Washington Twp. District 8

Thompson/Shady Grove (Grey Eagle)

Photo taken April 14, 2021. From the author’s collection.

The earliest mention of the District 8 school shows it located at the east side of Wheeling Pike about a fifth of a mile south of West County Road 1070 North, just south of the Hedgeland Ditch on the land of the 160-acre Thompson Estate (Kingman, 1874). 

Four years later, Simon Knight deeded a portion of his land at the intersection of West County Road 1000-North and Wheeling Pike to the Mississinewa Valley Baptist Church in order to build a new house of worship (Delaware, 1878a). A month later, he granted a plot across Wheeling Pike to the trustees of Washington Township (Delaware, 1878b). Shortly after, a larger-than-usual schoolhouse measuring 50 x 26 feet was constructed (Delaware, 2021). 

In 1878, Simon Knight deeded the property for a replacement schoolhouse to the trustees of Washington Township on land about three-quarters of a mile south of the previous schoolhouse (Delaware, 1878a) a month after he granted trustees of the Mississinewa Valley Baptist Church a plot to construct a new structure opposite the church (Delaware, 1878b). Although the District 8 schoolhouse was on new land, it was apparently still referred to by the name of Thompson (Helm, 1881) for some time after the relocation.

A 1903-04 commencement pamphlet lists the District 8 schoolhouse as the Shady Grove School (Hayden, 1904). Whatever its common name, the school closed after the 1905-06 term along with the District 9: Hard-Scrabble/Hinton and District 11: Maynard schoolhouses when students from all three were conveyed to Gaston for classes (Kemper, 1908).

By 1930, the former schoolhouse had been converted to the Grey Eagle Tourist Camp (For Rent, 1930), a form of lodging consisting of a room (or rooms) rented for a night in the days before motels sprang into existence. By 1941, the property was being called the Grey Eagle Filling Station (Public Auction, 1941). A block building was built immediately south of the old schoolhouse in 1950 to act as a mechanic’s garage for the service station (Delaware, 2021).

Grey Eagle was a popular stop for travelers as, until Wheeling Pike was US-21 and later, US-35 after World War II (Greene, 1975). The place was especially popular for vacationers going to nearby Elm Lake. It appears as though the Grey Eagle grocery closed around 1970 (Trustee’s, 1969). How it got its name as a business is a mystery, with explanations ranging from the byzantine to the bizarre.

Today, the former Thompson/Shady Grove schoolhouse appears to be abandoned. Nothing remains of the old Mississinewa Valley Baptist Church across Wheeling Pike.


Kingman Brothers. (1874). Map of Delaware County, Indiana. Chicago, IL.

Delaware County, Indiana. (1878 September 20). Deed Book 56. p. 120.

Delaware County, Indiana. (1878 October 21). Deed Book 44. p. 234.

Helm, T. B. (1881). Mount Pleasant Township. In History of Delaware County, Indiana: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers (pp. 268–269). book, Kingman Brothers.

Kemper, G. W. H. (1908). Education in Delaware County. In A Twentieth Century History of Delaware County, Indiana, Volume 1 (Vol. 1, p. 252). book, Lewis Publishing Company.

Hayden, G. (1904). Shady Grove School. Washington Township, IN; William Carmin, Trustee. 

For Rent Immediate Possession. (1930, February 13). The Muncie Star. p. 12.

Public Auction. (1941, December 6). The Muncie Star. p. 11.

Delaware County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 0225100001000. Delaware County, Indiana Assessor. map, Muncie, IN.

Greene, D. (1975, September 12). Seen and Heard in Our Neighborhood. The Muncie Star. p. 4.

Delaware County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2021). Parcel ID: 0113400008000. Delaware County, Indiana Assessor. map, Muncie, IN.

Trustee’s Sale. (1969, March 24). The Muncie Star. p. 14.