Jim was born and raised on the Southside of Indianapolis along with his nine siblings. After he graduated from IU with his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, he moved back to his hometown of Beech Grove. Now, he’s a small business owner in the city, where he lives with his wife Jennifer and their two children. Jim is also the Clerk Treasurer for the City of Beech Grove and serves as President of Next Stop Beech Grove—which helps revitalize their Main Street.
Beech Grove, Indiana, is a charming, small-town city in a city.
When people visit Beech Grove for the first time, they immediately feel our small-town charm—even at the doorstep of the big city! Driving down Main Street, you can see families walking to story time at the library. You’ll probably get a friendly wave from someone leaving the post office, and you might even see the Mayor heading out to lunch at a local restaurant.
That’s the thing about Beech Grove. We’re a quintessential small town where everyone looks out for each other. But we’re also a major urban city, just minutes away from the heart of Indianapolis.
Nestled on the southside of Indy, Beech Grove is actually a city within a city. We’re entirely surrounded by Indianapolis, but Beech Grove has its own independent government thanks to Marion County’s Unigov system. We have our own school system and ambulance service, and Main Street is home to essential infrastructure like our city hall, post office, and police station.
But here in Beech Grove, we’re proud of our self-governance—and we’re glad more people are discovering what our city has to offer.
I grew up in Beech Grove and so did my wife, Jennifer. We met in high school, working after-school jobs at the local Lamping Cleaners on Main Street. Apart from college, I’ve spent my entire life in this community, and there’s nowhere our family would rather be.
Beech Grove is an affordable, walkable, and fun place to live.
Did you know that according to Forbes, Beech Grove is the 4th best market for first-time homebuyers in the United States? You can find a wide range of comfortable, affordable homes in Beech Grove, including many that have been in the same family for generations.
Whatever kind of home you’re looking for, there’s truly something for everyone. We have ranch-style homes and split-levels, mid-century modern houses for trendy homeowners, post-war Cape Cods built for large families, and several senior living communities.
After all, families choose to live here because Beech Grove is a community for all ages. We boast a growing public school system with quality K-12 education, as well as a Catholic School for Pre-K through 8th Grade. The neighborhood kids love to play sports in the parks, participate in local Scouts and 4-H programs, and stretch their creativity with the arts.
Meanwhile, Beech Grove also offers a welcoming, supportive community for our “55 and Over” residents. The Elton H. Geshwiler Senior Citizens Center is an active spot in the heart of Main Street, and people often visit the Hornet Park Community Center for events and volunteer opportunities.
Explore Beech Grove with the Franciscan Trail.
In recent years, Beech Grove has also invested in a new trail system for the community to enjoy! The 2.2-mile Franciscan Trail winds through the city, giving residents an easy way to get around. You can leisurely stroll along the trail and get your daily steps in, while enjoying Lick Creek and our scenic city parks.
The Franciscan Trail is the result of a public-private partnership between the City of Beech Grove, Franciscan Health, and state and federal agencies. Our community truly came together to support this new initiative, and the City will soon embark on the next phase of construction. The new Hornet Greenway will run from Beech Grove High School and the Hornet Park Community Center, connecting our entire community.
Beech Grove started as farmland, where some of the first pedigreed Jersey cattle were raised. The city gets its name from the beech trees near that original cattle farm!
Sarah T. Bolton is one of our most famous residents, known for her poetry and her activism for women’s rights. Her home is now the site of a community park named in her honor.
Beech Grove is home to the Our Lady of Grace Monastery, where you can find a replica of an ancient labyrinth constructed around 1220 AD at Chartres Cathedral in France.
Local businesses support opportunities in our community.
Walking down Main Street, you’ll see many of our most popular local businesses—some of which have been here for decades! Small businesses like Spalding Jewelry, Sutterfields, Napoli Villa, and Beech Grove Bowl are all historic mainstays of our business community.
Ten years ago, my parents became small business owners when they purchased the Eckstein Shoe Store—an almost 100-year-old business on Main Street. Now, my wife and I are carrying on the tradition and keeping our city’s history alive.
These local businesses are the backbone of Beech Grove, extending far beyond Main Street. Companies like Amtrak, Alro Steel, ADM Milling, Crossroads Engineers, and Franciscan Alliance provide jobs to countless people inside and outside the city, and our community makes an effort to support them in turn.
But at the same time, we always welcome new businesses looking to put down roots in Beech Grove. You can buy handmade artisan goods from the Local Radish or enjoy high tea at the elegant Rustic Root Tea Room. On a nice day, you’ll see people stopping by Beech Bank Brewing for some local craft beer or relaxing with a delicious drink from Silver Linings Coffeehouse. We also have a vibrant mix of stores that sell antiques, vintage goods, and artwork from local artists. An added bonus? All these local gems are within walking distance of each other!
Beech Grove’s civic organizations take local pride to the next level.
In Beech Grove, our residents go above and beyond to foster a sense of place—showing what civic pride really means. Throughout the year, our city welcomes thousands of visitors for community events and festivals. And it’s all because of the hard work and dedication of our civic organizations!
Every year, the Beech Grove Promoters Club leads our Annual Fall Festival, featuring rides, games, and even a parade down Main Street. They also coordinate our annual Fourth of July celebration with fireworks in Sarah T. Bolton Park.
In August, our Chamber of Commerce hosts a Music on Main event with live bands, local food trucks, and a kid’s zone. The Senior Center puts on a Christmas Parade in December, and Beautify Beech Grove holds multiple fundraisers to purchase decorations, flags, banners, and more for Main Street.
Meanwhile, the Beech Grove Artist Collective sponsors monthly First Fridays, showcasing amazing local artists while encouraging visitors to frequent our Main Street shops. Next Stop Beech Grove also helps bring families out to Main Street with free, holiday-themed events, like the Easter Express, Pumpkin Express, and Polar Express.
Best of all, these organizations are entirely run by local volunteers. They don’t do it for money or recognition. They just love our city and care about the people who live here!
Beech Grove residents always look out for each other, especially when people are facing hard times. Our Senior Center offers trips to grocery stores and doctors for those who need a ride. Once a week, our Community Center runs a food pantry to fight food insecurity. And Beech Grove is home to Servant’s Heart, a local nonprofit that feeds hundreds in Indianapolis each week.
It’s these efforts—large and small—that make our community special.
- Beech Grove City Schools
- Holy Name Catholic School
- The University of Indianapolis
- Napoli Villa
- The Tea Room of Rustic Root
- 5th Avenue Grill and Bar
- Spalding Jewelry
- The Local Radish
- Main Street Music
- Franciscan Trail
- Hornet Park Community Center
- Annual Beech Grove Fall Festival
- 18 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
- 25 Minute Drive
- Paw Patch Dog Park at Sarah T. Bolton Park
Find the perfect small-town community in Beech Grove.
Beech Grove truly is a place that feels like home. As I mentioned earlier, both my wife and I are Beech Grove natives. My parents have lived here for decades, and many of my nine siblings still live on the southside of Indianapolis. Even when I left home for college, I still came back to Beech Grove after graduation.
When I tell people that, they always ask: what keeps you here? But my answer is simple: I genuinely love our community. Beech Grove is a city where you care about your neighbors—and you know they care about you, too. We make an effort to support each other and work together to make our home a better place.
That’s why I’m so grateful for the opportunity to live, work, and raise a family in this dynamic community. I hope you take the opportunity to join us, whether it is just for a visit or to put down roots here. Beech Grove is a wonderful place!