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TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
Some facts about the Tri Towns The Tri-Town area of Northwest Indiana includes the cities of Dyer, St. John, and Schererville. All three are in St. John Township in Lake County.
DYER • The Town of Dyer boasted an estimated population of 16,051 in 2015. • The town was founded in 1855 and incorporated in 1910. • The median household income as of 2015 was $79,708. • The most common industries for male workers is in manufacturing, which provides jobs to 22 percent of the male workforce within Dyer. For women, the most common industry for employment is health care and social assistance. • The most common occupations for males in Dyer is electrical equipment mechanics. For females, the most common
occupation is secretaries and administrative assistants. • The town has a total area of 6.10 square miles. • In 2015 , Dyer was ranked #15 in the State of Indiana as “The Best Place for Young Families” by Nerd Wallet. Additionally in 2015, the Town of Dyer was ranked as the ninth Safest City in Indiana by SafeWise. • Dyer has access to daily rail service through Amtrak’s Cardinal and Hoosier State lines.
ST. JOHN • The Town of St. John boasted a population of 16,495 in 2015. • The town was founded in 1837. • The median household income as of 2015 was $95,777. • The most common industries for male workers is in manufacturing, which provides jobs to 19 percent of the male work-
force within St. John. For women, the most common industry for employment is health care and social assistance. • The most common occupations for males in St. John is electrical equipment mechanics. For females, the most common occupations are secretaries and administrative assistants. • The town has a total area of 11.48 square miles. • In 2016 the Town of St. John was named the fourth safest place to live in Indiana and first place in Lake County. In 2015 NerdWallet awarded the Town of St. John the 17th best city in Indiana for young families.
SCHERERVILLE • The Town of Schererville boasted a population of 28,791 as of 2015. • The town was founded in
Chambers boost local business, events
1866 and incorporated in 1911. In 2016, the town celebrates its 150th year along with Indiana’s Often, a town’s business cli200th year in statehood. mate can be gauged by the • The median household instrength and involvement of its come in 2015 was $65,661. chamber of commerce. Local • The most common induschambers play a vital role in givtries for male workers is in maning business owners large and ufacturing, which provides jobs small an organization in which to 26 percent of the male workto — among many other beneforce within Schererville. For fits — network, get business and women, the most common inpersonal referrals, take advandustry for employment is tage of promotional advertising healthcare and social assisand seminars, and sometimes tance. influence public policy by being • The town has a total area of part of an organized, united 14.76 square miles. voice that often has the ear of • Schererville has long been elected town officials. associated with crossroads. EarBeing actively involved in the ly Indian trails met there and community and with your peers would become routes for westin commerce pays off in the long ward expansion by settlers. run, and promotes a healthy and • In 2007, Schererville was vital place for people to live and named one of the “100 Best Placshop.
es to Live in the U.S.” by Money Magazine.
1 Town Sq. Dyer, IN 46311 Phone: 219-865-1045 dyerchamberofcommerce.com
9495 Keilman St. #10 St. John, IN 46373 Phone: 219-365-4686 stjohnchamber.com
The Dyer Chamber of Commerce was established in 1971. Monthly membership meetings are usually a luncheon with a guest speaker. The Dyer Chamber is involved in many popular town events and they spend time and energy supporting the town. They sponsor or are involved in annual events including pictures with the Easter bunny, Mothers Day breakfast, and the Dyer Hometown Celebration. The Chamber’s goals are to market the chamber events in the media, increase awareness of the chamber and increase membership.
The St. John Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1961. Its mission is to cultivate an economic climate that is promotes the growth and development of the business community. The Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis prior to the general membership meeting. The chamber organizes and participates in many programs and town events, such as the St. John Corn Roast (with Tri-Town Rotary), breakfast with Santa in December, town concerts; and the Business to Consumer Expo. The Town of St. John also promotes a Christmas in the Park/
Festival of Lights event during the holiday season.
