Chesterton Tribune

1816- 2002: A chronology of Duneland

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Visitors to the Westchester Township Historical Museum are invited to suggest historical events to be added to the Duneland Chronology which was published in the Chesterton Tribune on August 23.[See Below.]

The chronology in notebook form has been placed in the museum and suggestions may be written directly into the book. Plans are to continue adding to the history and to keep it updated as time goes on. Many additions are already planned.

Volunteers staff the museum and hours are 1-5 p.m. each Saturday. It is located in the Westchester Public Library Service Center and entrance is off Calumet Road.

 

Compiled by Eva Hopkins and Betty Canright

Editor’s note: Work on this chronology was begun to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Calumet, later renamed Chesterton. The scope of the project grew until it now encompasses the Duneland area. Sources used include the Chesterton Tribune, other newspapers, written histories, personal memoirs and public records. Parentheses are used for clarification. This is an ongoing project. Additions and corrections will be made and the chronology placed in the Westchester Township Historical Museum.

1816

Indiana becomes a state. Potawatomi Indians live around the southern end of Lake Michigan.

1822

Joseph Bailly arrives and establishes a fur trading post on the Little Calumet River.

1826

Treaty of Mississinewa, later known as the “Ten Mile Purchase” involves one of the last sections given up by the Indians in Indiana and gives Indiana a shoreline. (Treaty line is now commonly known as the Indian Boundary.)

1827

Joseph Bailly’s son Robert dies of typhoid fever.

1830-31

Cold winter, deep snow and tremendous floods are recorded. Road is cleared from Detroit to Fort Dearborn and a mail line established. Soldiers carry mail in knapsacks.

1832

Mau-me-nass, a Potawatomi Indian woman, receives land from the government which later becomes the site of the village of Calumet.

1833

A stage line is established and coaches run from Chicago to Detroit with three trips a week. Jesse Morgan arrives and has a stage house on the Old Chicago Road (Porter Avenue). First school opens in Jesse Morgan’s home.

1834

William Thomas, Jacob Beck, William Gossett and other families arrive. Hannah Morgan is first settlers’ child born in Porter County. Baillytown is platted.

1835

First sale of Porter County land is held at LaPorte. John Foster plats town of Waverly. E. P. Cole arrives in Liberty Township. Joseph Bailly dies. Coffee Creek is first post office in the area. Jesse Morgan is first postmaster in Porter County. William Thomas, Sr. builds log cabin (NE corner of Calumet and Porter).

1836

Porter County is created by state general assembly. Westchester Township is formed, uniting Waverly township and Lake Township. School is opened in the Zane settlement in Liberty Township. There is a tavern in Baillytown. A group of men plan a city at the mouth of Fort Creek. (City West).

1837

City West has about 25 resident families and a tavern. Bounty for a wolf scalp is $1. New road approved from Valparaiso to Michigan City. John Thomas is appointed road viewer.

1838

City West fails because of the panic of 1837 and because no federal funds are received for harbor construction. School is opened in Jackson Township. Indians are force-marched to Kansas.

1839

Road is in use from Valparaiso past Enos Thomas’ sawmill (Woodlawn and Indian Boundary Road) to City West.

1840

Indian removal continues.

1842-43

Severe winter weather causes deaths from starvation or freezing. Snow 12 inches deep is recorded in April.

1845

Henry Hageman builds log house. (On Waverly Road by Hawthorne Park.)

1847

William Thomas, Jr. builds first frame house in Coffee Creek.

1848

Lumbermen are at the Bailly Homestead.

1849

First railroad in Westchester Township is built by Buffalo & Mississippi. It was never completed. Coffee Creek becomes Calumet.

1850

Census lists 354 people in Westchester Township. Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad reaches Porter County. Construction is commenced on plank road from Valparaiso to Michigan City.

1851

The first goods received in Porter County by rail are sent on a construction train from Michigan City.

1852

Town of Calumet is platted. There are about 20 houses. Several buildings from City West are moved into Calumet.

1853

D. H. Hopkins is postmaster of Calumet after the death of Jesse Morgan. Hopkins has a general merchandise store and is Calumet’s first merchant. George Beck is first clerk in town.

1854

Joel Wicker’s saw mill burns. Wicker is a son-in-law of Joseph Bailly. Indians kill a bear in Pine Township.

1855

Porter Station is platted by firm of Richards & Travel. International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge #161 is chartered. Leroy Brown builds Northern Indiana House (large frame hotel at Broadway & Third).

1856

Edwin Furness arrives in the area and engages in the lumbering business.

