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flag  History of Michigan City, Indiana, USA

Journey back in time to Michigan City, Indiana, USA

Visit Michigan City, Indiana, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Michigan City, Indiana, USA - On the Beach, Michigan City, Ind.

Michigan City, LaPorte, IN

Fun fact: Michigan City would have been the terminus for a proposed canal that would have run from Toledo, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie, all the way through Northern Indiana/ Southern Michigan to Michigan City on the shores of Lake Michigan. The project was seriously talked about for decades in the 1800s and early 1900s with the Congressional Committee on Rail and Waterways strongly recommending it become a reality. If it had come to fruition, Michigan City could have potentially been the "Chicago" of Lake Michigan, rather than Chicago itself.

There is MUCH more to discover about Michigan City, Indiana, USA. Read on!

Michigan City Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

On the Beach, Michigan City, Ind.
Michigan City, Indiana, USA

On the Beach, Michigan City, Ind.

Michigan City, Indiana, USA

"Peristyle" Washington Park
Presbyterian Church
Michigan City, Indiana, USA

Presbyterian Church

Discover Michigan City: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1854 - Michigan City
Michigan City, a post-village of La Porte county, Indiana, on Lake Michigan, about 40 miles by water E. S. E. from Chicago. The Michigan Central railroad passes through it, and several plank-roads terminate here. It contains a branch of the state bank, a news paper office, and numerous stores. Population in 1850, 1002; in 1853, 2353.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1895 - Michigan City
Michigan City, a post-town of La Porte co, Ind., on Lake Michigan, about 38 miles by water E.S.E. of Chicago. By railroad it is 56 miles from Chicago, 90 miles N. of La Fayette, and 13 miles N.W. of La Porte. It is on the Michigan Central Railroad, and is the N. terminus of divisions of the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad and the lake Erie & Western Railroad. It contains 12 churches. 2 national banks, 4 newspaper offices (2 dailies), Ames College, and the Northern state Prison. It has manufactures of railroad-cars, chairs, furniture, lumber, wagons, boots, shoes, sash, blinds, bicycles, barrels, gloves, hosiery, harness, refrigerators, &c. Here are workshops and round houses of the railroads which converge at this point. Pop. in 1880, 5366; in 1890, 10,776.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Michigan City, Ind., Jan. 10. - The city high school building was burned to the ground yesterday evening, fire being discovered a few minutes after school was dismissed. It gained so much headway before the department arrived that with all its exertions it could not be subdued.

The fire caught near a hot air shaft.
Loss, $50,000; insured for $30,000.
A valuable library and laboratory were destroyed.
All the books of the scholars in the 12 rooms are lost.
Evening Bulletin
Maysville, Kentucky
January 10, 1896
Michigan City, Ind., July 29. - At 11 o'clock Wednesday morning three men went into the oil house of the Michigan Sash & Blind company's factory bearing a lighted lantern. A quantity of benzine was stored in the oil house. Gas generated by the benzine ignited from the lantern, and a terrific explosion occurred.

The list of casualties follows:
Injured -- JOHN RAY, fireman, overcome by the heat, will recover.
LOUIS SCHWARTZ, burned on body, arms, face and head, critical condition.
HERMAN LUCKOW, burned about the body, will recover.
FRED PETERS, burned about the face and body, will recover.

The factory burned to the ground, entailing a loss of $50,000.
Iowa Postal Card
Fayette, Iowa
August 6, 1897
Michigan City, a city of Laporte co., Ind., on Lake Michigan, about 37 miles (direct) ESE. of Chicago, on the Michigan Central and other railroads. It contains the Northern State Prison and has manufactures of railroad-cars, chairs, furniture, lumber, shirts, barrels, gloves, hosiery, etc. Here are workshops of the railroads which converge at this point. Pop. in 1880, 5366; in 1890, 10,776; in 1900, 14,850.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
Michigan City, June 25. - The big excursion steamer United States with 1,000 persons, mostly women and children, aboard, crashed into the bascule bridge over the river here yesterday just as the return trip to Chicago had been began.

The bridge collapsed and badly demolished the upper works of the steamer.