SCHERERVILLE Address: 122 E. Joliet St. Schererville, IN 46375 Phone: 219-322-5412 scherervillechamber.org
The Schererville Chamber of Commerce was originally formed in 1962 as the Business Men’s Association, which would evolve as the chamber. It helps promote business and economic development and enhance the leadership and future of the community. The chamber helps in organizing and promoting town events, such as the Celebrate Schererville Festival in Redar Park, the Annual Corn Roast, the Redar Park Market, and the Farm to Table event.
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TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
DYER Town Hall: 1 Town Sq. 219-865-6108 townofdyer.net/edc
Town Council The Dyer Town Council meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at town hall. A study session of the council meets on the fourth Thursday at 6 p.m. There are five council members, each representing a ward of the city. The council president is Jeff Dekker, Ward 2. Term: Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2018 Vice President is Joe Cinko, Ward 1. Term: Jan. 1, 2016 to PHOTO: SCOTT BUCKNER Dec. 31, 2019.
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Other Council members are Cathy J. Lareau (Ward 3, Term: Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2019), Mary Tanis (Ward 4, Term: Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2018), and Debbie Astor (Ward 5, Term: Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2018). The Dyer Town Clerk/Treasurer is Pat Hawrot (Term: Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2019).
Town Boards Water Board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the main meeting
room at town hall. Sanitary Board meets on the last Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the main meeting room at town hall. Storm Water Board meets on the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. in the main meeting room at town hall. Parks and Recreation Board meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the main meeting room at town hall. Board of Zoning Appeals meets on the first Monday of
each month at 7 p.m. in the main meeting room at town hall. Plan Commission meets on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the main meeting room at town hall. Redevelopment Commission meets on the second Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. in the main meeting room at town hall. Police Commission meets the third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Dyer Police Station.
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
SCHERERVILLE Town Hall: 10 E. Joliet St. 219-322-2211 schererville.org GUETZLOFF
Town Council Schererville is led by a fivemember council and a council president. The Schererville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at town hall, 10 E. Joliet St. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings. The council is led by President Rob Guetzloff councilman for Ward 3, and Vice President Mike Troxell, councilman for Ward 5. Other members are David DeJong (Ward 1), Kevin Connelly (Ward 2) and Tom Schmitt (Ward 4). Town Manager is Robert VolkPHOTO: SCOTT BUCKNER
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mann. Clerk/Treasurer is Janice Malinowski. Her office is located within town hall and is open each weekday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 :30 p.m. except Wednesday, when it is open until 6 p.m. Call 219-322-2211.
Town Departments The Schererville Parks and Recreation Department was formed in 1989. Since then, it has developed into a department that operates and manages over 260 acres of land in 26 parks, including playgrounds, sports fields
and courts, picnic shelters, and paved trails. The department also offers summer youth programs to providing a variety of recreational and leisure activities throughout the year for people of all ages. In addition to its numerous programs, the department sponsors and conducts special events, such as the Celebrate Schererville Festival, Movies in the Park, and the Country A-Fair. The Schererville Police Department is led by Police Chief David A. Dowling. The department is located at 25 E. Joliet
Street. The Schererville Fire Department has 16 full-time and 30 parttime employees. All members go through physical agility testing to work for the department. The department is led by Fire Chief Robert Patterson. The department can be reached by calling 219-322-2599 Ext. 5303 (non-emergency). The Department of Public Works is located at 540 Kaeser Blvd. and can be reached at 219322-6688 or 219-322-5486. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
St. John is managed by a town manager and a town council. Town Hall: 10955 W. 93rd Ave. The council meets at 7 p.m. at 219-365-6465 the town hall on the fourth Thursday of every month. In stjohnin.com November and December, meetings are held on the third Thursday. The council may also hold public hearings on subdivision, zoning, special use, and master land use plan proposals. Council members are elected to four-year terms, which are staggered so that four of the five seats are filled by elections every four years. Elections for town council are held in the second Tuesday in November. The town council appoints several boards and commissions as well as various advisory committees and task forces which are created from time to time. The current members of the town council are President Christian J Jorgensen, Vice-
President Mark Barenie, and members Michael S. Forbes, Stephen Hastings, and Gregory J. Volk. You can email town council members directly via online links at stjohnin.com/Town/ TownCouncil.php. Steve Kil is St. Johnâ€™s town manager. His office can be reached at (219) 365-6465 or email via a direct online link at stjohnin.com/Town/TownManager. php. The town manager is also responsible for the preparation and administration of the annual town budget, all human resource functions, to provide professional advice to the town council, serve as the administrative head of town government, and oversee the communityâ€™s projects. Clerk Treasurer is Beth Hernandez. This office assists the public with public record copies, traffic violations, animal licensing, park rentals, and
building/occupancy permits. They also give information on public records, voter registration, and meeting schedules. This is also where the town utility bills are generated and processed. Phone number for her office is 219-365-4800 option 4.