1857

Catholic Church is organized in Calumet by Father Kilroy and building is built north of the railroad tracks (Calumet and Michigan). Bear killed in Jackson Township.

1858

Augsburg Lutheran Church organizes with 31 members.

1859

Valparaiso Male and Female College opens (closes in 1869). D. H. Hopkins’ cooper shop employs about 100 men. Thomas boys run cooperage with about 60 men.

1860

Indiana State Gazateer lists population of Calumet at 500. Methodist Episcopal Church organized. Twelve bodies wash ashore at City West from wreck of the Lady Elgin off Waukegan. Mrs. Ann Thomas is proprietress of the Calumet Hotel. The Northern Indiana House is the only other hotel in town.

1861

Post Office opens at Furnessville with Postmaster Edwin L. Furness. Civil War begins and many young men leave, some never to return.

1862

C. G. Johnson donates land for Augsburg Lutheran Church parsonage. Calumet is listed with a population of 500 in the Indiana Gazeteer and Business Directory.

1863

Anders and Johanna Chellberg and son Carl arrive from Sweden after four months enroute and settle in Baillytown.

1864

Augsburg Church dedicates new 46’ x 28’ building on one acre donated by J. Johnson.

1865

Lincoln Funeral Train passes through Porter Station. Porter Station post office is established with Archalaus Whitten postmaster.

1866

Marie Bailly, widow of Joseph Bailly, dies. John Lundberg comes to Chesterton and starts a furniture business.

1867

Calkins and Brother buy dry goods store from D. H. Hopkins.

1868

Calumet Lodge F.&A.M. #379 is organized.

1869

Chesterton is incorporated for the first time.

1870

Westchester Township population is 1,364. Name of post office is officially changed from Calumet to Chesterton. John Vanderhaden has first brickyard in Porter with five employees.

1871

Other brickyards open in Porter. Town of Hageman is platted. Calkins & Brothers are manufacturing 50 Little Washers a day in addition to having a sawmill and store. Thomas Miles builds handsome brick house (Lincoln Ave. and Second Street, later occupied by Martin Young).

1872

Brick from area brickyards is used in rebuilding after the 1871 Chicago fire.

1873

Northern Indiana Normal School (later Valparaiso University) opens.

1874

First brick building in Chesterton is built by Martin Young and Elmer Wolf (later used by Chesterton Bank). Hageman post office begins with Charles Mannhart as postmaster.

1875

John Lundberg becomes undertaker in Chesterton. Burdick is platted in Jackson Township. Thomas Blackwell moves to Chesterton and buys a sawmill at Porter Ave. and Calumet Road.

1876

St. Patrick Church builds brick building (Second St. and Indiana Ave.). Chesterton has four doctors: Drs. Morrical, Green, Marr and Jones.

1877

P. A. Johnson builds brick business building in Chesterton. (Second St. and Broadway).

1878

Chesterton ceases to be incorporated because of financial problems.

1879

Swedish Methodist Church started. Two-story brick schoolhouse is built in Chesterton at a cost of $6,000.

1880

Population of Chesterton is 488. C. O. Hillstrom starts organ factory in Chesterton. Construction started on German Lutheran Church in Chesterton. (St. John’s). Swedish Methodist Church is built on Lincoln Ave.

1881

Waverly School, a one room brick building, is built. Chesterton’s only brick yard (P. E. Anderson and sons) is started on Indian Boundary Road.

1882

Early version of Chesterton Tribune is published for eight months by W. W. Mikels. Duplex Pressed Brick Co. buys land from John Gondring and opens brick yard. Electric lights are installed in Organ Factory. Bounty for a wolf scalp is $10.

1883

Brick schoolhouse is built in Porter. William Beam builds brick house in Porter (Wagner Road). G.A.R. Post #208 is established in Chesterton.

1884

21-year old Arthur J. Bowser revives defunct Chesterton Tribune at the request of local merchants. Chesterton has estimated population of 488. Work is commenced on the spire of the Catholic church. Moroney Block is built. Thomas Blackwell starts a creamery.

1885

Large local Swedish population prompts Tribune to run a column of news in Swedish. George Brown of Jackson Township builds an elegant brick home just west of town. New courthouse is opened in Valparaiso. Area suffers through extremely cold winter. Women’s Relief Corps organizes under the auspices of the G.A.R. Post.

1886

An assembly of the Knights of Labor is started in Chesterton with 60 members. At a meeting of the Knights, speeches are presented in English, Swedish and German. Porter brickyard workers strike. New brick school is built in Furnessville (Schoolhouse Shop).

