The Ball family moved to Muncie in 1887, along with its emerging Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company, to take advantage an “unlimited” supply of natural gas to fire their glass furnaces. The gas boom ended in the late 1890s, but the Muncie Community had become home to the Ball family.
In 1894, sites were selected on the banks of the White River to build the Ball family homes. The Ball sisters named the site Minnetrista, combining a Sioux word, “mna” with the English “tryst” (an agreed upon meeting place). Thus the family “gathering place by the water” was established. Today, many of the Ball family homes still stand, and serve as historic meeting places and museums for the Minnestrista Cultural Center.