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Crown Point, Indiana

Crown Point is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was estimated 22,697 in July 2005. The city is the county seat of Lake County and was incorporated in 1868. On October 31, 1834, Solon Robinson and his family become first settlers to an area that later became Crown Point. Because of its location, Crown Point is known as the Hub of Lake County.

History

On October 31, 1834, Solon Robinson and his family become the first settlers to stake a claim in the area that will eventually become Crown Point. In February, 1837 Lake County is incorporated into a county with Liverpool, Indiana as the county seat. Later that year Solon Robinson funded a $500 project to build a new wooden county courthouse in Crown Point and thus Crown Point becomes the county seat. However it wasn't until 1868 that Crown Point was actually incorporated into a city. In 1878 construction began on a new more impressive county court house and clock tower. This new court house, known as the Grand Old Lady, was built in the center of town and would become the dominant feature of Crown Point (further additions to this courthouse would be made from 1907-1928). Campaigning for the presidency of the United States, William Jennings Bryan addressed a crowd from the steps of the court house in 1896. In 1897 a crowd of 4,000 gathered to watch a winning harness racing horse bred by noted Chicago theater manager Will J. Davis and his famous wife, contralto Jessie Bartlett Davis. The Davis' bred trotters and dogs at their Crown Point farm c.1885-1917 (Chicago Daily Tribune, Aug 8, 1897, pg 7). Crown Point was the site of the first Cobe Trophy automobile race, won by Louis Chevrolet in 1909. The Old Lake County Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and the new Lake County Government Center opened on the north side of the city the next year.

Because Crown Point had no waiting period for marriage licenses, the city became a popular place to get married and became known as the Marriage Mill. Many famous people came to Crown Point to be wed including Tom Mix, Rudolph Valentino, Cassius Clay, Jackson 5 patriarch Joseph Jackson. Certain online sources claim that Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman were married in Crown Point, including the website of current mayor David Uran. However, Reagan and Wyman were in fact married in Glendale, California, according to FOX News, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

On March 3, 1934, Crown Point etched its name forever in the history books as the infamous bank robber and FBI "Public Enemy #1" John Dillinger escaped from the "escape-proof" (as it was dubbed by local authorities at the time) Lake County Jail which was guarded by many police and national guardsmen. Dillinger apparently escaped using a hand-carved wooden gun blackened with shoe polish, although this was disputed by some witnesses. Dillinger further embarrassed the city, as well as then-42-year-old Sheriff Lillian Holley, by driving off in her brand new V-8 Ford. The press augmented her chagrin with such headlines as: "Slim woman, mother of twins, controlled Dillinger as sheriff." Incensed, Holley declared at the time, "If I ever see John Dillinger again, I'll shoot him dead with my own gun. Don't blame anyone else for this escape. Blame me. I have no political career ahead of me and I don't care." Furthermore, Sheriff Holley made certain the Dillinger name would have no standing in Crown Point up until her death in 1994 at 102. Due mainly to her efforts, there is no mention of the "Great Escape" to be found anywhere in the city, save for a brief mention on a National Register of Historic Places plaque outside the old Sheriff's house.

In March of 2008, Universal Studios, under the direction on Michael Mann, visited Crown Point to film parts of the upcoming movie Public Enemies at the former county jail facility from which Dillinger escaped. The crime drama is set during The Great Depression with the focus on the FBI agent Melvin Purvis' attempt to stop criminals John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd. Christian Bale will play FBI agent Purvis, and Johnny Depp will play Dillinger. The shoot took three days to complete and involved a number of scenes inside the former Sheriff's House and jail. There was a scene also constructed for filming of the exterior. Johnny Depp was on the set for all three days and stayed late into the evenings on each night to shake hands with hundreds of fans who stood for hours to see him and the film shoot. The movie is expected to be released in June of 2009.

Geography

Crown Point is located at (41.421703, -87.356066).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43.1 km²), of which, 16.6 square miles (43.0 km²) of it is land and 0.06% is water. The city lies on the Valparaiso Moraine, which is also the Eastern Continental Divide

Crown Point is situated approximately 35 miles southeast of Chicago's Loop.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 19,806 people, 7,824 households, and 5,359 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,191.7 people per square mile (460.1/km²). There were 8,166 housing units at an average density of 491.3/sq mi (189.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.32% White, 1.41% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.98% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.00% of the population. According to an estimate, from the city's new master plan, of a 2020 census, there is expected to be a population of 58,768 in Crown Point.

There were 7,824 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $52,889, and the median income for a family was $64,274. Males had a median income of $50,090 versus $26,669 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,568. About 2.1% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.

Schools

Public schools in Crown Point are administered by the Crown Point Community School Corporation:

  • Crown Point High School
  • Robert A. Taft Middle School
  • Col. John Wheeler Middle School
  • Timothy Ball Elementary School
  • Eisenhower Elementary School
  • Lake Street Elementary School
  • Solon Robinson Elementary School
  • Jerry Ross Elementary School (in Winfield)
  • Winfield Elementary School (in Winfield))
  • MacArthur Elementary School (in Cedar Lake)
  • Crossroads Alternative Achievement Center
  • The Crown Point Community School Corporation administers the public schools for the entire town of Winfield, Indiana. CPCSC has future plans in which more elementary schools will be built as well as a new middle/high school to be built in Winfield.

Private schools:

  • Pathway Christian School
  • Trinity Lutheran School
  • St. Mary School

Private Colleges:

Lake County Court House

The old Lake County Court House is prominently situated in the center of Crown Point, which is commonly referred to simply as the square. The first portion of the court house were erected in 1878, with portions being added on all the way up to 1928. Inside the "Grand Old Lady", there are gift shops, a restaurant, and a museum which is located on the second floor.

Fairgrounds

The Lake County Fairgrounds are located near the southern portion of Crown Point. The fairgrounds include historic brick exhibition buildings, tree covered hills, rambling walking paths, the county's only covered bridge (relocated from Rush County in 1933) and a historic grandstand near the swimming area in Fancher Lake

Events

The Lake County Fair, the largest county fair in the state of Indiana, is held on the fairgrounds each year in early August for 10 days. The Lake County Fair always boasts monster trucks, demolition derby, and an entire arena for horse shows.

The Corn Roast and the Taste of Crown Point, annual festivals featuring food and entertainment, are held downtown around the historic courthouse.

There are also parades held on Memorial Day and on the 4th of July.

Notable People from Crown Point

Notable Businesses in Crown Point

See also

References

External links

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