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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

FROM THE MAYOR Crown Point has a lot to be excited about. With the many new business and sports complex developments being built over the past decade and now the addition of Bulldog Park, Crown Point continues to stand out as the Hub of Lake County. Bulldog Park is a 2 1/2 acre facility that offers an NHL regulation hockey rink for open skating, ice hockey, and skating lessons in the winter and an 85 x 200 covered pavilion and amphitheater to hold festivals, car cruises, farmer’s markets and much more. The unique community spirit of Crown Point remains rooted in our dedication to preserve history, celebrate everyday life, provide the best in city services, and encouraging growth to protect our family values. People come here to raise their families, enroll in our quality schools and enjoy the community spirit Crown

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Point has to offer. Businesses that choose to open their doors receive a warm reception and willingness from the citizens to help them succeed. With our Shop Local campaign, we will continue to support and protect their investments. Together, we promote our core value of “Building a Stronger Community from Within.” Crown Point is proud to promote a winning atmosphere as we have been named “Best Downtown” for the past 10 years and “Best Place to Live” for the past 9 years. Our city is an ideal place to live, work and play. Our residents and guests can enjoy award winning athletic amenities such as our premiere 95-acre sports complex that features football, lacrosse, soccer, softball and baseball for all ages. We welcome you to experience friendly hospitality by visiting our family owned restaurants, local boutiques, our historical downtown, sporting facilities and our free civic events. My office and staff are dedicated to serving the needs of our Crown Point citizens and guests. Sincerely, David Uran

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

Bulldog Park

A New Event Center Housing a 16,000 sq. ft. community building, splash pad, hockey rink/pavilion and amphitheater, Bulldog Park offers a variety of rental opportunities!

Call the Parks office at 219.661.2271 for more information 183 South West Street • Crown Point, IN Crown Point Parks & Recreation 219.661.2271

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

CROWN POINT FACTS

DID YOU KNOW? • In 1834, Solon Robinson and his family are believed to be the first to settle in the area that became Crown Point. • Crown Point was incorporated as a city in 1868. • Among Crown Point’s historic landmarks is the Lake County Courthouse built there in 1878. Additions would be made to the courthouse in 1907 and 1923. • In 1909, the first Cobe Cup race, believed to be the first major auto race, was held in Crown Point. • Rudolph Valentino, star of the silver screen during the silent era, and Winifred DeWolfe were married at the Lake County Courthouse in March, 1923. • In 1934, notorious outlaw John Dillinger escaped from the Lake County Jail located in Crown Point.

• In 1998, Crown Point native Jerry Ross flew his first of seven missions into space via space shuttles. • Crown Point is the county seat of Lake County, Indiana, named for its location on Lake Michigan, and home to over 490,000 residents, according to the US Census Bureau. It is Indiana’s second most populous county. • Crown Point has a population of 29,625 (2017), according to the US Census Bureau. The city’s population has grown over 42 percent since 2000. • Crown Point is ideally located 34 miles southeast of the Chicago metropolitan center with rural farmlands situated to the south. • There are 19 parks and sports fields in the city of Crown Point including the domed Sportsplex.

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

5

LAKE COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Lake County seat: Crown Point

The Lake County Government Complex opened in 1974, two miles north of the old courthouse in downtown Crown Point. It houses the Lake County Jail as well as the court rooms. The address is 2293 N. Main St., Crown Point. The first floor of the Administration Building (Building A) houses courtrooms, the clerk of the traffic division, child support and small claims. The prosecuting attorney’s office, clerk of the court’s office and probation offices are located on the first floor of Building B. The second floor of Building A contains the County Assessor, Recorder, Auditor and Treasurer’s offices. The voters registration election board can also be found on the second floor.

