Chesterton Tribune

As Chesterton Tribune begins 125th year, we look at the many Duneland anniversaries in 2008

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2008 is a year of many special anniversaries in the Duneland community. Hearing that Augsburg Lutheran Church and St. Patrick Church both are celebrating 150 years led to looking for other special anniversaries in the Chesterton Tribune’s Echoes of the Past.

The Chesterton Tribune is beginning Volume 125 marking continuous publication since Arthur Bowser published his first issue dated April 2, 1884. Subscriptions were $1.50 per year.

His was not the first Chesterton Tribune. An attempt to start a local weekly paper was made in 1882 and a few issues survive. Volume 1, No. 1 is dated October 28, 1882. Volume 1, No. 25, dated April 12, 1883, was found in 1986 when the Porter County courthouse cornerstone was opened on the 150th anniversary of the county. Other issues in the Tribune files are from May 31, 1883 and a portion of the issue dated June 21, 1883.

All of the Chesterton Tribune issues, except for the old one found in the cornerstone, are preserved on microfilm and are available at the Westchester Public Library.

Other Tribune anniversaries are eighty years since the paper was purchased by Warren R. Canright in 1928 and thirty years for Echoes of the Past in its present form. As far back as the thirties there were columns of items from past years called “From Our Files” or “This Was News”. The name “Echoes of the Past” appears in the 1950s and was resurrected in 1978 in the present format.

The Tribune’s popular Pigskin Picks football contest has been going for fifty years. The winners of the first contest were announced in the October 2, 1958 issue. Glen Markley was first and Jim Phillips was second.

Publication five days a week began in 1961, Since becoming a daily paper the Tribune has missed publishing twice. The first was during the big snow in 1967 and the second in 1998 when a blizzard knocked out power for a full day.

Other notable anniversaries

Our anniversaries search was for organizations, businesses or public bodies whose number of years in existence ends in a zero or a five.

St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church started here in 1858 with a small building north of the Lakeshore and Michigan Southern Railroad even though the congregation did not have a resident priest.

At about the same time Swedish immigrants founded the Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Baillytown area. It was sometimes referred to as the Baillytown Lutheran Church and services were often conducted in Swedish.

The town of Porter is planning the observance of its founding in 1858 (150 years). The town voted to incorporate in 1908 (100 years). Elected to the first town board were Ezra Brody, John P. Carlson and Frank Peterson. Treasurer was H. L. Ruggles and clerk was Frank Dabbert. The Porter Fire Department also dates its beginnings to 1908.

1868 is the founding date for Calumet Lodge F.A.&M. making it 140 years old and the longest continuous lodge in the area. The lodge’s Masonic Temple on Lincoln Ave. at Ninth St., built in 1958, is fifty years old.

Royal Neighbors of America Goldenrod Camp, which first met in 1908, is one hundred years old. The camp began with 27 members and the first Oracle was Mrs. Anna Tillotson.

The South Shore Railroad began running in 1908 under the name Chicago, Lake Shore and South Bend Electric Railway, also referred to as an interurban.

The town of Dune Acres is 85 years old. It was incorporated in 1923 when there were just five houses. Incorporators were William A. Wirt, Col. A. P. Melton, C. R. Kuss, Harry Hall and C. V. Ridgely.

Chesterton Lions Club dates its founding to 1933 and can celebrate 75 years of service to the community. Sponsor for the Chesterton club was the Michigan City Lions Club. At the first organizational meeting at the Central Hotel, Warren R. Canright was chosen temporary president.

Seventy years ago in 1938 the first Chesterton Park Board was appointed to plan for development of Chesterton Park along Fifth Street between Morgan Ave. and Porter Ave. Members of that first board were Hubert Barnes, Roy Hubbard, Mrs. Roy Sherwood, Thomas Weisemann and Mrs. Charles Wiltfong.

Duneland Historical Society was started in 1948 and is observing its 60th anniversary. Louis Menke was temporary chairman for the organizational meeting at Eschenbach’s Restaurant. Edward L. Morgan was elected first president.

Fifty years ago Westchester Schools went from a trustee system to a school board. Members of the first board were Arthur Pillman, Elizabeth Copp, Edwin Nicholson, Donald Jensen and John Pillman. Ten years later in 1968 Westchester, Jackson and Liberty schools merged into the Duneland School System and the first Duneland School Board was elected.

The first Porter County Park Board was appointed twenty-five years ago in 1983 when Sunset Hill Farm became the first Porter County Park.

When we note historical anniversaries, it is fitting that the list end with the Westchester Township History Museum run by the Westchester Public Library which is ten years old. It started in 1998 in the lower level of the Library Service Center and moved to the Brown Mansion in 2005.


Posted 4/1/2008