1887

First extra edition of the Tribune reports on the murder of a young girl who had eloped with a local minister. Broom factory locates on the north side. Cornerstone is laid for the German Lutheran Church in Hageman.

1888

Fire destroys several business buildings on Main Street (Broadway) at corner of Valparaiso Street (Calumet). Duplex Brick Yard situated between Hageman and Chesterton is destroyed by fire.

1889

Hillstrom Organ factory on Main Street in Chesterton announces major expansion. Band boys place a band stand in the park and play concerts. Nathan DeMass has the contract to build a brick schoolhouse in Liberty Township. Dr. Green has put a soda fountain in his drug store.

1890

Chesterton’s population is 931. Chesterton Bank opens for business. Porter Home Investment Company is organized to sell real estate lots west of Chesterton (west of present 8th street). First commencement for Chesterton High School has two graduates. Chicago Hydraulic Press Brick Co. buys out smaller brick yards in Porter to become the largest in the Midwest.

1891

Vienna Stamping and Enamel works locates here. Porter Home Investment Company runs excursions from Chicago for prospective buyers. Women’s Christian Temperance Union organizes here.

1892

Tribune promotes local economy, at times printing 15,000 copies of the paper for distribution in Chicago. Paint Company in the Young & Wolf block turns out first batch of paint. New street is constructed between Chesterton and Porter .

1893

National economic panic destroys Porter Home Investment Company. Enamel factory and Organ factory exhibit at the Chicago World’s Fair.

1894

The Brass factory is operating to manufacture plumbing supplies. Houses are being built in Porter for employees of the Brass Works. It is reported that all of Chesterton’s business houses are occupied. John Flannery is granted a license for a tavern despite protests from anti-saloon league.

1895

Blackwell’s flour mill burns. Peat bog west of town burns all summer. Warren Featherbone Company of Three Oaks, Michigan purchases the Brass Works. Porter School delays start until November because of late completion of new building which is being built of Chesterton brick. William Tratebas is murdered at blacksmith shop on Valparaiso St. (Southwest corner of Calumet and Morgan).

1896

Fire destroys three buildings on the north side including John and Art Kreiger’s cigar factory. John Flannery’s pump saves the rest of the town. Prof. Octave Chanute and party are at the lake beach of Miller Station testing a flying machine.

1897

Campaign is underway to get gravel roads in Porter County, but voters turn down the proposal. Mud is ankle deep in town and some businesses put down plank sidewalks. Biggest taxpayers in Porter County are the railroads. Hay is made in Railroad Park.

1898

Charles Jeffrey of the Chesterton Bank heads first telephone company for Chesterton. Contract is let for two-story brick Catholic school on Main Street (Broadway). M. Smith & Son dry goods & general store is established.

1899

Chesterton incorporates into a town and John B. Lundberg is first town board president. Chesterton gets iron cage for use as first town jail. Local men participate in War with Spain and the Philippines war.

1900

Census lists Chesterton’s population at 788. Gravel road proposal carries by an overwhelming majority in Westchester Township and Chesterton gets its first gravel road. Band stand in Railroad Park is enlarged. Joseph A. Stephens is first town marshal for Chesterton.

1901

Fifty train car loads of sand from the dunes are being shipped to Chicago each day to be used as fill for elevated street car lines. A route is surveyed for an electric car line through Pine, Westchester and Portage townships to Chicago. Glass works starts up (Broadway and 11th St.).

1902

Huge fire destroys businesses and buildings on the east side of Valparaiso Street (Calumet Road). Chesterton Volunteer Fire Department organizes with J. G. Graessle as first president.

1903

Chesterton dedicates first Town Hall and fire station built by contractor Joseph Ameling (Calumet Road). Postmaster General’s policy says qualifications for being on a delivery route include the ability to read and write and being in the habit of writing and receiving letters. Addition for Catholic Church is completed and sermons at the dedication are delivered in Polish, German and English.

1904

Tribune moves to new building on Valparaiso Street (Calumet Road). Bakery operates out of basement. Chesterton Tribune Cornet Band begins regular concerts in Railroad Park. Construction is nearly completed in the area burned in 1902 fire. Huge brick yard fire threatens Porter.

1905

Portage Home Telephone company opens exchange here. Sall Mountain Asbestos factory locates west of Chesterton (15th St.). Arthur E. Nickel begins drug business in Chesterton (Second and Broadway).

