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.
Indiana becomes a state. Potawatomi Indians live around the southern end of
Joseph Bailly arrives and establishes a fur trading post on the Little
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.)
Joseph Bailly’s son Robert dies of typhoid fever.
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.
Mau-me-nass, a Potawatomi Indian woman, receives land from the government
which later becomes the site of the village of Calumet.
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.
William Thomas, Jacob Beck, William Gossett and other families arrive.
Hannah Morgan is first settlers’ child born in Porter County. Baillytown is
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).
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).
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.
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.
Road is in use from Valparaiso past Enos Thomas’ sawmill (Woodlawn and
Indian Boundary Road) to City West.
Indian removal continues.
Severe winter weather causes deaths from starvation or freezing. Snow 12
inches deep is recorded in April.
Henry Hageman builds log house. (On Waverly Road by Hawthorne Park.)
William Thomas, Jr. builds first frame house in Coffee Creek.
Lumbermen are at the Bailly Homestead.
First railroad in Westchester Township is built by Buffalo & Mississippi. It
was never completed. Coffee Creek becomes Calumet.
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.
The first goods received in Porter County by rail are sent on a construction
train from Michigan City.
Town of Calumet is platted. There are about 20 houses. Several buildings
from City West are moved into Calumet.
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.
Joel Wicker’s saw mill burns. Wicker is a son-in-law of Joseph Bailly.
Indians kill a bear in Pine Township.
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).
Edwin Furness arrives in the area and engages in the lumbering business.
Catholic Church is organized in Calumet by Father Kilroy and building is
built north of the railroad tracks (Calumet and Michigan). Bear killed in
Augsburg Lutheran Church organizes with 31 members.
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
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.
Post Office opens at Furnessville with Postmaster Edwin L. Furness. Civil
War begins and many young men leave, some never to return.
C. G. Johnson donates land for Augsburg Lutheran Church parsonage. Calumet
is listed with a population of 500 in the Indiana Gazeteer and Business
Anders and Johanna Chellberg and son Carl arrive from Sweden after four
months enroute and settle in Baillytown.
Augsburg Church dedicates new 46’ x 28’ building on one acre donated by J.
Lincoln Funeral Train passes through Porter Station. Porter Station post
office is established with Archalaus Whitten postmaster.
Marie Bailly, widow of Joseph Bailly, dies. John Lundberg comes to
Chesterton and starts a furniture business.
Calkins and Brother buy dry goods store from D. H. Hopkins.
Calumet Lodge F.&A.M. #379 is organized.
Chesterton is incorporated for the first time.
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.
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).
Brick from area brickyards is used in rebuilding after the 1871 Chicago
Northern Indiana Normal School (later Valparaiso University) opens.
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.
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.
St. Patrick Church builds brick building (Second St. and Indiana Ave.).
Chesterton has four doctors: Drs. Morrical, Green, Marr and Jones.
P. A. Johnson builds brick business building in Chesterton. (Second St. and
Chesterton ceases to be incorporated because of financial problems.
Swedish Methodist Church started. Two-story brick schoolhouse is built in
Chesterton at a cost of $6,000.
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.
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.
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.
Brick schoolhouse is built in Porter. William Beam builds brick house in
Porter (Wagner Road). G.A.R. Post #208 is established in Chesterton.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
National economic panic destroys Porter Home Investment Company. Enamel
factory and Organ factory exhibit at the Chicago World’s Fair.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Lakeshore railroad station burns. Timber wolves are sighted in the dunes.
Contractor Ameling builds new town hall in Porter.
Chesterton plans to build sewers. Porter County is quarantined after hoof
and mouth disease breaks out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Census figures are 1,804 for Chesterton and 699 for Porter. Porter Bank is
chartered. Prohibition begins. Newly registered women voters organize.
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.
New high school building is constructed at Sixth and Morgan Avenue. American
China Company begins producing ”Chesterton China” at large factory on
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.
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.
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.
AT&T builds a brick building for a repeating station for transcontinental
telephone lines on DeMass Road (South Fifth Street).
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
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.
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
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.
“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.
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.
Chesterton Lions Club organizes. One of the club’s first activities is to
help Civilian Conservation Corps unit camped in the Indiana Dunes. Augsburg
Chesterton Woman’s Club organizes. Porter County Courthouse is seriously
damaged by fire.
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.
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.
Jackson Township gets four year high school. Town of Chesterton buys land at
5th Street and Morgan Avenue for a park.
William Murray opens miniature village “Littleville” in west Chesterton.
Town gets WPA funding for huge 8th St. sewer. Bailly Homestead is damaged by
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Citizens stage victory celebration as war ends. First building ordinance for
town of Chesterton is published.
John Saidla builds apartments on Ninth Street to ease post-war housing
shortage. Local service personnel return home. Porter Hardware has Grand
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.
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.
Chesterton Post Office moves to new building on Second Street. Johnson’s
Beach has 1,000 cars on a July weekend.
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.
Chesterton passes zoning ordinance. Local men are serving in Korea.
Community Kindergarten, operated by parents, opens. Spa Restaurant burns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Town of Porter celebrates Centennial. Masonic Temple opens. Westchester
School Board organizes and Lyle Klitzke is first Superintendent of Schools.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.