Courtrooms occupy the second floor of Building B, along with court offices and the public defenders’ office. The third floor of Building A houses offices of the township assessors, county surveyor, building and planning commission, Veterans services, Health Dept., Economic Development and the county commissioners and council, as well as their meeting chamber. The Lake County Jail sits to the west of Building A and B. The sheriff ’s offices are located between Building B and the jail. Animal Control sits on the northwest corner of the complex, with entrances off of W. 93rd Ave.

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

GOVERNMENT

Crown Point City Hall The City of Crown Point is governed by a mayor and city council. The group meets the first Monday of each month at the City Hall, located at 101 N. East St. David Uran is the current mayor of Crown Point. The council is made up of seven members who are elected. Five of the members are elected by districts and two are at-large members. Current council members are: District 1- Chad Jeffries; District 2Robert Clemons; District 3- Andrew Kyres; District 4- Laura Sauerman; District 5- Carol Drasga; and at-large members, TJ Wigmore and Scott Evorik. City departments include ClerkTreasurer, City Court, Cemetery, Emergency Management, Engineering, Fire and Rescue, Human Resources, Legal, Media/IT, Parks and Recreation, Planning and

Building, Police, Public Works, and Special Events. The Clerk Treasurer is Kristie Dressel. Employees of the office help residents with questions regarding water bills, building permit payments, parking ticket payments, and can provide certain public information documents. The Public Works Department offers a wide variety of services to the citizens of Crown Point, including streets, utilities, and waster water. The Planning and Building Department oversees all land planning developments, construction of new homes, commercial development and inspections of all new construction. To contact city hall, call 219-6623240 or visit www.crownpoint.in.gov. City hall office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. See CITY HALL, page 7

Mayor David Uran

Clerk Treasurer Kristie Dressel

Council, Dist. 1 Chad Jeffries

Council, Dist. 2 Robert Clemons

Council, Dist. 3 Andrew Kyres

Council, Dist. 4 Laura Sauerman

Council, Dist. 5 Carol Drasga

Council, At-Large TJ Wigmore

Council, At-Large Scott Evorik


CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

7

City Hall contined from Pg. 6 Boards and Committees

Board of Public Works meets the first and fourth Monday of each month at 2 p.m. in council chambers. Board members are Mayor David Uran, Robert Clemons, Mike Conquest, Tim Grzych. Board of Zoning Appeals meets the fourth Monday of each month in council chambers. Board members are Chairman Dan Rohaley, Vice-chairman John Marshall, Christopher Meyers, Nick Nochevich and Alda Veluttini Plan Commission meets the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in council chambers. Members are Chad Jeffries, Laura Sauerman, Mike Conquest, Rick Day, John Marshall, Dan Rohaley and Scott Evorik. Redevelopment Commission meets the second Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in

council chambers. Members are Aaron McDermott, Brad Bosse (appointed by the mayor), Tom Keilman (appointed by the mayor), Carol Drasga (appointed by the council), David H. Nicholls (city attorney). Historical Preservation meets the second Wednesday of the month. Members are Chairman Paul Bremer, Vicechairman Jim Kendall, Dan Rohaley, Jim Crisman, Todd Kabella, Richard Osterle, Jolene Bolenger, Tiffany Tolbert, Garry Knesek and Bette Roberts. Storm Water Advisory Board meets as needed. Members are Bob Bieker, Jake Boender, Wendell Baize, Tim Grzych, Todd Klevin, Cory Kreith and Ken Ziese Tree Board members are Matt Lake, Lorraine Keilman, Russell Hodge, Carol Drasga,

Todd Klevin.