Town Departments & Boards Superintendent of Parks and Recreation is Chip Sobek. This department is responsible for providing clean parks and trails, and quality playground equipment. You can find a link to town parks, park rules, pavilion registration forms, listing of park programs and events, and local club sports teams at stjohnin.com/Parks. The Public Works Department is responsible for snow and ice removal, leaf and branch pick up, curb and sidewalk repair, maintenance of water mains, valves, fire hydrants,
and water meters, and street sign and street light installment and maintenance. The Board of Zoning Appeals meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at town hall. The Plan Commission meets the third Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Economic Development Commission meets on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Park Board meets the fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Police Commission meets the fourth Monday at 6 p.m. The Redevelopment Commission meets the second Thursday at 7 p.m. The Sanitary District and Waterworks boards meet on the fourth Thursday at 6 p.m.
PHOTO: SCOTT BUCKNER
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TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
Plenty of places to play in 3 towns DYER Central Park at 942-213th St. offers two multi-purpose ball fields and larger baseball field and playground equipment over 77 acres. A 3-acre dog park is also featured. Elmer Miller Park and Plum Creek Center at 222 Schulte St. features a basketball court and an open pavilion on 4 acres. Northgate Park at Calumet Ave. at Harrison Place offers 23.9 acres of recreation, including an open masonry pavilion, four ball diamonds, two tennis courts, two horseshoe pits, playground equipment, soccer fields, a sledding hill, a sand volleyball court and two grass volleyball courts. Pheasant Hills Park at Hart Street at Park Manor Dr. offers 32 acres and includes a skate park, an open frame pavilion, a
tennis court, two ball diamonds, two horseshoe pits, a playground, soccer fields and a grass volleyball court. Mallard Cove Park has 14 acres with soccer fields.
SCHERERVILLE Fox Wood South at 7500 Starling Dr. includes tennis courts, sand volleyball court and playground. Plum Creek Park at 300 Plum Creek Dr. features basketball and sand volleyball courts, shelter, softball and soccer fields, tennis courts and walking trail. Rohrman Park at 6750 Rohrman Rd. spreads 46 acres and features a playground, soccer fields two lighted softball fields, a lighted baseball field, concession building and an outdoor ice rink. Redar Park at Austin and St.
Gregory Sts. has a playground, shelter, softball field, baseball fields, a sand volleyball court and an outdoor ice rink. Stephen Park, 7600 Lindwood Park, has 20 acres with an ice rink, soccer fields, a sand volleyball court, playground and a walking trail.
