In 1933, Herb & Dee Sweet, just out of Butler University, started Little
Acorn Camp. In 1935 they acquired 40 acres of property along Cool Creek, two miles north of what was then the small farm town
of Carmel, and two miles south of another small town, Westfield.
|Campers ca. 1942
The private day camp operated here every summer through 1977.
In the "off
season," Herb taught at Orchard School, and later wrote (with Dee's help) and illustrated a syndicated activity column,
called Try It. Herb's column inspired a local children's TV show that came to be called Sweet Time. The show, which aired
at first on WFBM and later on WISH-TV, is said to have been Indianapolis' first live audience-participation program.
In 45 summers over 15,000 young folks, mostly from Indianapolis'
north side, attended camp here.
enjoyed swimming, riding ponies, taking nature hikes, making crafts, cooking in the out-of-doors, playing baseball and capture
the flag, and crawdad fishing. Many of the camp buildings can still be seen on the grounds.
Acorn Farm Country Store now occupies a house (a standard single-family design) built
for use as an antique shop. Herb & Dee operated Acorn Farm Antiques here from around 1961 until early 1995.
Later that year, when the Sweets retired, their daughter, Jill,
and son-in-law, Mic Mead, purchased the old campgrounds and reopened the shop as Acorn Farm Country Store, featuring 13 rooms
furnished with antiques and complementary accessories.