City Departments

Building Department 219-662-3229 Plumbing Inspector: Dave LaMere, ext. 4 HVAC Inspector: Keith Anderson, ext. 5 Electric Inspector: Kitt Kabella, ext. 7 Building Inspector: Richard Hulen, ext. 3 Administrator: Joe Cash Administrative Assistant: Jenni Pause City Court 219-662-3243 City Court holds hearings and trials every Tuesday afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m. It is located in the old Hall of Justice building on S. Main St., south of the square. The Crown Point City Court hears cases involving criminal misdemeanors, traffic

tickets (infractions) and city ordinance violations. The City Court Clerk’s office is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The clerk’s office is located in the historic Carnegie Library building across the street from the Hall of Justice, 223 S. Main St. City Court Judge is Kent M. Jeffirs and the City Attorney is David H. Nicholls (219-6623258). Emergency Management Director: Quinn Wentz, qwentz@crownpoint.in.gov Engineering 219-661-2280 Mayor’s office 219-662-3240 Fax: 219-662-3262 101 N. East St. Mayor David Uran Secretary Marsha Essary See CITY HALL, page 21

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

9

EDUCATION

Crown Point Schools: academic excellence

The Crown Point Community School Corporation presides over public education in Crown Point. The corporation’s office is located at 200 E. North St., Crown Point and Dr. Teresa A. Eineman is the Superintendent of Schools. The school board of trustees is made up of David Warne, president; Scott Angel, vice-president; Tom Hoffman, secretary; and members Scott Babjak and Brian Smith. The Crown Point Schools are recognized as being among the top in the state having received a grade of “A” for exemplary academic achievement by the Indiana Dept. of Education. Crown Point High School has grown from its modest origins to one of the largest comprehensive high schools in Indiana. The current facility, which

Helmuth and Kevin Enright Address: 1500 Main St. Phone: 219-663-4885

Robert A. Taft Middle School Principal: Tracy Seibert Address: 1000 S. Main St. Phone: 219-663-1507 Col. John Wheeler Middle School Principal: Mark Gianfermi Address: 401 W. Joliet St. Phone: 219-663-2173

was featured in American School and University Architectural Portfolio as an Outstanding High School Design, opened to students in the fall of 2003. Due to expansive growth,

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the high school opened a new academic wing in 2009 that increased the school’s capacity to 3,000 students. Today Crown Point High School is home to over 2,600 students from grades 9 through 12 and employs 120 full time faculty who actively participate in many state and national organizations. Crown Point High School, an Indiana Chamber of Commerce Best Buy School, offers its students numerous educational, extracurricular and athletic opportunities and its performance is often ranked with the best in the state and nation. It was selected by the Washington Post as one of the nation’s “Most Challenging High Schools” and U.S. News and World Report named it a “Top U.S. High School.” Crown Point Schools Crown Point High School Principal: Chip Pettit 9th Grade Principal: Jacob Rodriguez 12th Grade Principal: Russ Marcinek Dean of Students: Amy

Timothy Ball Elementary School Principal: Nick Ciochina Address: 720 Summit St. Phone: 219-663-0047 Lake Street Elementary School Principal: Cindy Wise Address: 475 Lake St. Phone: 219-663-5683 Solon Robinson Elementary School Principal: Barbara L. Merrill Address: 601 Pettibone St. Phone: 219-663-2525 Winfield Elementary School Principal: Jillian Alonzo Address: 13128 Montgomery St. Phone: 219-663-2287 Douglas MacArthur Elementary School Principal: Marian Buchko Address: 12900 Fairbanks Ave., Cedar Lake Phone 219-662-3600 Eisenhower Elementary School Principal: Mary Ann Chapko Address: 1450 E. Main St. Phone: 219-663-8800 Jerry Ross Elementary School Principal: Jennifer Linsley 11319 Randolph St. Phone 219-663-3010


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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