ST. JOHN Civic Park at 9401 Civic Dr. offers playground equipment, two pavilions for gatherings, picnic tables, BBQ grills, a basketball court, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, three baseball fields, a concession stand and a tennis court. Heartland Park at 19600 White Oak Ave. offers playground equipment, a Babe Ruth field, five softball fields, four more baseball fields, six sand volleyball courts and three concession
stands. Heron Lake Park at 11960 Osage Dr. has a splash pad and a sledding hill as well as a playground and picnic tables. Homestead Village at 9921 Olcott offers playground equipment, a walking/bike trail, pavilion and picnic tables. Lake Hills at 8640 Lake Hills Dr. offers a fishing pier on a lake, an amphitheater, playground St. John is served mostly by equipment, walking/bike trailthe Lake Central School Corpoand picnic tables. ration (north of 101st Ave and Lancer Park at 8900 Schaefferwest of Cline Ave), the Hanover Drive has a pavilion to go withCommunity School Corporation a climber wall, playground(south of 101st Ave and west of equipment and picnic tables. Cline Ave), and the Crown Point Both Larimer Park at 9375Community School Corporation Woodland Dr. and Sunmeadows(south of 101st Ave and east of Park at 13200 Snowberry Ln. of-Cline Ave). Three of the 10 Lake fer ponds and playground equip-Central schools are located in ment and picnic tables. LarimerSt. John. These include Lake also includes a basketball court.Central High School, Kolling Elementary School, and Clark
Public, parochial schools thriving Middle School In addition to public schools, the community is home to Crown Point Christian School, an evangelical school headed by a parent-owned association, and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School, a Roman Catholic school. Dyer is served by the Lake Central School Corporation. Public high school students living in Dyer are served by Lake Central High School located out-
Schererville is served by the Lake Central School Corporation. Its three public school are Homan Elementary School, 210 E Joliet St.; Michael Grimmer Middle School, 225 W. 77th Ave.; and Peifer Elementary School, 1824 Cline Ave. It is also home to two Christian schools: Hammond Baptist High School, 134 W. Joliet St., and St. Michael Elementary School, 16 W. Wilhelm St.
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side the town limits on Route 41 in St. John. Three of the system’s schools are located within Dyer town limits: Kahler Middle School, on Route 30 west of Hart Street, Protsman Elementary, located north of 213th Street, and Bibich elementary, located just off of 81st street. It is also the home of Protestant Reformed Christian School (PRCS), a Christian school started by members of the Protestant Reformed Churches.
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TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
ROOTS PHOTO/GRAPHIC: SCOTT BUCKNER
lthough the face of St.in the store and formed a part- ter designation as “a two story John has changed con-nership with George F. Gerlach. gable-front, side hall, balloon siderably in the pastThis continued until 1885, when framed, weatherboard clad, resfew decades, one placethe partnership was dissolved. idential structure with ltalianate has remained virtuallyGerlach withdrew to establish details.” It has a two-story addicompletely unchanged: the homehis own store, and Keilman con- tion attached to the original strucof pioneer St. John merchanttinued to operate the business ture’s rear, or west, elevation someFrancis P. Keilman. The housealone. A contemporary described time around 1900. The newer rear on Patterson Street, which sitsthe store as having a fine gener- section is complimentary to the just yards from a Walgreen’s onal stock valued at $10,000. At one original house, constructed in the the corner of of Wicker Avenuetime, Kielmann had the reputa- same method as the older portion, (U.S. 41) and 93rd Avenue, wastion of being the longest-estab- but with no decorative ltalianate added in 2013 to the Nationallished merchant in Lake County. attributes. Both sections of the Register of Historic Places. A local historian once wrote house sit on a fieldstone foundaKeilman was born in Hess,of him: “He and the family of tion and with the rear