1906

New steel city “Gary” to be built on Lake County dunes and marshes. 61 immigrants killed in Woodville train wreck in Liberty Township. First Johnson’s Inn is built at Waverly Beach. (Later Dunes State Park).

1907

Chesterton Home Water Company forms. New addition to Chesterton will be known as Morgan Park. Tribune purchases first linotype. Miss Frances Howe, granddaughter of Joseph Bailly publishes book “A French Homestead in the Old Northwest.” John Peter Johnson begins commercial fishing with sons Elmer and William.

1908

South Shore Railroad begins service. Porter incorporates into a town. New York-Paris automobile racers pass through Chesterton. First theater in Chesterton is the Lyric located in building (later Flannery’s) on Calumet Road. First automobile owner is G. R. Williams with a black Olds. First truck is a red Reo owned by Dille & Morgan.

1909

County voters refuse to ban alcohol in local option election. Steel industry grows in Lake County. Chesterton grants franchise to Northern Indiana Gas & Electric Co. for 15 arc street lights. South Shore trains collide at Baillytown with 12 fatalities, three of them local.

1910

Chesterton population is 1,400 and Porter’s 524. Air Line electric train line is constructed from LaPorte and a Valparaiso-Chesterton link is planned. Halley’s comet is seen here. Chesterton Bank becomes a state bank.

1911

Jackson Center school is destroyed by cyclone. New law requires voters to register. Sand barge, the J. D. Marshall, sinks in Lake Michigan off the shore north of Chesterton with four lives lost. Smith Motors is founded by Harry R. Smith.

1912

First airship flight in county takes place from Linderman field south of Chesterton. Interurban passenger rail service is offered to Gary, Valparaiso and LaPorte from downtown Chesterton. Mineral Springs Racetrack opens and closes.

1913

Lakeshore railroad station burns. Timber wolves are sighted in the dunes. Contractor Ameling builds new town hall in Porter.

1914

Chesterton plans to build sewers. Porter County is quarantined after hoof and mouth disease breaks out.

1915

A dunes national park is proposed by Indiana and Illinois Woman’s Clubs. Members of Chicago Prairie Club arrive by South Shore car to visit the dunes. Relief committee forms to help the needy. George Blagg, hermit of the dunes, dies at the county farm one day after arriving there.

1916

State Militia Company L from Porter County is sent to help out during “Pancho Villa” campaign on the Mexican border. Indiana has first primary elections. University of Chicago graduate Alice Gray is called “a veritable Diana of the Dunes” by a newspaper reporter.

1917

Legislature votes Indiana dry. Huge pageant takes place in the dunes. Area men enlist or are drafted to serve in the World War. Frances Howe dies. Artist Frank V. Dudley begins painting the Indiana dunes.

1918

Empty troop train hits Circus train west of Gary. 80 are killed including many famous performers. Citizens buy Liberty Bonds to support the war effort. Fighting ends and the world hopes for peace. Local deaths from flu epidemic are recorded.

1919

Chesterton Town Board renames streets and numbers houses for the first time. Electric lights are installed in the Porter school. An American Legion Post is formed. North Porter County has homecoming celebration at the Chesterton Hall for 66 returning heroes from the war.

1920

Census figures are 1,804 for Chesterton and 699 for Porter. Porter Bank is chartered. Prohibition begins. Newly registered women voters organize.

1921

Dozens are killed or injured when two passenger trains collide at the Porter “diamond”. A Chamber of Commerce is started. Chesterton Library opens as a branch of the Gary Public Library. Chesterton Rural Loan and Savings opens for business. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organize locally.

1922

New high school building is constructed at Sixth and Morgan Avenue. American China Company begins producing ”Chesterton China” at large factory on Broadway.

1923

Ku Klux Klan holds rallies in Chesterton and Valparaiso. J. G. Graessle buys the Chesterton Tribune from A. J. Bowser. Town of Dune Acres incorporates.

1924

CHS plays in its first basketball sectional. New bandstand is built in Railroad Park. It is octagon in shape and 24 feet across. Fire damages Chesterton grade school building on Indiana Ave. George Bush becomes Chesterton town marshal. Huge Chicago Hydraulic Press Brick Co. in Porter shuts down after running out of clay.

1925

Indiana begins buying land for the Indiana Dunes State Park. Construction crew uncovers an Indian burial ground in the right-of-way for the Dunes Highway (U. S. 12). Alice Gray (Diana of the Dunes ) dies. Columbia China factory in Porter burns. Fraunfelter China closes Chesterton plant.

1926

AT&T builds a brick building for a repeating station for transcontinental telephone lines on DeMass Road (South Fifth Street).

