Irvington is a historic neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis, bounded by 10th Street, Arlington Avenue, Brookville Road, and Emerson Avenue. From its inception, Irvington, named for the author Washington Irving, was planned to be a community of culture and refinement. Created from the land holdings of Jacob B. Julian, Sylvester Johnson, and Dr. Levi Ritter, the town was incorporated in 1873, and became part of Indianapolis in 1902. Irvington maintains a special character to this day, and as one oral history participant noted, "Irvington is a place to which one always returns. It’s a state of mind for all who lived here."
These oral histories, part of a project sponsored by the Indiana State Library, were conducted primarily in the 1970s and 1980s. Lois Leamon of the Indianapolis Public Library conducted the majority of the interviews. The people who agreed to share their stories include community leaders, fire fighters, authors, artists, and ordinary folks. Taken together, these histories create a snapshot of how everyday life was lived and enjoyed in this distinctive Indianapolis neighborhood.