Carl Fisher was born in Greensburg, Indiana in 1874. He worked several jobs before heading to Indianapolis where in 1891 he opened a bicycle repair shop with his brothers. A successful entrepreneur, he expanded his business and became involved in bicycle racing and later, automobile racing. During his many promotional stunts, he was frequently injured on the dirt and gravel roadways, leading him to become one of the early developers of automotive safety features.
Fisher operated in Indianapolis what is believed to be the first automobile dealership in the United States, and also worked at developing an automobile racetrack locally.
In 1909, Fisher joined a group of Indianapolis businessmen in a new project, a racing track that would become Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first race was plagued with numerous crashes because of the loose rock of the track. Fisher convinced the investors to install 3.2 million paving bricks, leading to the famous nickname “The Brickyard.” Fisher’s concern for safety improved not only the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but also public roads. His influence on road safety, better roads, and development led him to the creation of Miami Beach, FL, and Montauk, NY.
The Fisher family built the Fisher Family Mausoleum in Crown Hill Cemetery in 1916. The Egyptian-style structure holds seven individuals (6 family members and Captain Joseph Hammond, a British Royal Flying Corps member who died in an airplane crash near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway).
Click here to listen to Donald Davidson tell the story of Carl Fisher.
In 2023, the mausoleum received exterior cleaning and caulking of the interior joints by Head Construction. This will help any moisture infiltration and preserve this historic mausoleum for many years to come. Special thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for their participation in the preservation of the Fisher Family Mausoleum.