An Early History of Crown Point, IN

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The abuse attorneys in Crown Point bring you the article below about the city. Learn about its history and many features.

History of Crown Point

Crown Point is a city within Lake County, Indiana. Known as the "Hub of Lake County," the area was first settled by Solon Robinson and his family on October 31, 1834. When Lake County was incorporated in February 1837, Liverpool was its county seat. However, Robinson funded a $500 project to construct a new wooden courthouse in Crown Point later that year. The legislature was happy about the new courthouse, so they designated Crown Point as the county seat.

In 1868, the City of Crown Point was incorporated. A decade after, construction for a new, larger county courthouse and clock tower began. Known as the Grand Old Lady, it is located at the center of the town and has become the dominant feature of the city.

Crown Point was also notable for the number of couples that got married in the city. Referred to as the "Marriage Mill," the city had no waiting period for marriage licenses. Famous people like Cassius Clay, Tom Mix, Joseph Jackson of the Jackson 5, and Rudolph Valentino came to this popular place to get married.

As of the 2010 census, the city has a population of 27,317 people. It is surrounded by the communities of Merrillville on the north. Winfield on the east, Cedar Lake on the southwest, St. John on the west, and Schererville on the northwest.

You can also Discover the City of La Porte, Indiana.

John Dillinger - Public Enemies

In 1934, FBI "Public Enemy #1" John Dillinger escaped the "escape-proof" Lake County Jail and drove off with Sheriff Lillian Holley's brand new V-8 Ford. It is said that Dillinger escaped using a hand-carved wooden gun that was blackened with shoe polish. However, this has been disputed by witnesses. In 2008, director Michael Mann led a Universal Studios team to Crown Point to film parts of the movie Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, Christian Bale as FBI agent Purvis, and Lili Taylor as Sheriff Holley. The scenes were filmed at the Lake County Sheriff's House and Jail.

Historic Sites

The City of Crown Point is home to a number of properties and landmarks that hold historical significance to the area. The ones that have been included on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) are:

  • Crown Point County Square Historic District
  • Lake County Sheriff's House and Jail
  • Lake County Courthouse
  • William Whitaker Landscape and House
  • Lake County Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Nurses Home and Superintendent's House
  • Alber Maack House
  • Wellington A. Clark House
  • Walter Allman House

Other historical places that have not been added to the NRHP are the Sunnyside Historic District and Holley Historic District.

Lake County Fairgrounds

The Lake County Fairgrounds is located on South Court Street in Crown Point. Offering a variety of activities for residents and visitors to enjoy, it is open 365 days a year and features historic brick exhibition buildings, a historic grandstand, the Crown Point Bridge, the Fancher Lake, tree-covered hills, walking paths and more. Fishermen, walkers, joggers and runners like to frequent the fairgrounds. Every year, in early August, it is also the host of the second-largest county fair in Indiana. Called the Lake County Fair, some of the programs are musical acts, food, contests, monster trucks, horse shows, and demolition derby.

Lake County Courthouse

Known as the "Grand Old Lady," the Lake County Courthouse is a former county courthouse building for Lake County. Designed by John C. Cochrane of Chicago in 1878, it is of the Romanesque and Georgian architectural style. The former courthouse is now home to a number of offices, the city court, the chamber of commerce, a catering and event company, and the Lake County Historical Society Museum. The museum features exhibits of Lake County artifacts, textiles, photography and archives, clothing and furniture, unique collections and more.

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