three-quarDarmstadt, Germany, on Nov. 25,which he is a member of have ters being a walk-in basement. Two 1831 and came to America withbeen identified with Lake Coun- farm buildings add to the rural setis parents in 1840. His father Hen-ty and St. John since pioneer ting of the property.: a wood frame ry, first settled in Portage Coun-times, and their enterprises and stable, built sometime around 1890. ty, Ohio, but came to Lake Coun-personal influence have always The only more-modern additions ty in 1844, when he establishedbeen reckoned as important fac- are a garage addition and a wood a farm in St. John Township. Hetors in the various affairs of the frame rabbit hutch, both built continued to live there until hiscounty.” sometime around 1940. death at age 85. Francis and Margaret Keil“Today ,the structure’s setting Keilman’s mother died at theman built the house sometime is still very rural in its appearance early age 38 while the family stillaround 1857. It is described in its even though it is located a short lived in Ohio. One of the sevenapplication for National Regis- distance northwest of the busy children, Francis left Ohio when he was 11 years old to live with his older brother Henry in Chicago. Here he attended school until his parents moved to St. John Township, and he rejoined them there. Two years later, however, in 1846, he returned to Chicago and clerked in a store where he first gained a grounding in shopkeeping. In 1859 he came back to St. John and clerked in a general merchandise store which his brother Henry had established. Some time later, the 24th Annual Doll & Friends Doll Show brothers became partners in the business, which then operated under the name of Henry and w/Coupon F.P. Keilman. Sponsored by Valparaiso Named postmaster in 1856, Doll & F riends Club Francis continued to hold this post until 1885. Married in 1857 ADMISSION: $6.00 to Margaret Schaefer, also a na60 or more vendors tive of Germany, the couple in LARGEST SHOW IN NW INDIANA Free appraisal of one item subsequent years had nine chilfor anyone attending dren: Susan, Francis B., John, Contact: Vera Johnson, William F., Elizabeth, Margaret, 219.476.7384 George, Lena, and Peter. After the Civil War in 1865, Keilman Note: Proceeds Benefit Local, Regional & National Charities bought out his brother’s interest
intersection of U.S. 41 and 93rd Street in St. John,” states the National Register application. “Even with the house sitting near this busy intersection and its surrounding commercial establish-
ments, it still reflects its original historic appearance. … Both the pristine condition of the house and its open setting assist in the retention of the structure’s historic integrity.”
Entrance to the Keilman house in 2012.
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TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
ROOTS By 1853, Nicholas began working for the State of Indiana, eventually becoming a swampland commissioner, administererville area, the town adopteding lands under the federal the slogan “Crossroads of theSwamp Land Act of 1850. Two Nation.” Many Indian (mostlyyears later, the Chicago Great Potawatomi ) trails in Scher-Eastern Ohio (Panhandle) Railerville connected with the Saukroad contracted with him to Trail, the major east-west thor-build railroad beds between oughfare between Indiana andRichmond, Ind., and Chicago. Many pioneering families Illinois. The first American settlersaround a young Schererville arrived around 1840. In 1846, onestruggled for survival. “The of those settlers was Nicholastales of men who had frozen Scherer — for whom the town isalong the road back East when named — emigrated from Ger-they were attempting to secure many and arrived in what wouldfood for their families in the winbecome St. John, near the Johnters were numerous … epidemReeder farm. Because the firstics of diphtheria and scarlet ferailroad station was located onver nearly wiped out whole the Reeder farm, the area be-families…” came known as Reeder Station. Nicholas Scherer, a deterScherer’s brother Mathias soonmined planner, is reported to joined him, and they opened ahave been a “determined and saloon and hotel in what wouldindustrious man who someeventually become St. John intimes gambled on an idea that his neighbors thought was sheer 1849. Continued on next pagefolly.”
