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Crown Point, Indiana

City of Crown Point, Indiana
Lake County courthouse in Crown Point
Lake County courthouse in Crown Point
Nickname(s): Hub of Lake County
Location in the state of Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Country United States
State Indiana
County Lake
Township Center and Ross
 • Mayor David F. Uran (D)
 • Total 17.73 sq mi (45.92 km2)
 • Land 17.71 sq mi (45.87 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation 732 ft (223 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 27,317
 • Estimate (2013[3]) 28,412
 • Density 1,542.5/sq mi (595.6/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 46307-46308
Area code 219
FIPS code 18-16138[4]
GNIS feature ID 0449644[5]

Crown Point is a city in and the county seat of Lake County, Indiana, United States.[6] The population was 27,317 at the 2010 census. The city was incorporated in 1868. On October 31, 1834, Solon Robinson and his family became the first settlers to an area that later became Crown Point. Because of its location, Crown Point is known as the "Hub of Lake County".

The city is surrounded by Merrillville to the north, Winfield to the east, Cedar Lake to the southwest, St. John to the west, and unincorporated Schererville to the northwest. The southern and southeastern parts of Crown Point border some unincorporated areas of Lake County.


  • History 1
    • Gangster era 1.1
    • Public Enemies (film) 1.2
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Government 4
  • Schools 5
  • Transportation 6
  • Lake County Court House 7
  • Lake County Fairgrounds 8
  • Events 9
  • Notable people 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


On October 31, 1834, Solon Robinson and his family became the first settlers to stake a claim in the area that would eventually become Crown Point.[7] In February 1837, Lake County was incorporated, with Liverpool, Indiana, as the county seat. Later that year, Solon Robinson funded a US$500 project to build a new wooden county courthouse in Crown Point, and thus Crown Point became 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, and Jackson 5 patriarch Joseph Jackson. Certain online sources claim that Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman were married in Crown Point,[8] including the website of current mayor David Uran.[9] However, Reagan and Wyman were in fact married in Glendale, California, according to Fox News,[10] the Washington Post,[11] and the Los Angeles Times.[12]

Gangster era

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, 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.

Public Enemies (film)

In March 2008, Universal Studios, under the direction of Michael Mann, visited Crown Point to film parts of the 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 plays FBI agent Purvis, and Johnny Depp plays Dillinger. Actress Lili Taylor portrayed Sheriff Holley in the film. 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.[13] The movie was released in June 2009.


Crown Point lies on the Valparaiso Moraine.

According to the 2010 census, Crown Point has a total area of 17.725 square miles (45.91 km2), of which 17.71 square miles (45.87 km2) (or 99.92%) is land and 0.015 square miles (0.04 km2) (or 0.08%) is water.[1]

Crown Point is situated approximately 40 miles southeast of Chicago's Loop.


As of 2013, the estimated population of the city is 27,904 people. The estimated racial makeup of the city was 85.9% White, 8.0% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 2.6% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were estimated to be 6.2% of the population.[15]

The estimated median income for a household in the city in 2013 was $63,121 while the mean income for a household in the town was $78,090. Additionally, the median income for a family was $75,112 and the mean income for a family was $90,507. The estimated per capita income for the town was $31,177. About 4.3% of families and 7.0% of the population were estimated to be below the poverty line.[16]

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 27,317 people, 10,394 households, and 7,001 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,542.5 inhabitants per square mile (595.6/km2). There were 10,976 housing units at an average density of 619.8 per square mile (239.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.2% White, 6.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 1.9% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.1% of the population.

There were 10,394 households of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.6% were non-families. 27.5% 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.

The median age in the city was 39.6 years. 21.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.9% were from 45 to 64; and 16.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] 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.

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.


The government consists of a mayor and a city council. The mayor, currently David Uran, is elected in citywide vote. The city council consists of seven members. Five are elected from individual districts. Two are elected at-large.


Crown Point residents who live in Center Township are served by the Crown Point Community School Corporation. Residents who live in Ross Township are served by the Merrillville Community School Corporation.

Public schools in Crown Point are administered by the Crown Point Community School Corporation:[17]

  • Crown Point High School
  • Robert A. Taft Middle School
  • Colonel 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 Center and Winfield Townships.

Private schools:

  • Pathway Christian School
  • Trinity Lutheran School
  • St. Mary Catholic Community School
  • Avicenna Academy[18]

Private Colleges:

Rivals of Crown Point High School include Merrillville High School, Portage High School, Valparaiso High School, Lake Central High School, Lowell High School, and Hanover Central High School.


Gary Public Transportation Corporation provides bus service along the 93rd Avenue corridor; however, there are plans to expand bus service within the city along the Broadway corridor from 93rd Avenue to the north terminating at US-231 to the south. These plans are known as the "Livable Broadway Plan" that aims to allow easy travel by public transportation between Gary, Merrillville, and Crown Point and to encourage transit-oriented development at each hub.[19]

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 was erected in 1878,[20] 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.

Lake County 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 and a historic grandstand near the swimming area at Fancher Lake. The Crown Point Bridge, an 85-foot, single span Burr Arch Truss bridge, is the county's only covered bridge. It was originally built in 1878 near Milroy in Rush County and relocated to the northwest area of the fairgrounds over a gully in 1933.


The Lake County Fair, the 2nd-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.

Foodstock Benefit Concert is an annual concert held in May that benefits the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. The concert is organized by Crown Point High School students and features an array of musical styles from both student and faculty bands. The concert is held at On the Square Sports Academy. Bands such as Asteria, Top Hat Tuesday, The Sunshine Killaz, Freedom 129, Hip-Hoptimus Prime and the MotherFunkers, Doug Norris/Performance First, and The Administrators are a few acts that have headlined past concerts.

There are also parades held on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and St. Patrick's Day.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ Crown Point Network,Crown Point Indian History (last accessed 31 Aug 2006)
  8. ^ "Crown Point Indiana History". Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Crown Point - A Historic and Developing Community - David Uran For Mayor, Crown Point, IN
  10. ^ "Oscar-Winner Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan's First Wife, Dead at 93". Fox News. September 10, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Actor, Governor, President, Icon". The Washington Post. June 6, 2004. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  12. ^ Oliver, Marilyn. (March 31, 1988). "Locations Range From the Exotic to the Pristine". The Los Angeles Times. 
  13. ^ Woulfe, Molly. "Johnny Depp". NWI Times. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ CPCSC Schools
  18. ^ Avicenna Academy. "Avicenna Academy". Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Livable Broadway". Livable Broadway. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Counts, I.W. (1991). The Magnificent 92 Indiana Courthouses. Bloomington, Ind.: Rosebud Press.  

External links

  • City of Crown Point, Indiana website
  • Crown Point Community Website
  • Crown Point Community School Corporation
  • Crown Point,In. Police Department
  • Greater Crown Point Chamber of Commerce
  • Lake County Fair
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