1927

Old organ factory building on Broadway (later used as chemical factory) is destroyed by fire. Town board approves Northern Indiana Public Service gas franchise. Methodist Episcopal Church builds building at Second St. and Porter Ave.

1928

Calumet Road is paved for the first time. Contract is let for the Valparaiso, Chesterton, Dunes State Park Road. Chesterton gets stop and go lights. Warren R. Canright buys the Chesterton Tribune.

1929

Morgan Avenue is paved into Morgan Park. Wall Street stock market crashes. Jackson School is rebuilt after being struck by a tornado. During construction, classes meet in the Community Hall. American Legion erects a concrete base for the captured German cannon in Railroad Park. Route 6 is paved.

1930

Census figures are 2,231 for Chesterton, 805 for Porter and 12 for Dune Acres. Wilbar Manufacturing Co. locates here. First talking pictures are shown at the Palace Theater.

1931

“Dunes Relief Highway” (U. S. 20) is constructed. Hotel is built at the Indiana Dunes State Park and the park entrance is paved. Joseph Strack who has the concession for the pavilion will operate the hotel.

1932

Town workers take 10 percent pay cut. U. S. 6 opens across Indiana from Illinois to Ohio. Local unemployment relief committee forms with Herman Wagner chairman. Dr. Eric “Herman” Carlson establishes Carlson Planetarium.

1933

Chesterton Lions Club organizes. One of the club’s first activities is to help Civilian Conservation Corps unit camped in the Indiana Dunes. Augsburg Church burns.

1934

Chesterton Woman’s Club organizes. Porter County Courthouse is seriously damaged by fire.

1935

Cloverleaf at U.S. 20 and St. Rd. 49 is built. Burns Ditch Harbor is proposed. Heward’s Drug Store opens at 119 S. Calumet Road.

1936

Porter County celebrates its Centennial. WPA canning classes are held in the old china factory. Last local Civil War vereran, Johnny Anderson of Waverly, dies at 96.

1937

Jackson Township gets four year high school. Town of Chesterton buys land at 5th Street and Morgan Avenue for a park.

1938

William Murray opens miniature village “Littleville” in west Chesterton. Town gets WPA funding for huge 8th St. sewer. Bailly Homestead is damaged by fire.

1939

Tennis courts will be built in new town park. Contract is let for construction of Porter Memorial Hospital. New frame building is built at the south end of Chesterton Cemetery. Tornado does damage especially in Jackson Township. Cub Scout Packs are chartered in Chesterton and Porter.

1940

Chesterton’s population is 2,470, Porter’s 1,190 and Dune Acres’ 46. Men 21-36 register for military draft. Goodfellow Camp begins with tents. Dial telephones are in use here. Chesterton Lions Club, Chesterton Cub Pack and the Chesterton Tribune sponsor first Turtle Derby.

1941

In January, 38 Porter County draftees leave for Fort Benjamin Harrison. Many men enlist after Pearl Harbor is attacked on December 7. Chesterton Retail Merchants Association is formed. 2-story addition to Jackson School is built. A carload of hogs is overturned when a train derails at the New York Central crossing at Calumet road.

1942

War rationing takes effect. Aron Theater opens. Chesterton Park Board organizes. Junk rallies are held to collect metal for defense. World War I cannon in Railroad Park is donated.

1943

Honor Roll of servicemen is dedicated in Railroad Park. Classes teach air raid procedures and aircraft recognition. Rationing board is opened in Chesterton Town Hall. New First Evangelical Church is dedicated in Porter. John Spurgeon, last blacksmith in Chesterton, closes his doors.

1944

A Veterans of Foreign Wars Post is organized for North Porter County. Reports come of servicemen killed, wounded, missing in action or prisoners of war. An occasional reports tells of someone found safe who had been reported missing. Residents are encouraged to plant Victory Gardens.

1945

Citizens stage victory celebration as war ends. First building ordinance for town of Chesterton is published.

1946

John Saidla builds apartments on Ninth Street to ease post-war housing shortage. Local service personnel return home. Porter Hardware has Grand Opening.

1947

22 war dead are listed from this area. South Park Acres is new subdivision off Porter Avenue. “Washerette”, town’s first coin operated laundry in opened on 5th Street between Morgan and Lincoln.

1948

Tornado destroys homes in Porter. Business and Professional Women organize. Duneland Historical Society forms. Post Office begins free home mail delivery for the first time in town.

1949

Chesterton Post Office moves to new building on Second Street. Johnson’s Beach has 1,000 cars on a July weekend.