Tri-Town’s roots run deep and long corded in February 1859. He established an 8,000-acre farm roughly around the time of the Civil War, and named the farm Hartsdale. He and his wife Martha (Dyer) Hart built a 15-room mansion on Joliet Street, which is U.S. 30 (Lincoln Highway) in Dyer. The town would eventually be named after Martha Hart. Hart was known for his system for turning swampland into tillable and fertile farmland. Hart, called a “wizard in land speculation,” contemplated the possibility of draining the land known as Cady Marsh. Mr. Hart designed a “fantastic drainage system” later named Hart Ditch. This ditch carried water to Plum Creek near Dyer and then into the Little Calumet River. He also built wagon roads along each side of the ditch. Hart also su-
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pervised construction of roads. Hart Street, a main north-south road through town, is named after him. By 1865, Hart had reclaimed the swamp. He set up hay presses and shipped hay from Schererville after the arrival of the Chicago Great Eastern Ohio Panhandle Railroad, which later became known as the Pennsylvania Railroad and then Conrail. On Jan. 12, 1883, while overseeing the digging of a drainage ditch near Plum Creek, the ditch bank collapsed, crushing him. He was buried in the Maplewood Cemetery in Crown Point. At the time of his death, he owned 17,000 acres in Lake County. ••• Because of the convergence of Indian trails, railroads, and major highways in the Scher-
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prosperous community. Tall, dignified and patriarchal in manner, Hack was born in 1787 in a Rhine province that some time before has passed from French to Prussian control. Upon his arrival locally, he and his family immediately settled on a 40-acre piece of land approximately a half-mile east of present U.S. 41 and south of Joliet Street. The land was purchased from the Department of the Interior, and the deed, which still exists, bore the signature of President John Tyler. Hack’s name was carried on the deed as “John Hawk,” a misspelling later corrected when he made his second land purchase in 1844. This second purchase was bounded roughly by 93rd Street, Olcott Avenue, Forrest Street and U.S. 41. In 1842, Hack constructed a peach brandy distillery. It had to be — if not the first — one of the earliest businesses established in the community.
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Five years after the Indian Peace Treaty in 1832, German immigrant farmer John Hack and his family arrived in the area now known as St. John. After the land in Northwest Indiana was surveyed, the government had opened the land up to settlers at a low cost. However, most local history accounts of Lake County do not share much historical information on the town of St. John in the pioneer days. However, it is generally agreed that the Town of St. John had its beginning when John Hack, a German immigrant farmer, and his family of 11 children and wife Johanna arrived in 1837 in the area then known as Western prairie or Prairie West. Reputedly a man of far-sighted vision and considerable leadership ability, Hack welcomed other immigrants from his native land who settled nearby shortly after his arrival and foresaw the establishment of a flourishing and
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During the 1800s, Lake County, Indiana was still considered a Western Prairie. It was said that only a handful of settlers were settled in the Crown Point area and Native Americans occupied the banks of the Kankakee and Calumet rivers. It was in 1832 when the United States purchased the Northwest Indiana region from the Indians and in 1834, government surveyors arrived and surveyed the land into areas and townships. The town of Dyer was incorporated in 1910, but was founded earlier, in 1855. Aaron Norton Hart, a settler from Philadelphia, began purchasing thousands of acres of land in Lake County, mainly in St. John Township and the towns of Dyer and Schererville. His addition to Dyer was re-
In 1866 Nicholas Scherer platted the Town of Schererville on 40 acres of land purchased from Dyer swampland mogul Aaron N. Hart. About 25 families constituted the population, the majority German Catholics. Other railroads crossed the new town, including the New York Central and the Michigan Central. Schererville boasted a public school, blacksmith shop, dairy, general store, grain elevator, icehouse, and cigar factory. In 1874, St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church opened on land donated by Scherer. The first rail lines were laid across the main road (now Joliet Street) at the point where the town of Schererville celebrated its centennial, commemorating the town that Nicholas Scherer envisioned at the point of this early “crossroads” in 1866, when only 25 families had settled. •••
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TRI-TOWN FACT BOOK
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CA$H FOR GOLD & SILVER Jewelry / Scrap • New • Used • Estate • Flatware • Coins Collectibles • War Relics • Schwinn Bikes • Old Toys • Trains • Coca-Cola Merchandise Musical Instruments • Guitars • Horns • Amplifiers • Drums • Vintage
(219) 365-7296 8167 Wicker Ave. (US 41) • St. John, IN Just North of Lake Central High School
Your FREE guide to all things regarding Dyer, St. John and Schererville, Indiana in 2018.