PARKS AND RECREATION

Crown Point Parks and Recreation

Crown Point offers 18 parks, including a municipal pool, skate park and seasonal ice rink. • Bowtie Park, located at the intersection of Arthur St. and 94th Avenue, is situated on 1.5 acres and offers a playground and a basketball court. • Arthur Street Park is located at Arthur Street and 96th Avenue. Its 1.5 acres offers a playground. • Sauerman Woods Park offers a gazebo, walking trail in the woods, a basketball court and four sand volleyball courts. The Hub swimming pool is also here. It is located at 1000 E. South Street and the pool opens May 27. Pool rental is available. • Collins Park offers a tennis court, playground and a softball field. It is located at the intersection of 3500 Merrillville Road and 95th Avenue and spreads out over four acres. • Erlenbach Park is located at 9650 Van Buren St. and offers a playground. • Keller Park, which offers a playground, is located at the intersection of Merrillville Road and W. 97th Place. • Willow Tree Park at McKinley St. and Arthur Place, encompasses four acres and features a playground. Continued on page 20

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Steam Tractor Engines Sawmill & Shingle Mill Antique Tractors, Tools, Wagons & Equipment Old Horse Drawn Equip. Threshing & Baling Corn Shelling & Grinding Working Blacksmith Shop Horse Shoeing Rock Crusher Antique Trucks

Quilt Raffle Wood Carvers Antique Cars Pork Chop Dinner (Sat 4-7

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

11

SPECIAL EVENTS

Mayor’s Office of Special Events plans family friendly fun The Mayor’s Office of Special Events is located at 11065 Broadway, Suite F in Crown Point. The office is responsible for organizing and providing family friendly events for the residents and guests of the city. Special Events Administrator Diana Bosse said the office organizes yearly events including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, City Wide Picnic, Oktoberfest, Tour of Lights and Winter Market, all of which were started with Mayor David Uran’s administration. The special events department was begun by former Mayor Dan Klein, and continues to grow as the city grows. The office was moved to its current location when the Public Works Department built a new campus with room for the city’s engineering and planning departments as well as the special events office. The Parks Department also moved to the new location. While planning the events, the Special Events office secures sponsorships by working with local businesses to partner with the office and to promote the events through advertising. “St. Patrick’s Day Parade is our largest event bringing thousands of people to Crown Point,” Bosse said. “We will continue to provide quality family friendly events to

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our residents and guests,” Bosse said. To see what the office has planned, visit the city’s website at www.crownpoint.in.gov or call 219-662-3290. New to the parks and events programs is Bulldog Park. Franciscan Health naming rights committed to $100,000 a year for 10 year for the naming rights at Bulldog Park. Each component will be: • Franciscan Health Amphitheater • Franciscan Health Pavilion • Franciscan Health Recreation Center. Bulldog Park opened Dec. 22, 2018, just in time for Christmas break. Open skating and open hockey is available – The hours are listed weekly on the city Facebook page and the city website at www.crownpoint.in.gov Ice skating lessons began Feb.11, for all ages.  Contact the Parks Department at 219-661-2271. “In 2020, we will be adding hockey leagues to the opportunities in the winter season,” Bosse said.

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

Bulldog Park opens in 2018

Franciscan Health committed to $100,000 a year for 10 years for the naming rights at Bulldog Park. Each component will be Franciscan Health Amphitheater, Franciscan Health Pavilion and Franciscan Health Recreation Center. Bulldog Park opened Dec. 22, 2018. Open skating and open hockey is available. The hours are listed weekly on the City Facebook Page and the City Website at www.crownpoint. in.gov. Ice skating lessons began Feb. 11, for all ages.  Contact the Parks Department at 219-661-2271. In 2020, the city will be adding hockey leagues to the opportunities for the next winter season. Above, the new skate rink is officially opened with a ribbon cutting.

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Events for 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Festivities is held on March 17 with a parade at dusk. A corned beef and cabbage dinner will be served from 2-6 p.m. at the Crown Point Fire Station with a special appearance by the Lake County Pipes and Drums. Food and novelty vendors will be on the square from 3-9 p.m. Car Cruise begins May 31, and every Thursday through September 26, 4-8 p.m. Expanded Farmers Market – Saturdays 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. & Wednesdays 4 - 8 p.m. / June – September The Special Events office is planning to move most of this year’s events to Bulldog Park. There will be a variety of rental opportunities at Bulldog Park. The new amphitheater will be available for bands, plays etc. The Pavilion will be available for rent for various events, festivals, picnics as well as pickleball, volleyball, and basketball. The Recreation Center has four community rooms and will host all the senior activities during the week and have rental opportunities on evening and weekends. Bulldog Park will also have a free seasonal splash pad outside of the recreation center during the summer months. For more information contact the Parks Office at 219-661-2271.

