Chesterton Tribune

Remembering Chesterton in the 1930s

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Voice of the People

I read that the Chesterton Tribune is having an anniversary! My parents got this paper right after we moved out here in 1936 when I was 6 years old from Gary. In 1935-36 I had attended half-day kindergarten in Gary at Miller School on Lake Street. In 1937 my ma and dad started getting the Chesterton Tribune in the mail on Thursdays. They were fascinated by the Chesterton Tribune! Back then almost every week someone died who had been born in Sweden. Sometimes people died who had been born in Germany or Poland but almost every week someone died who had been born in Sweden. The obituaries back then were always on the front page because the population back then was so small that everyone knew everyone else! Four of the churches were of Swedish origin. Two churches were of German origin. The Catholic church was of Irish origin.

In the 1930s the New York Central rail road had steam engines! They ran by steam! The engines had boilers with fire in them. The car after the engine had coal in it. The fireman shoveled coal in the furnace of the steam engine. The steam drove the engine. Chesterton is on the main line of this railroad between Chicago and New York City. There are two tracks all the way!

Going east they had to build up speed because they had to climb the north slope of Valparaiso Moraine 200 feet in elevation from 640 feet above sea level at Chesterton to 850 feet above sea level at City of LaPorte, which is on the crest or top of Valparaiso Moraine there! Here is where the south edge of the vast continental glacier melted some 14,000 years ago! Lake Michigan is where there was weak bedrock that crumbled when the heavy ice of the glacier slid over it! We have a glacial landscape here in Chesterton.

Ed Gustafson


Posted 4/2/2010