Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

Indianapolis  

Sundial: 1006
State/Province:  Indiana Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Dial Condition:  Excellent
  Latitude and Longitude: 39° 49.29' N  86° 08.833' W
Location:
  • 3602 Watson Road, Indianapolis,
    IN 46025

    Triangular park bounded by Watson Rd, E. 36th St, From street the sundial is hidden behind a wall of flowers and bushes

 
Description:
  • Nestled among the trees in a small triangular park is a monumental horizontal sundial with oversized hour marks. The apparent method of reading the Roman hours that are all south of the 6am - 6pm line, is to look at the shadow then gaze across the sundial to read (upside down) the hour. The hours are 6, 9 ,12, 3, and 6. On the north side of the 6am-6pm line are 3 plaques where the normal 9, 12, and 3 hours should be. One is a plaque for Robert McCord who planted and maintained the park during the 60's until his death. Another plaque records that the McCord Park sundial is dedicated to a local police officer, William Whitfield, who was the first African American police officer killed in the line of duty in Indianapolis. His name is engraved on the central part of the large triangular sundial gnomon. Surrounding the base of the sundial are ceramic tiles from Barbara Zech, a local clay artist who fired the tiles created by students from the nearby school. The tiles have the theme of "home" and "community". The park renovations were headed by the group Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: City of Indianapolis
  • Officer Whitfield was shot by an
    unknown gunman on June 18, 1922
    in an alley just west of 3600 N
    College Avenue. Officer Whitfield
    was sent to the hospital and
    lingered near death for several
    months. He passed away on November
    27, 1922. The case remains
    unsolved. Officer Whitfield was
    the first black Indianapolis Police
    Department officer to give his life
    in the line of duty. At the time of
    his death, he was buried in an
    unmarked grave. On November 30,
    1998, IPD honored Officer Whitfield
    with full honors funeral at
    Crown Hill Cemetery. A headstone
    was purchased for his grave with
    donations made by IPD employees.
  • Designer: Expo Design and Barbara Zech
  • Builder: Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
  • Construction Date: 2002
 
References:
  • From 1922 to 1998 Officer Whitfield remained in an unmarked grave at Crown Hill Cemetery. Then in August 1998, a write-up of the circumstances of Officer Whitfield’s death and burial appeared in an IPD newsletter. Inspired by the article, members of the police department established a fund to buy a grave marker for the fallen officer. It took only three hours to raise the monies needed for the purchase. On November 30, 1998, full honors were given,

Last Revised: 2020-11-22 13:01

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