1950

Census figures are 3,175 for Chesterton, 1,459 for Porter, 6,707 for Westchester Township and 86 for Dune Acres. Chesterton Lions Club builds Boy Scout Hut on Fifth Street. Yost School opens in Porter. Residents fight to keep New York Central commuter service. St. Patrick School moves to new building on North Calumet Road.

1951

Chesterton passes zoning ordinance. Local men are serving in Korea. Community Kindergarten, operated by parents, opens. Spa Restaurant burns.

1952

Louis Menke, Tribune reporter, spearheads effort to organize Chesterton Centennial celebration. Months of planning culminate in huge parade, pageant, contests, costumes, games and fireworks. First addition to Chesterton High School is built. Save the Dunes Council is founded.

1953

Citizens protest plans to discontinue New York Central passenger service here. Time capsule prepared as part of the Chesterton Centennial is buried at Chesterton Park as part of the first Chesterton Jubilee. Chesterton Woman’s Club has first Art Fair at Thomas School. First addition is built for Porter Memorial Hospital.

1954

F. M. Goldsborough, 77, dies while teaching a class at CHS. Storm sewers are built as the first step in preparation for building a sewage disposal plant. Westport Community Club builds building on SR 149.

1955

Vote is 449-431 in favor of the town of Chesterton buying the Home Water Company. Undefeated CHS basketball team coached by Evar Edquist wins first ever sectional for CHS.

1956

Indiana Toll Road opens south of Chesterton. Town completes purchase of Home Water Company. Plan Commission hears proposal to use part of Railroad Park for parking lot. Central Elementary School opens between Chesterton Park and the high school.

1957

Bethlehem Steel purchases 3,500 acres in Baillytown area. U.S. Army Nike missile base opens in Porter. John Read, Delmar Johnson and Herman Pope are members of first Chesterton Utilities Board.

1958

Town of Porter celebrates Centennial. Masonic Temple opens. Westchester School Board organizes and Lyle Klitzke is first Superintendent of Schools.

1959

35 junior-senior high school teachers resign in protest over resignation of principal Elmer Dunbar. Chesterton gets 7-digit phone numbers with Walker designation. National Steel announces plans for a mill in Portage. Planning begins for town sewage disposal plant. Artists and Craftsmen of Porter County organizes and begins sponsoring annual Chesterton Art Fair.

1960

Population of Chesterton population is 4,305, Porter 2,189, Dunes Acres 209 and Westchester Township 10,899. F. M. Goldsborough physical education building is completed. New Post Office is built at Fourth St. and Broadway. First election is held for Westchester School Board.

1961

Indiana Port commission selects Burns Ditch as site for Indiana Port. Chesterton Tribune becomes a 5-day a week daily paper. Aron Theater closes. Chesterton Town Board votes to build new town hall and fire station at 8th and Broadway.

1962

Fallout shelters are located at Yost School, Chesterton High School , Bethlehem Lutheran Church and the Dunes State Park Pavilion. Bethlehem Steel announces plans for a $250 million steel plant at Baillytown.

1963

Tribune prints “Extra” on the day of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Chesterton builds new town hall. Box car goes into Coffee Creek when train derails at Calumet Road crossing. Ralph Brooks is named Chesterton Fire Chief.

1964

Chesterton approves first apartment district. It is located at Porter Avenue and 11th St.. Area residents attend hearing in Washington D. C. on the question of a dunes national park. Local men are stationed in Vietnam. School Administration offices are moved into the Brown mansion.

1965

A YMCA branch is organized in Chesterton using the old Thomas school building. School building program includes addition to the high school, a junior high school and Bailly Elementary. Chesterton gets one-way streets. Proposal for Port of Indiana wins approval.

1966

Congress creates the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. An election is held on the question of merging the towns of Chesterton and Porter. Chesterton voters say yes and Porter voters say no by a margin of 63 votes.

1967

Big snow storm hits area in January. The Chesterton Tribune misses one day of publication, schools are closed for more than a week and transportation is tied up for days. Town of Burns Harbor incorporates. Voters approve a police board for Chesterton. Dead alewife fish clog Lake Michigan beaches.

1968

Voters approve the formation of the Duneland School District from Westchester Township, Jackson Township, Liberty Township and part of Pine Township. Old town dump on 11th St. is cleaned up. Westchester School Corporation buys Lions Club building on 5th St. to use as a central library and materials center.

1969

New Duneland School District plans massive building program including Liberty Elementary, Brummitt Elementary and additions to the high school. Bethlehem Steel will make the Burns Harbor plant a fully integrated steel mill.

