Buck Creek

Thomas Park Avondale

Buck Creek

Muncie, Indiana 47303, United States

Created By: Ball State University


Origin: South-east Muncie

Mouth: The White River in Yorktown

Buck Creek begins in southeast Muncie and marks the southern border of the Thomas Park-Avondale neighborhood before emptying into the White River.[1] It was named after Buckhongehelas, a prominent chief of the Lenape tribe who made the area of Delaware County (Miami territory) home during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.[2] In 1893, the City of Muncie and the Western Improvement Company tried to dam the creek.[3] This created the artificial Delaware Lake, however, the dam soon failed and a West Muncie settlement built beside the artificial lake failed with it.[4] Throughout the middle of the 20th century the creek served as a beloved swimming spot for the neighborhood’s youth.[5] Buck Creek has experienced unfortunate contamination on two occasions: once with sewage in 1954 and a second with oil in 1986.[6] In both cases, cleanup was organized quickly and efficiently before any major harm was done.[7] The 1997 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind mentions Cornbread Road, one of the streets that crosses Buck Creek.[8] Today, Buck Creek stands as an important part of south Muncie’s cultural, environmental, and natural history.

[1] Water Quality Indiana, “The Origin of Buck Creek Fall 2014,” YouTube Video, 0:20, December 4, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC_qp7ZBgck.

[2] Chris Flook, “Bygone Muncie: What's in a name? A wealth of local history, as it happens,” The Star Press, November 14, 2020, https://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2020/11/14/bygone-muncie-whats-name-wealth-local-history/6278180002/.

[3] Buck Creek (Yorktown, Ind.) damming, Newspaper Clipping, Undated, Yorktown-Mt. Pleasant Township Historical Alliance Collection, Yorktown-Mt. Pleasant Township Historical Alliance & Museum (Yorktown, Ind.), https://dmr.bsu.edu/digital/collection/YrktwnHis/id/529/rec/6.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Salli Marini, “Lost Muncie,” Facebook, July 26, 2020, https://www.facebook.com/groups/158496695087/search/?q=buck%20creek.

[6] Buck Creek, 1954 – 1986, MSS -365, Box 86, Folder 66, The Star Press newspaper reference files, Stoeckel Archives, Ball State University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Chris Flook, “Bygone Muncie: A 'Close Encounter' with an overlook of some kind,” The Star Press, June 9, 2019, https://www.pal-item.com/story/news/local/2019/06/09/bygone-muncie-close-encounter-overlook-some-kind/1328130001/.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Thomas Park Avondale


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