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Staff Blog

The Great Squirrel Invasion of 1822 - IMA Mini Golf Course

David Gilman

The Historic Invasion

In the fall of 1822, a westward migration of squirrels across the state of Indiana decimated crops and caused immeasurable damage to farmland. It is believed that this migration was caused by an inadequate food supply in the forests to the east.

According to the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis:

Local Attorney Calvin Fletcher reported “many people lost whole cornfields” and the region’s corn crop was “literally destroyed,” noting that 12 squirrels were capable of as much devastation as one hog. Fletcher cited one local farmer who “killed round one corn field 248 [squirrels] in 3 days.” Others who hunted in their fields observed that the “massacre made no impression on their countless numbers.”


“Numbers Incomprehensible to the Modern City Dweller”

When Beth Eby, registered architect at Green3, and her husband Chad Eby, an assistant professor at the IUPUI Herron School of Art & Design, answered the call for entries from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) they conceived of a mini golf hole that would introduce players to a fun and quirky piece of Hoosier history and The Shadow-Tailed Scourge was born. Their design highlights the “Great Squirrel Invasion of 1822” by pitting mini golfers against five oversized squirrel invaders set to terrorize an Indiana farm. Each squirrel is on a pivoting spindle, which allows the squirrel invaders to be moved after play—to your advantage or the disadvantage of your opponents.

Green3 challenges you to take on The Shadow-Tailed Scourge…..can you stop the menacing invaders before our corn crop is decimated?

 To find out more about Mini Golf at the IMA and explore the full course, which is based on Indiana history, heritage, and landmarks, visit:

If you are interested in the “Great Squirrel Invasion of 1822,” you can start your research here: and