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Everyone is invited  to courthouse’s 135th

The clock tower Old Courthouse Crown Point is now fixed telling accurate time for residents around square. | Scott R.

The clock tower at the Old Courthouse in Crown Point is now fixed and telling the accurate time for residents around the square. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 10, 2013 1:11PM



CROWN POINT — Grants to preserve local history across the state of Indiana skipped Lake County Indiana all together.

The annual grants to strengthen Indiana’s heritage have been awarded to nine historic preservation and archaeology projects in eight Indiana communities, none of which are in Lake County.

The old Lake County Courthouse could have desperately used those funds to help storm damage repairs as well as general maintainace. The beautiful clock was hit and the roof was damaged. It is true that the old courthouse has a number of benefactors, but it is also true that it needs a lot more help to keep fit.

The building’s 135th “birthday” is being celebrated on Sept. 22. The city and the foundation are throwing a party.

Crown Point native and former NASA astronaut Jerry Ross will be there to sign copies of his book or the cover of his CD for those that purchase them there. All the proceeds from the sales of his book and CD will be donated to the Court House Preservation Foundation.

He will be inside the building in the rotunda. There will also be a silent auction. The history museum in the building will be open.

Cake and ice cream will be served on the lawn, along with a bounce house and other features for young and old. The lower level shops will be open on Sunday for the event.

The committee members putting the party together include: Curt Graves, Jim and Irene Gentleman, Dr. Colemeyer, Iole Vellutini, Marty Wheeler and Mayor Dave Uran and his office of special events.

The federal grant funds come from the National Park Service, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which distributes funds to the states through the Historic Preservation Fund Program. Since 1974, the state has awarded more than $18 million to Indiana communities through this program.

Maybe next year the old courthouse will be included in the awards to preserve her more than 135-years of history of and service to Lake County. From a center to the addition of wings and then more wings this court house grew to serve the county as the county grew.

The trolley that ran down Main Street 100 years ago is gone. The streets are no longer paved with gravel, wood blocks, or bricks, but now have asphalt surfaces.

The streets around the court house are no longer city streets, but part of U.S. 231 and managed by the state. The lights both outside and inside the court house are electric and not gas.

There are no longer major national politicians from both parties giving speeches from her steps facing Main Street. There are no more hitching posts for horses, ridden or pulling carriages or wagons in front of the courthouse steps.

Then it wasn’t good enough for the politicians. They wanted to sell it and put in a parking garage for the shops around the square. Some of Crown Point’s movers and shakers stood up and said no.

The government buildings moved north on Main Street and these hard working saviors took on the job of forming a foundation to preserve the courthouse.

The clock tower is the tallest structure in Crown Point. People can see it from the Interstate.



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