1970

Population of Chesterton is 6,177, Porter 3,058, Dune Acres 301, Burns Harbor 1,284 and Westchester Township 13,652. Porter Hardware is destroyed by spectacular fire. Port of Indiana opens. 23rd Street Park is being developed. Merger of Chesterton and Porter is voted down again.

1971

Bypass for State Road 49 around Chesterton opens and final contract is let on I-94. New master plan and zoning ordinance for Chesterton is passed. It is the first since 1951. Tremont South Shore station closes. Central School becomes part of CHS and high school pool is opened.

1972

YMCA moves into new building in Morgan Park. Township library system forms in Westchester Township. I-94 is finally completed north of town. Fairhaven Christian Academy breaks ground for new school. National Lakeshore begins restoration of exterior of Bailly Homestead.

1973

Old Thomas and Hageman schools are demolished to make way for new library buildings. North Porter County Ambulance Commission forms. NIPSCO petitions to build a nuclear power plant. Duneland school libraries are judged best in the nation.

1974

Fairhaven Christian Academy opens a high school. NIPSCO begins construction on nuclear plant on Lake Michigan. Two new library buildings are under construction. Floyd Fithian is elected to Congress, the first Democrat from this area since 1932.

1975

Tragic accident at intersection of Porter Avenue and Bypass 49 prompts calls for more safety measures on the Bypass. Scandal in connection with the building of Bethlehem Steel results in court cases. Ground is broken for Westchester Village on the Green off 23rd St.. Hageman and Thomas Libraries are dedicated.

1976

Restored Bailly Homestead in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is dedicated. Chesterton State Bank opens new operations center. Two new water tanks are erected for the town of Chesterton.

1977

First anti-nuclear Bailly Alliance rally is held in Chesterton. Addition is built for Chesterton Town Hall and Fire Station. Coldest winter on record has 43 consecutive days of below freezing weather. Natural gas shortage causes closings and cutbacks. Westchester Public Library sponsors first Duneland Folk Festival.

1978

Blizzard stalls traffic and a busload of college students takes shelter at the Westchester YMCA. Efforts to merge Chesterton, Porter and Burns Harbor into a single town die. Westchester Chamber of Commerce sponsors first Festival of the Dunes. Trojan Guard marching band wins first state title.

1979

School building and remodeling program includes gyms at Bailly Elementary and Westchester Middle School. Former drug store at Calumet and Broadway becomes a mini-mall. Trojan Guard is winner at Festival of the States in St. Petersburg, Florida. Disaster at 3 Mile Island nuclear plant increases concerns about NIPSCO’s plans for a nuclear plant here.

1980

Census figures are 8,531 for Chesterton, 2,988 for Porter, 291 for Dune Acres, 920 for Burns Harbor and 15,311 for Westchester Township. Construction is still halted on NIPSCO’s Bailly nuclear plant with 1% completed. Inflation and strikes affect local economy. Trojan Guard wins Marching Bands of America championship.

1981

North Porter County Ambulance Commission moves to new quarters at Porter Ave. and Indiana 49. Bailly Nuclear I is officially terminated. Duneland School Corporation plans building projects for Liberty Middle School and Jackson Elementary. First Wizard of Oz Days take place. CHS Girls basketball team goes to state finals.

1982

Food Pantry is opened by Westchester Ministerial Association. Bethlehem Steel eliminates 160 salaried positions. County Commissioners put ambulance service under a county board. NOPAC moves to former Able Disposal building on Waverly Road.

1983

Old orange cars on the South Shore Railroad make last run as aging cars are replaced. Ground is broken for new County Expo Center. Old Liberty School is torn down. Town of Porter celebrates 125th anniversary. A Porter County Park Board is created.

1984

Chesterton Health Care Center is ready to open. NIPSCO is banned from charging customers for failed nuclear plant. Old Jackson School is torn down. Duneland Underwater Rescue and Recovery forms. Four of the old South Shore cars are located on Grant Ave. New South Shore station is called Dune Park.

1985

Porter County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission is organized. Section of Bypass 49 opens south of the Indiana Toll Road. High water levels on Lake Michigan cause major beach erosion. Porter County Park Board wins grant to develop Sunset Hill Farm Park.

1986

Congress adds hundreds of acres to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Chesterton purchases abandoned Elgin, Joliet & Eastern right-of-way which stretches from Broadway and 15th Street to Indiana 149. Bethlehem Steel sells Sand Creek Golf Course.

