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Calumet Regional Archives

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Directors Issue Library Personnel
Ronald D. Cohen NUMBER 27 Robert F. Moran, Director
James B. Lane Spring / Summer 1996 Stephen McShane, Archivist

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Broadway & 5th - 1906

Gary, Indiana:
"City of the Century"
Turns 90!

5th & Broadway, 1906

Broadway & 5th - 1923Gary City Seal
5th & Broadway, 1923

Happy 90th Birthday, Gary!

Portrait of Elbert H. Gary"It has been decided to construct and put into operation a new plant to be located on the south shore of Lake Michigan, in Calumet Township, Lake County, Indiana, and a large acreage of land has been purchased for that purpose... "
With these words, Elbert H. Gary, Chairman of the Board, United States Steel Corporation, initiated what contemporaries called "the industrial wonder of the world." U.S. Steel's Gary Works was, indeed, a monumental achievement. Along with building the world's largest integrated steelmaking complex, the Corporation also saw an opportunity to build a model company-built town. Thirty-seven local residents approved a petition to incorporate the Town of Gary on July 14, 1906. Two years and $42,000,000 later, Gary became known as the "Magic City" and the "City of the Century". By 1910, the city's population surpassed 16,000 persons.

Judge Elbert H. Gary

The Calumet Regional Archives wishes to commemorate this historic ninetieth anniversary by highlighting some of its archival and manuscript collections dealing with Gary's past. While the Archives has preserved a number of collections documenting Gary's history, readers may find the following collections of particular interest. For more information, or a complete list of the Archives' holdings, contact archivist Steve McShane at 219-980-6628.

City of Gary Collection
CRA 010 16.00 Linear Feet

Town Board in boat in Sewers, 1908This collection comprises city annual reports and various planning documents, pamphlets from community organizations and businesses, photographs, scrapbooks, promotional pamphlets, programs, maps, postcards, and a variety of other printed materials. The records offer information on churches, schools, commerce, urban renewal, economic development, ethnic groups, and other topics related to Gary's development since 1906.

Town Board Inspecting Sewers, August 12, 1908

Gary Artists' League Records
CRA 247 3.25 Linear Feet

Gary Artists' League PosterThese records provide information on one of the many arts organizations appearing in the city over the years. Minutes, newsletters, exhibit programs, and other materials detail the work of the League from 1953 to 1987.

Clifford E. Minton Papers
CRA 160 3.25 Linear Feet

Gary Urban League Annual Report, 1959Clifford E. Minton served as the executive director of the Gary Urban League during a crucial period of civil rights activity. These papers include correspondence, minutes, reports, photographs, speeches, addresses, and printed material documenting the problems, concerns, and actions of the Gary Urban League to ensure the social and economic equality of minorities in northwest Indiana.

Gary Urban Leage Annual Report, 1959

U.S. Steel Photograph Collection
CRA 042 32.00 Linear Feet

Furnaces and Stoves, 1907An invaluable collection of glass plate negatives and photographs donated by U.S. Steel, these images portray numerous structures of Gary Works, production processes, and construction of the mill and the downtown areas. In addition, the photographs capture workers, residents, houses and panoramic views of the city. This collection offers a significant visual record of the establishment and history of Gary, particularly from 1906 to the 1920s.

Furnaces and Stoves, 1907

City Methodist Church Records
CRA 020 3.00 Linear Feet

City Methodist ChurchPastor biographical files, building records, newsclippings, membership data, correspondence, photographs, and bulletins offer information on one of the oldest congregations in Gary's history. In addition, a series of subject files covers topics such as the Gary Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Indiana Council of Churches, and the Downtown Community Council.

City Methodist Church

William A. and Mildred H. Wirt Papers
CRA 101 25.00 Linear Feet

Froebel School Students, 1913The William A. and Mildred H. Wirt Papers document the history of the Gary school system from 1907 to 1962. Record series include correspondence, personal and financial records, Wirt writings, Gary schools reports, photographs, and printed materials. The collection details the activities and views of two well-known Gary educators and the history of education in the first half of the twentieth century.

Froebel School Students, 1913

Methodist Hospital School of Nursing Records
CRA 065 2.25 Linear Feet

Student Nurses, 1962The history of school of nursing is recorded in class rosters, alumni records, catalogs, brochures, programs, yearbooks, newsclippings, and photographs. In addition, the collection includes material relating to Methodist Hospital.

Student Nurses, 1962

John Mayerik Papers
CRA 168 0.75 Linear Feet

USWA Local 1014 Softball Team, 1956This collection of clippings, photographs, campaign materials, and printed items provides significant information on the early history of Steel Workers Organizing Committee and the United Steelworkers of America at Gary Works.

USWA Local 1014 Softball Team, 1956

Abe Morales Papers
CRA 260 0.75 Linear Feet

Gary Latin American Democrats PosterLong-time resident Abe Morales donated correspondence, programs, yearbooks, newsclippings and other papers relating to the history of Latinos in the Steel City. Of special interest are items from the Sociedad Mutualista Mexico and the Gary Latin American Democrats.

Paul Dremeley Papers
CRA 310 5.75 Linear Feet

Sketch of Mill ScenePaulo Dremelj immigrated to Gary in 1910 at the age of 4 and settled in the ethnic neighborhood of 22nd and Washington in the Steel City. Recording his live in diaries, memoirs, and photographs, his collection offers a valuable glimpse into the life and times of an immigrant steelworker in Gary during the twentieth century.

Mill Scene Sketched by Paul Dremeley

Lotte Meyerson Papers
CRA 303 11.00 Linear Feet

Poster advertising a Hunger ConferenceA well-known and active member of the Miller community, Lotte Meyerson has placed her files dealing with social welfare, pollution, poor relief, community development, and other subjects in the Archives. Records from the League of Women Voters, Northwest Indiana Welfare Coalition, and other organizations are preserved in the collection.