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

CROWN POINT COMMUNITY LIBRARY

Crown Point Community Library serves Center and Winfield Townships

The Crown Point Community Library serves the residents of Center and Winfield Townships in Lake County. The main branch is located on Main Street just north of the square in downtown Crown Point and a new location in Winfield in the Double Tree Plaza serves the eastern section of the library district. Both libraries are community centers, serving all the people in either township. Library board meetings are held the fourth Monday of each month at 5 p.m. in the Library Board Room, third floor at the Crown Point branch. The public is welcome and should request access to the third floor at the circulation desk. The 2019 members of the Crown Point Library Board are President Patrick Schuster, Vice President Mary Malloy-Rhee, Treasurer Rose Ann Kendall, Secretary Vicky Klein, Trustee Fiona McCarroll and Trustee Chris Mallers, and Winfield

and enjoyment of the library. Learn more about the library at crownpointlibrary.org. Crown Point Public Library Address: 122 N. Main Street Phone: 219-663-0270 Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.

Trustee Marshall Anderson. The Friends of the Crown Point Community Library meet the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. in meeting room 2. The Friends of the Library have supported special programs and help to purchase items not generally covered in the library’s regular operating budget. Their mission is to enhance and promote the use

Winfield Branch Address: 10771 Randolph St. (in the Double Tree Plaza) Phone: 219-662-4039 Hours: Monday and Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Sunday

A: C

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

17

LIVING LEGEND

CP native earns frequent flyer status in space By Cheri Shelhart

kvpreporter@gmail.com

Astronaut Jerry Ross is a native of Crown Point and NASA’s record holder for his seven space missions. Ross was born in Crown Point on Jan. 20, 1948, and graduated from Crown Point High School in 1966. He earned his Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, where Jerry Ross his accomplishments are celebrated. Growing up, Ross heard about the “space race” between the United States and the Soviet Union. “It totally captured my imagination,” he said. Ross said aunts and uncles saved their “Life” and “Look” magazines whenever the space program was mentioned. Before he could read, his mother read the articles to him. From the moment he saw the first rocket launch into space, he was hooked. After receiving his master’s degree in 1972, Ross began his active duty in the United States Air Force. During his years at Purdue, he was an Air Force ROTC student. In 1976, he graduated from the flight test engineer school. He flew more than 20 different types

of aircraft with more than 4,000 hours of flight. In 1979, Ross was assigned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston,Texas, where he has resided ever since. He became a payload officer and flight controller and then was selected to be an astronaut. He logged more than Jerry Ross takes a walk in space dur58 days in space ing one of his missions to the Internaon seven different tional Space Station. missions. He was a Photos Provided missions specialist on those flights, which included work on the International Space Station (ISS). “I decided the best place to be is the top of a rocket,” he said. And again he set his goal to become one of those men who ride into space at the top of a rocket. “It was awesome to look at the earth Continued on page 21

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

19

PUBLIC SAFETY

CP Police and Fire & Rescue answer the call 24/7 The Crown Point Police Department serves the entire city limits. The police department is under the direction of Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land. Divisions within the department include administration, detective bureau, uniformed patrol, communications, records, K-9 Unit, motor unit, DARE and SWAT. The department can help residents with VIN checks, state crash reports, arrest reports, offense reports, archived reports, fingerprinting and local records check. All of the services have a fee that must be paid. The Crown Point Police Department is located at 124 N. East Street in Crown Point. To contact the department for a non-emergency dial 219-663-

rescue includes: trench collapse, structural collapse, rope rescue and confined space. The Crown Point Fire Chief is Greg DeLor and Assistant Chief is Gerard Abraham. Fire Inspector is Dave Crane. Address: 126 North East Street Phone: 219-662-3248 Call 9-1-1 for all emergencies.

