Chesterton Tribune

Burdick since 1875 Historical Society topic

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Burdick—named for Ambrose C. Burdick (1831-1904) and never incorporated, but a community with a long history—was the subject of the program for the Duneland Historical Society on May 17 at the Library Service Center.

Jan Meyers, Jackson Township Trustee, whose family has long roots in Burdick, presented the program “History of Burdick” to society members and guests. Attendees added their own memories or family stories as Meyers used pictures, maps, newspaper clippings and mementos to recall Burdick history.

The area was platted on October 12, 1875. Early maps show East Burdick, New Burdick, West Burdick and Burdick itself. The area had a Post Office from 1871 until May 15, 1933 when rural free delivery was available.

Among names scattered through Burdick history are Frame, Wiesemann, Miller, Wolford, Hollar, Shaner, Stephens, Gust, Janowski, Hackett, Morris, Anderson and Wood.

Burdick is located in the northeast corner of Jackson Township on the border with Pine Township and five miles east of Chesterton. Railroads figured prominently in Burdick history and there were two depots. One of the items on display was a spittoon from the New York Central depot.

The cornerstone for the Burdick Methodist Episcopal Church was laid on June 15, 1895. The Burdick quilt which is currently on display at the Westchester Township Museum was a fundraiser for that church in 1896. More that 300 names are embroidered on the quilt which was auctioned off to John Wolford.

In the early days of Porter County, there were nine schools in Jackson Township and the school at Burdick was school number 8. Meyers showed a picture of the school children from 1909 which included her grandmother, Ethel Morris, and Hugh Hopkins’ grandmother, Marie Hollar.

Historical events recalled were the big snow storm of 1929, the plane crash south of Burdick in 1933 and the 1908 New York to Paris automobile race when a Thomas Flyer became snowbound near Burdick.

The Burdick store, which is still standing although closed since about 1971, was operated by Ben Wood for 33 years. Meyers’ research shows four store buildings in the area, the earliest built in 1867.

She showed present day pictures of many homes and buildings, the majority of them more than one hundred years old.

The Duneland Historical Society summer trip will be Tuesday, June 19 to Brookston and Battle Ground, Indiana. An air conditioned bus will leave from the Library Service Center at 9 a.m. and return about 5 p.m.

First stop will be at Twinrocker Paper Studio in Brookston where the group will tour the studio and gallery. Box lunches will be picked up from the Klein Brot Haus nearby.

Lunch will be at a covered picnic shelter at Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum at Battle Ground. Beverages will be provided by the society. After lunch there will be a video and tour of the museum followed by an optional tour of the battlefield.

Deadline for members' reservations is June 1. If openings remain, the tour will be opened to the public. Reservations may be made by calling 921-0963.