1987

Chesterton bans leaf burning and starts vacuum collection program. Plans are announced for a residential subdivision at Sand Creek Country Club. Indian Oak Inn is under construction. Chesterton Furniture Store building becomes an antique mall. South Shore Railroad serves three million passengers for the first time in many years.

1988

North Porter County Ambulance Commission shuts down after 14 years. Porter Memorial Hospital take over ambulance service. Farmers suffer drought conditions. Local governments are affected by cuts in assessed valuation for Bethlehem Steel’s Burns Harbor plant.

1989

49 Bypass opens south of U. S. 6. South Shore Railroad is sold to Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. New St. Patrick Church is located near St. Patrick School on North Calumet Road. New construction includes Worthington Steel, Spring House Inn, Duneland Cove Subdivision and Towne Center mini-mall.

1990

Census figures are 9,124 for Chesterton, 3,118 for Porter, 260 for Dune Acres and 789 for Burns Harbor. Many local service men and women go to the Persian Gulf. Chesterton State Bank celebrates 100th anniversary and merges with INB Banking Company. CHS speech and debate team wins national championship. Walt Pliske, Chesterton fire chief, retires after 52 years as a fire fighter.

1991

Indian Boundary Conservancy District residents get sewer system. Yellow ribbons are displayed for troops in Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf. Chesterton recycling program starts.

1992

Duneland School Corporation buys 97 acres in Liberty Township as a possible high school site. New Town of Porter fire station is located on Beam Street. Porter County builds new government center in Valparaiso. Peterson Ditch is renovated to fight flooding in western Chesterton. Expansion bill for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore passes. The additional land approved totals 1,117 acres and includes the Indiana 49 corridor.

1993

Porter County residents turn down riverboat casino gambling. Chesterton privatizes trash collection. Sunset Hill Farm Park opens as Porter County’s first county park. CHS gymnastics team wins first state championship. South Shore trains collide in Gary with seven fatalities.

1994

Chesterton voters approve sale of water company to Gary-Hobart Water Company. Chesterton annexes the rest of the Sand Creek golf course and residential complex. 911 service starts in Porter County. Former Manley Brothers building on 15th St. burns. Additions are built to Bailly and Yost elementary schools

1995

Lake Erie Land Company announces plans to develop 640 acre site east of 49 into a residential, commercial and industrial center. Money from sale of water company funds several projects including new street department building at Sixth Street and Grant Avenue.

1996

Duneland residents approve building a new high school. New Post Office opens on South Calumet Road. Westchester Public Library buys building formerly part of the Chesterton State Bank. Fire destroys building at Terrace Apartments. Dunes Friendship Land at Chesterton Park is built by volunteers.

1997

New addition to St. Patrick School opens for grades 6, 7 and 8. Renovation in Coffee Creek Park includes boardwalk connecting to Lois Lane. First ever “Christmas in April” here renovates three homes. New police station is built in Porter. Dickinson Road is extended to 1050N.

1998

North Coast Cultural Centre (old St. Patrick Church) burns. Blizzard cuts off power and causes the Chesterton Tribune to miss an issue. Deer culls take place in Dune Acres and the Indiana Dunes State Park. Prairie Duneland Trail opens for bikers and walkers. The Westchester Township Museum opens as a service of the Westchester Public Library.

1999

Vietnam War Memorial is dedicated behind the EMS building at Porter Avenue and the 49 Bypass. Malo’s Flower Shop burns. Infrastructure is nearly complete for Coffee Creek Center. Four murders shock the area.

2000

Census counts 10,488 in Chesterton, 4,972 in Porter, 210 in Dune Acres and 788 in Burns Harbor. New high school opens at 2125 S. 11th Street. Rail Road is constructed under Indiana 49 along the abandoned Wabash Railroad right-of-way. First building at Coffee Creek Center is the Steel Family Health Care Center.

2001

Bethlehem Steel declares bankruptcy. Candlelight vigil takes place in Thomas Centennial Park after the attacks on September 11. United Churches Resale Shop opens. Hilton Garden Inn opens in Coffee Creek Center.

2002

Severe cutbacks are instituted at Westchester Public Library and in the town of Burns Harbor due to loss of property tax income from Bethlehem Steel. State Legislature approves loan to local bodies affected. Duneland Schools announce layoffs and drop one session of summer school. Residents of Porter fight to keep town hall from being torn down. Town Council votes to build new town hall. Chesterton Fire Department honors Chief Skip Highwood and celebrates 100th anniversary.

 

Posted 8/23/2002