Located about 20 minutes north of the modern amenities and activities of Indianapolis, Zionsville promotes itself as a tourist destination, focusing on the village-styled downtown area. Centered on Main Street and its environs, this area is notable for its brick paving, small stores and restaurants.
Zionsville actually began as a promotion by William Zion, a local railway speculator. Zion partnered with landowner Elijah Cross to build a railway station on Cross’ land, and the town was chartered in 1852. Reportedly, Abraham Lincoln made a whistle-stop speech in Zionsville in 1861 on the way to his inauguration.
Zionsville has been a railway stop and bedroom community for most of its existence, but recent changes to the structure of local government have brought about the division of the town into discrete rural and urban units. This division, and the tight management of each area, should allow the quaint feel of downtown Zionsville to persist, despite the rapid growth of the metropolitan area around it.
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