Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor to unveil plaque marking what is and could have been

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The Town of Burns Harbor is set to unveil a plaque marking the Indiana Territory Boundary Line to celebrate a bit of local history and to commemorate Indiana’s Bicentennial.

The public is invited to attend the unveiling and dedication at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at Shadyside Park, 18 Oak Leaf Lane in Burns Harbor.

A reception with light refreshments will follow from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.. at the Burns Harbor Town Hall, 1240 N. Boo Road. Please join us at the reception even if you cannot attend the unveiling.

This historical marker sits on the northern boundary line of the Indiana Territory, which was formed in 1800 by the U.S. government when the Northwest Territory was split into the Ohio Territory and the Indiana Territory. This northern boundary line was formed by a line that began at the southern bend of Lake Michigan and ran due east to the first principal meridian---established in 1798 and originating at the junction of the Ohio and Miami rivers, otherwise, the eastern border of Indiana--and continuing on until Lake Erie.

In 1815, the Indiana Territorial Legislature petitioned the U.S. Congress to have the territory recognized as a state, and--realizing that access to Lake Michigan would be vital to the state’s future economic growth--they made a plea to extend the state’s northern border to the north to include part of southern Lake Michigan. When Congress allowed Indiana to become the 19th state in the Union in 1816, it moved Indiana’s border 10 miles to the north of the extreme southern shore of Lake Michigan.

Had the original northern boundary line not been moved, it would have put a portion of present-day Burns Harbor in Michigan.

“Communities around the state have been highlighting the best of Indiana with special events and projects all year long as part of the 2016 Bicentennial Celebration,” Burns Harbor Town Council Member Toni Biancardi said. “We are excited to take part in the festivities and we are thrilled that our historical marker has been endorsed as an official Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project by the 2016 Bicentennial Commission.”

For more information about this event, please e-mail




Posted 12/9/2016




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