The structure fell on the tug Elphicke of Chicago, which was towing the United States out of the river. The tug, with five persons aboard, sunk in an instant in twenty feet of water. The captain and members of the crew leaped overboard to save their lives. All succeeded in reaching shore safely.

Accident Starts Panic Aboard.
The accident caused great excitement on the United States. For an instant panic reigned. The force with which the big steamer struck the raised bridge brought the United States almost to a standstill. The noise of the crashing timbers in the upper works of the boat added to the excitement.

A number of women and children seated near the stern of the... Read MORE...

Flames Rage in Huge Lumber Yards - Dynamite and Salt Used to Stop Spread of Flames - Aid Summoned From Nearby Cities.

Michigan City, Ind., July 15 - This city suffered a property loss of over $1,000,000 on Saturday, when the huge lumber yards of the HASKELL & BARKER Car company burned. The blaze was seen by citizens of towns a hundred miles away. For a time it appeared that the entire city was doomed.

Appeals for aid were sent to nearby cities. Chicago rushed fire companies with their apparatus, under Battalion Chief EDWARD BUCKLEY, to the fire on a special train.

In the meantime dynamite was sent from Gary, Ind., and was used in an attempt to check the flames.

The fire started in the south end of the yards, near the Michigan Central railroad. The fire company of Michigan City responded at once. It was handicapped by too few men, inadequate apparatus and the fact that there were few hydrants in the vicinity of the fire. The flames spread quickly to the north.

Before the ...

1925 - February 10 - 1st waterless gas storage tank put into service, Michigan City, Ind
1937 - $25,000 Fire At Prison
Michigan City, Ind., June 7. – (U.P.) – Fire of unknown origin late yesterday destroyed six buildings at the state prison honor farm, causing damage estimated at $25,000, state prison officials revealed today.

Spontaneous combustion in a large hay barn was blamed as officials emphasized that there was no suspicion of arson.

The buildings destroyed were the hay barn, a granary, ice house, oil house, implement storage shed and a pumphouse. The loss was fully covered by insurance.
Hammond Times
Hammond, Indiana
June 8, 1937
Michigan City, Ind. (AP) -An explosion killed two more railroad men Wednesday as they began clearing the burning wreckage at a crossing where two trainmen and a gasoline truck driver had died.

Seven other train wreck crewmen were hurt, one of them critically, but the two crewmen whose acetylene torch was blamed for the blast escaped unhurt. State police said the torch burned into a diesel fuel line on one of the wrecked locomotives.

A Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad spokesman estimated a quarter of a million dollars damage resulted when the gasoline truck smashed into the side of the C&O freight train at a crossing on busy U.S. 20 Tuesday evening.

An all-night fire was still burning in parts of the train's 2 engines and in 5 of the 10 derailed freight cars when the crew began work to get the bodies of the three crash victims.

The bottom of one overturned locomotive blew 40 feet while the torch operators were trying to cut their way to the bodies of enginer RAY POWERS, 55, and... Read MORE...

2023 - Michigan City, Indiana has a lot to offer. Whether you're into outdoor activities, cultural experiences, or just relaxing by the lake, there's something for everyone. Here's a list to get you started:
Indiana Dunes National Park: One of the crown jewels of the area, the Indiana Dunes National Park offers miles of pristine Lake Michigan beaches, rugged sand dunes, and hiking trails. Whether you want to swim, hike, or simply relax by the water, the park provides a fantastic natural escape.

Washington Park: Located right on Lake Michigan, Washington Park is a beautiful spot for picnics, beachcombing, and strolling along the promenade. It also houses the Washington Park Zoo, a great attraction for families.

Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets: For shopping enthusiasts, this outdoor mall features over 120 brand-name stores, offering discounted goods. It's a great place to find deals on clothing, accessories, and more.

Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa: If you're feeling lucky, or simply want a night of entertainment, the Blue Chip Casino offers a range of gaming options, as well as dining and a luxurious spa for those looking to unwind.

Shoreline Brewery: Enjoy craft beer and...

Discover MY Roots: Michigan City Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Michigan City, Indiana, USA

We currently have information about 2 ancestors who were born or died in Michigan City.

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Updated: 10/12/2023 3:55:21 PM