A: From the pioneer days to the 1900's it was a happy custom to celebrate after a marriage. The whole community (or small groups of close friends) would give newlyweds a rousing welcome at their new home as future homemakers. The noisy group would visit the home late in the evening to serenade the young couples with all kinds of noise, including cracking of whips, gunshots, tin-pan drums, bells, then began the pleasant party with refreshments. The young husband was usually prepared with plenty of cigars and candy to give to his sudden guests, who often stayed for hours.
Q: Were civilian posses used in the Lowell area in the pioneer days?
A: Vigilantes or posses were often very busy in those early days as well as in the 1930's Early south county pioneer John L. Worley (1820-1902), who settled near the Kankakee marsh, was one of the founders of the Horse Detective Association, and was elected captain. The group rode hard and long to disperse and break up the many lawless gangs that lived in the marshes.
According to an item in the paper during the depression of the 1930's, a meeting was called to reorganize the group, needed again to curtail horse and chicken thieves.
Q: Was there ever a town called West Point in Lake County?
A: In 1836 Benjamin McCarty, who pioneered in three northwest Indiana counties, planned and mapped a town by that name near the present area of 133rd Avenue and Morse Street in Cedar Lake (Coleman's Corner). His plan or "dream" was to have his new village become the county seat, but Crown Point was picked instead, due to the central location. His dream town never became a reality, no lots were sold and no development made. For many decades the big Kennedy Hotel stood high on a hill near the present site of large modern buildings and near a pioneer burial ground known as the "West Point Cemetery." The hotel was demolished by fire, the burial ground was moved, and the hill was bulldozed for the new development.
Q: While sitting in front of a little restaurant, Nellie Jaynes, while watching the great Labor Day Parade, we noticed a strange looking metal box near the front window. What is it?
A: The metal box with the scarab design on its cover was placed there when the Lowell State Bank opened soon after the building was built in 1900, after the big fire of 1898 burned two blocks of frame houses in downtown Lowell. It is a burglar alarm. Scarab beetles are known for their screeching when intruders are present.
Q: Was there ever a grandstand at Oakland Park?
A: Yes. A sturdy 80 foot long building was built there in the 1920's by Post 101 of the American Legion. It was owned, operated and maintained by them for many decades and used for many semi-pro baseball games as well as high school and grade school games. The annual Labor Day celebration was also held in the park until the town sold the land to the school corporation. It was still there during the town's centennial in 1952. Perhaps a reader can tell us when it was torn down.
Return to Lowell History
Return to the "Pioneer History" A to Z Index Page