Nameless Creek camp, founder have rich history

I drive the National Road occasionally, and I noticed this two-story log cabin in Pershing or East Germantown on the north side of the road.

It must have been covered up by a house for several years. It is huge, and it is for sale. The owner says it dates to 1828. He knows nothing else about it. To me, the building is really impressive.

I know there are several houses like this in Hancock County, the Shambles being one of them. Do you know of any hidden or visible cabins in Hancock County? Let me know.

I am working on a history of the Nameless Creek Youth Camp and Tubby Toms. Mr. Lowell “Tubby” Toms was a naturalist who wrote a column for the Indianapolis News for 40 years. He was honored and named Indiana Newspaperman of the Year by the Indianapolis Press Club and a Sagamore of the Wabash by Gov. Harold Handley. Toms and his wife, Adeline, originally leased 20 acres of land for Nameless Creek Youth Camp in Blue River Township.

In 1971, the estate of Lowell Toms donated 30 acres to the camp. In April 1951, Old Tom Williams, then-president of Kiwanis Club, presented a plan to Kiwanis to develop the recreation center leased from Mr. Toms. At that time Williams offered several buildings to the camp to be cleared by the Pure Oil Co.

The list of improvements presented to Kiwanis included construction of a driveway and digging of a well. In 1956 electricity was installed, and in 1957 the original mess hall and kitchen were added. In 1962 a shelter wired for lights was built.

In 1990 the Construct Tech Department of Greenfield-Central High School built three new cabins with money donated by Sertoma. Currently Jerry Bell and the crew at Sertoma has greatly improved the facility.

What do you know about Lowell “Tubby” Toms and Nameless Creek? Toms was also an active supporter of Westland and Blue River Township. Let me know.

Toms would tell the story, “I once caught a string of fish, cut a twig from a cottonwood tree stuck in the ground and there hung my string of fish. I roamed and a turtle ate my fish, but that twig sprouted and today is an 80-foot tree and stands there near Carthage.”

Enough. I have told you all that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.

You can write to Joe Skvarenina at or in care of the Daily Reporter at 22 W. New Road, Greenfield, IN, 46140.