is a town located in the extreme southeast area of Boone County, Indiana, in Eagle Township. The population was 8,775 at the 2000 census. Nearby communities include Lebanon, Carmel, Whitestown, Westfield and Indianapolis.
Zionsville promotes itself as a tourist attraction around its village-styled downtown area. This area primarily consists of Main Street, paved entirely in brick which is lined with small stores and restaurants. Businesses are, for the most part, family run. The majority of the town, however, has the look and feel of a typical smaller Indiana municipality.
BusinessWeek rated Zionsville as Indiana's 'Best Affordable Suburb' in 2009.
The current town of Zionsville began as a promotion by railway speculator William Zion, who partnered with Boone County landowner Elijah Cross to build a railway station on Cross's land in Eagle Township. The town was chartered in 1852, and the first resident was John Miller, who built and lived in a boarding house. By the 1860 census, the population was counted at 364. In this period, local businesses and houses of worship, specifically the local Methodist and Church of Christ parishes relocated from nearby Eagle Village, which had also been platted on land originally owned by Cross. According to the local Chamber of Commerce Abraham Lincoln made a whistle-stop speech in Zionsville in 1861 when traveling to his inauguration.
For much of the rest of its history, Zionsville has led a quiet existence, relying primarily upon its existence as a stop on passenger rail lines and later as a shopping destination or bedroom community. While white flight and other demographic changes in nearby Indianapolis greatly enlarged Carmel and Fishers, Indiana, especially since the imposition of Unigov in 1970, Zionsville had remained a much smaller locale until growth began to pick up into the mid to late 1990s.
Today, Zionsville is wrestling with the prospect of being a fast-growing community. It had kept strict control on growth since the 1970s, but had since been relaxed. Nevertheless, there is tension between those who would develop the town and residents who opposed the problems attendant upon unlimited urban growth. New developments are arising on the outskirts of town that stretch northwest to Whitestown a mile away. These are not part of Zionsville, proper, but residents still require new facilities. In addition, attempts by developers have been made to secure approval for the construction of multi-story business buildings in the downtown/Main Street tourist area. Likewise, westward expansion from Carmel has begun to "spill over" into Boone County, with attendant controversy.