|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
County - Lake
Township - North
Settled - 1847
Incorporated - April 21, 1884
Named for - George H. Hammond
Area - 24.89 sq mi
Elevation - 577–610 ft
Population (2010) - 80,830
Located between the Grand Calumet River and Lake Michigan, Hammond, Indiana also borders the Little Calumet River and Lake George. I-90 bisects the city, which also has US 20, US 12, US 212 and US 41 pass through the city. Numerous rail lines criss-cross the city, connecting it with other cities in Indiana, Ohio and nearby Chicago. They also connect with the ports along Lake Michigan, offering access to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
German farmers began settling the area in 1847 to take advantage of the rich black topsoil that ranges from a few inches to several feet thick. The original soil also consisted of a layer of fine sand that has been mostly removed for construction and industrial purposes. The proximity of a vast supply of fresh water from Lake Michigan encouraged the development of industry in the area. In the 1870, George H. Hammond established a meat packing plant in the area. Hammond pioneered using refrigerated train cars to transport the meat his slaughterhouse produced all over the country. The plant grew, by the 1880's it slaughtered over 100,000 cattle a year.
As the settlement grew, largely because of Hammond's meat packing operation, the population became large enough to become incorporated. It did so on April 21, 1884, taking the name Hammond, to honor the area's largest employer.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning