Draper is located in Spiceland, Indiana, a village of 800 people 40 miles east of Indianapolis. People often wonder how our town got its name.
Spiceland was settled by Quakers from North Carolina in the 1820s. They chose to settle here because of an abundance of mineral springs, and they also liked the pleasant aroma of the spice bushes which grew in profusion. Hence the name Spiceland.
Spiceland enjoyed brief notoriety for its mineral springs 100 years ago, when Americans believed they could be cured of all manner of ills by “taking the waters.” My great grandfather Luther Draper was a partner in the Spiceland Sanitarium, which served Bezor Water to patrons suffering from the effects of alcohol and various illnesses. Bezor Water was guaranteed to help cure rheumatism, neuralgia and skin and blood diseases. The Spiceland Sanitarium burned to the ground in 1913. Were it not for that misfortune we might be hoteliers today instead of manufacturers.
Spiceland’s mineral springs are still a mixed blessing. Twelve years ago when we built our new office building we had to underlay the basement with an intricate drainage system to remove spring water. This year during our cold, wet month of May a new spring forced its way through the asphalt and turned a large area of our parking lot into a shallow lake.