2131. Remember to dial 9-1-1 for all emergencies. Crown Point Fire & Rescue The Crown Point Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1873 and was one of

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the first organized fire departments in the area. At that time the fire department numbered 40 members, most of whom were business and professional men of the town. Today, the Crown Point Fire-Rescue Department has 28 full-time employees and 42 paid-on-call firefighters. There are 18 pieces of equipment out of one central fire station that serves the citizens of Crown Point and other parts of Center Township. Crown Point FireRescue has an ISO rating of 4 for areas within the city. All personnel are cross trained and certified as firefighter/paramedics. Eight paid firefighter/ paramedics are assigned per shift with three shifts rotating on a 24/48 work schedule. The department also specializes in technical rescue incidents. CPFR has two elements of the Special Operations Division, Technical Rescue & Water Rescue/Dive teams. The members of these teams must train above and beyond the normal firefighter and paramedic trainings. All of the three shifts have a rescue diver and several technical rescue members on duty. Technical

Lake County Sheriff’s Office The Lake County Sheriff ’s Department is comprised of over 500 employees who make up a number of different divisions. These divisions include county police, corrections, court security and animal control. The sheriff ’s office maintains several programs to benefit the community including a DARE program, Safe Place, Internet safety, Neighborhood Watch, programs for senior citizens and a bicycle registry. The sheriff ’s office is located at 2293 N. Main St., Crown Point. To contact the Sheriff ’s administration office call 219755-3400. To reach the office’s “Report a Crime Hotline” call 800-750-2746. Remember to dial 9-1-1 for all emergencies.


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Parks contined from Pg. 10 • White Hawk Park at White Hawk Drive near the White Hawk Country Club course offers a playground. • Brookside Park is situated on 1 acre and offers a playground and picnicking opportunities. • Thomas Street Park at 700 Thomas Street has a playground and shelter rental. • Jerry Ross Park at 399 W. North St., offers playground fun as well as a shelter. • Prairie View Park at North Heather Lane has a playground. • Solon Robinson Park, located at Dexter Drive, offers nine acres of recreation, including a sand volleyball court, two basketball courts and a pavilion. • Penn Oak Park is located on nearly one acre at South Madison St. and Chessington Dr. and offers a playground. • High Meadow Park, located at High Meadow Drive, has a playground. • Bluebird Park at 117th Place has a playground on 1 acre. • Kaiser Park at S. Main Street has a playground and shelter opportunities. • Sportsplex offers two FieldTurf fields for soccer, football and lacrosse play. It is located at 1313 North St. The skate park is also located here. There are three fields including a championship field that features stadium seating for 750, press box, PA systems and observation deck, there are

lighted turf fields marked for football, soccer and lacrosse, and paved parking for more than 1,000 vehicles. There is also an on-site playground, walking path and batting cages. • Bulldog Park, the newest park in the city, and a dog park. In addition to Crown Point Parks, there are many other parks within Lake County, including Deep River Park, Gibson Woods Nature Preserve, the Grand Kankakee Marsh Nature Preserve, Lake Etta, Lemon Lake, Oak Ridge Prairie, Stoney Run, Three Rivers, and Whihala Beach.

