actually a bit higher than that, at 914 feet in far northwestern Pike Township. Â The blue contours in this photo are all at 914 feet above sea level, while the red outline indicates the County boundary:
I checked the height of the Riley Tomb, and it showed up as 838 feet in the city’s 2003 contours:
Fortunately, some sources have gotten this correct. Wikipedia mentions that the Riley Tomb is the highest point in the old, pre-Unigov city boundaries, which is a much more careful way of stating it.
I’m sure there are some other long-persistent myths out there of our city. Â What are some others that you would care to share?