Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Museum chief Kevin Pazour visits Chesterton Town Council

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Turns out, no one really knows why, in the years of the Civil War, the little train town known as Calumet--formerly known as Coffee Creek--changed its name to Chesterton.

Chesterton is thought to be derived from Westchester Township, but why folks on a stop along the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern thought a new handle a good idea has never been satisfactorily explained by local historians.

That’s just one of the nuggets one of those local historians dropped on the Chesterton Town Council at its meeting Monday night. Kevin Pazour, executive director of the Porter County Museum, was in town to introduce himself, tout the museum, and also to speak a bit about his appointment as official Porter County Historian.

Pazour, as it happens, is the fifth person to serve as Porter County Historian, since the program was established in 1981 by the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) and the Indiana Historical Bureau (IHB). He’s also the youngest county historian in the state.

The post is actually an unpaid one. A person is appointed to it by the IHS and IHB after being nominated by local historical organizations, like--for instance--the Duneland Historical Society. A county historian acts, among other things, as a clearinghouse of historical resources and information on his or her county; an emissary of the IHS and IHB, promoting cooperation among local historical organizations and reducing duplication of effort; and both a teacher and student of a county’s heritage.

Pazour also encouraged members and the public to visit the Porter County Museum--located at 153 S. Franklin St. in Valparaiso--to see the current exhibit on Camp Good Fellow, in honor of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s 50th anniversary. The exhibit runs through September and includes artifacts and photos narrating Camp Good Fellow’s mission as social project, in which a generation of diverse children from across the region have learned about the Dunes’ history and environment.

Pazour noted that Camp Good Fellow was originally a camp for the children of steel mil executives.

And Pazour had one more nugget with which to regale the council: Chesterton’s population in the latter half of the nineteenth century would grow from roughly 300 to 700 people, who at one time were served by 19 different saloons.

Nevertheless, Pazour said, Chesterton had the reputation of being an “upright and promising community.”


Posted 8/11/2016





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