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City Hall contined from Pg. 7

Ross contined from Pg. 17

Mayor’s Office of Special Events 219-662-3290 11065 Broadway, Ste. F Director Diana Bosse Parks Department 219-661-2271 11035 Broadway, Ste. E Director Jennie Burgess Administrative Assistant: Cathi Grzych Recreation Manager: Dale Gurgel

from that perspective,” he said. Ross’ first mission, STS61B, took off from the Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 26, 1985, in the Space Shuttle Atlantis. During his first space flight, Ross took two six hour space walks to demonstrate space station construction technique experiments. Walking in space Ross said gave him a feeling of freedom. “I was in my own space craft. I could look in any direction, to the edges of the universe or back at the earth,” he said. In 2003, the Jerry Ross Elementary School opened in the Town of Winfield as a part of Crown Point Community Schools. He said having the school named after him was an honor, especially to have it named after him while he is still alive. During one of his space missions he spoke with students in Crown Point’s Lake Street Elementary School via ham radio. Ross said he comes back to Crown Point several times a year. His sister taught in the Crown Point school system and his parents lived in Crown Point.

Sportsplex manager: John Stroia Maintenance: Jeff Knesek Planning and Zoning 219-661-5039 Anthony Schleuter Administrative Assistant: Jenni Pause: 219-662-3239 Administrative Assistant: Chrissy Barron: 219-662-3239 Public Works 219-662-3252 Director Scott Rediger

Crown Point Police Department


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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

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HISTORY

Crown Point has rich history Solon and Mariah (Evans) Robinson came to the Crown Point area from LaPorte in 1834. By 1835, the small settlement had a population of 21. The first post office was later opened with Solon Robinson as the first post master. He called the Post Office “Lake Court House.” After Lake County was organized in 1837, a new building was built of hewn logs to house the county courthouse on the south side of what is now the courthouse square in downtown Crown Point. It became the temporary courthouse in 1838. Lake Court House, Liverpool and West Point were contenders for the designation as the county seat. Liverpool was named the county seat in 1839 by the county commissioners. The Lake County Historical Society reports that so many people were dissatisfied with this choice that the Indiana legislature stepped in and ordered the county seat to be relocated to Lake Court House. It became the permanent county seat in 1840. The log cabin courthouse was replaced around 1849 with a wood frame structure built on the north side of the courthouse square at a cost of $10,000. It housed the courtroom, sheriff ’s office and a basement jail. The Historical Society says this courthouse, by 1876, was “too small and out of character” for the growing community. A promi-

The old Lake County Sheriff’s house and jail nent Chicago architect, J.C.Cochran, designed the courthouse that still stands on the square today. The central portion of the building with a clock tower was begun in 1878 and designated in 1880. It cost $52,000. The hand kilned bricks came from the Henry Wise brickyard in Crown Point. As the county continued to grow, additions were added to the courthouse on both the north and south sides starting in 1907 and dedicated in 1909. These additions cost $160,000. By the early 1970s, the county had again outgrown its courthouse. Instead of adding onto the current Romanesque/Georgian style building, a new modern complex was built two miles north of the square. The old courthouse, dubbed the “Grand Old Lady” was set to be demolished for a parking lot. A group of concerned citizens formed a non-profit foundation to save the building from destruction. The foundation used the $70,000 the county had set aside for demolition as seed money to restore and save the building. It was added to the National Register of Historical Places on May 17, 1973. It now has shops, a restaurant and a museum inside. Historical happenings in Crown Point In the early 20th century, Crown Point was called a “marriage mill.” Justice of the Peace Howard Kemp advertised in Chicago, offering to marry couples any time of day or night, seven days a week. Silent film star Rudolph Valentino married Winifred DeWolfe in Crown Point by Judge Kemp on March 16, 1923. Word quickly spread around town the famous movie star was getting married, and a crowd quickly gathered. The newspaper, “Lake County Star” wrote the couple was given an “impromptu ovation” and was “showered with congratulations” as the wedding

