Hammond was founded in 1869 when George Hammond, a pioneer in shipping refrigerated beef, established with Marcus Towle the State Line Slaughterhouse. Ice from the river and inland lakes was used for packing the meat. Until destroyed by fire in 1901, the packinghouse was the city’s largest industry. The city, originally called Hohman, and then State Line because it is on the Illinois-Indiana boundary, was renamed in 1873 to honor the meatpacker. Handicapped by the lack of a harbor, it failed to attract the heavy industry found in neighboring cities but did develop diversified light manufacturing.
Incorporated in 1883. Pop.(1990) city, 84,236.
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Downtown Hammond, 1930s
Above photo from the archives of the Hammond Historical Society — Calumet Room of the Hammond Public Library. Twentieth Century Time Capsule © 1999 hammondindiana.com