Continued on page 25


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HISTORIC DOWNTOWN

Grand Old Lady is jewel in the crown The red bricked “Grand Old Lady,” dubbed the jewel in the crown of Crown Point is the center point for the city’s historic shopping district. The former Lake County Courthouse is now home to shops, a rental ballroom, a theater, offices and the Lake County Historical Museum. Around the courthouse square, visitors will find a variety of restaurants to choose from including Greek, Italian, Chinese and Mexican, as well as American cuisine. Several of these restaurants occupy restored buildings such as The Safe House, Cafe Fresca, SIP Coffee House and Artisan Cafe, The Zombie Club and the Registry, a bar and grill housed in what was Crown Point’s first newspaper, the Register. Noka’s is located in the Old Lake County Courthouse. Lucrezia’s Restorante occupies the historic Fifield Mansion. Other restaurants and bars on the courthouse square include Tavern on the Main, Martoni’s, Provecho Latin Provisions and Twelve Islands. In the Grand Old Lady, there are professional offices including the Lake County Courthouse Foundation. Not far off the square, the Sheriff’s House, built in 1882, is being restored. It was home to Lake County sheriffs for 76

consecutive years. The back portion of the building was the jail, from which John Dillinger escaped in 1934. The Old Homestead Preservation Project, a partnership between the City of Crown Point and the Old Homestead Preservation Society restored the Wellington A. Clark Homestead, which through their efforts has been listed on the National State Registers of Historic Places. The home was built in 1847.


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History contined from Pg. 23 party headed back to Chicago after the ceremony. Ronald Reagan married Jane Wyman in Crown Point. Muhammed Ali, Tom Mix and Joe and Kathryn Jackson, parents of the Jackson 5, and daughters, Janet and LaToya Jackson were also married there. The marriage mill continued until a new law was enacted in 1940 requiring blood tests before marriage requiring a three day waiting period. In 1909, the first major auto race was held in Crown Point. Named the Cobe Cup Race, it was held south of the courthouse and was a grueling 25 mile course from Crown Point to Lowell, with the first turn at the Lake County Fairgrounds. It was the forerunner of the Indianapolis 500. Louis Chevrolet, founder and creator of the Chevrolet Motor Co., took the first winner’s cup of the race. One of the most famous historical events occurred on March 3, 1934, when the infamous criminal John Dillinger escaped the Crown Point Jail where he was being held for the murder of an East Chicago police officer during a bank robbery.

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

LAKE COUNTY FAIR

Lake County Fair: Aug. 2 - 11

The First Fair The Lake County Agricultural Society was organized at the Court House in Crown Point on Aug. 27, 1851, Due to a lack of funds, no fair was held in the autumn of 1851. The first fair was held at the Court House Oct. 28, 1852. Sixty-nine entries were made, and 30 premiums awarded which amounted to $48, $10 was offered for the Best 10 Acres of Corn and $5 was offered for the second best. The fair was a success, though on a small scale. Prizes were given for the following: horses, cattle, sheep, swine, butter, cheese, tomato catsup, apples, squashes, beets, turnips, rutabagas, radishes and potatoes. The receipts of the fair were $91 and expenditures were $52.25. The balance in the treasury was $32.75.

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Lake County Fair 2019 In 2019, the fair will run from Aug. 2 - 11. Aug. 1-3: Martin Xtreme Racing begins at 6 p.m. in the grandstands. Aug. 2 - 11: Show Me Safari Pig Races run from 1 to 7 p.m. at the grassy area north of the Agriculture and Special Exhibits Buildings. This is a free event. Aug. 7: Truck and Tractor Pull begins at 7 p.m. in the grandstands Aug. 10 - 11: International Demolition Derby begins at 5 p.m. in the grandstands both days. The demolition derby includes compact and full size cars, vans, trucks and riding lawn mowers.

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CROWN POINT FACT BOOK

Profile for Rensselaer Republican Special Section

2019-20 Crown Point Fact Book  

A FREE guide to all things Crown Point, Indiana for 2019-20!

2019-20 Crown Point Fact Book  

A FREE guide to all things Crown Point, Indiana for 2019-20!

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