Hammond, Indiana
Downtown Hammond
Downtown Hammond
Flag of Hammond, Indiana
Location of Hammond in Lake County, Indiana.
Location of Hammond in Lake County, Indiana.
Coordinates: 41°37′40″N 87°29′35″W / 41.62778°N 87.49306°W / 41.62778; -87.49306
CountryUnited States
Incorporated (town)December 4, 1883[1]
Incorporated (city)April 21, 1907[1]
Named forGeorge H. Hammond
 • TypeMayor–council
 • MayorThomas McDermott Jr. (D)
 • City council
  • Katrina D. Alexander (D, AL)
  • Daniel P. Spitale (D, AL)
  • Janet Venecz (D, AL)
  • Mark Kalwinski (D, 1st)
  • Pete Torres (D, 2nd)
  • Barry Tyler Jr. (D, 3rd)
  • William Emerson Sr. (D, 4th)
  • Dave Woerpel (D, 5th)
  • Scott Rakos (D, 6th)
 • City clerkRobert J. Golec (D)
 • Total23.81 sq mi (61.68 km2)
 • Land22.73 sq mi (58.86 km2)
 • Water1.09 sq mi (2.81 km2)
Elevation584 ft (178 m)
 • Total77,879
 • Density3,426.72/sq mi (1,323.04/km2)
Standard of living (2008–12)
 • Per capita income$18,148
 • Median home value$94,800
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (Central)
ZIP codes
46320, 46323-25, 46327
Area code219
FIPS code18-31000[6]
GNIS feature ID2394280[4]

Hammond (/ˈhæmənd/ HAM-ənd) is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. Located along Lake Michigan, it is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the only city in Indiana to border Chicago. As of the 2020 census, it is the eighth-most populous city in Indiana, with 77,879 residents. It was first settled in the mid-19th century and it is one of the oldest cities of northern Lake County.

From north to south, Hammond runs from Lake Michigan down to the Little Calumet River; from east to west along its southern border, it runs from the Illinois state line to Cline Avenue. The city is traversed by numerous railroads and expressways, including the South Shore Line, Borman Expressway, and Indiana Toll Road. Notable local landmarks include the parkland around Wolf Lake and the Horseshoe Hammond riverboat casino. Part of the Rust Belt, Hammond has been industrial almost from its inception but is also home to a campus of Purdue University and numerous historic districts.


Hammond, circa 1908

The first European-descended residents arrived around 1847 to settle on land between the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers, on the south end of Lake Michigan. Those first residents of European descent were German immigrant farmers looking for land and opportunity. Before that time, the area was a crossroad for Indian tribes, explorers, stagecoach lines and supply lines to the West. Convenient location and abundant fresh water from Lake Michigan led to the beginning of Hammond's industrialization in 1869 with the George H. Hammond Company meat-packing plant following merchants and farmers to the area. Hammond was incorporated on April 21, 1884, and was named after the Detroit butcher.[7]

Hammond is one of the oldest cities in Lake County, with Crown Point being the oldest (established in 1834). According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, George Henry Hammond, a pioneer in the use of refrigerated railcars for the transport of fresh meat, first used this method with his small packing company in Detroit, Michigan. In 1868, Hammond received a patent for a refrigerator car design. In the early 1870s, he built a new plant in northern Indiana along the tracks of the Michigan Central Railroad. By 1873, the George H. Hammond Co. was selling $1 million worth of meat a year; by 1875, sales were nearly $2 million. The company's large packing house in Hammond rivaled those located at the Union Stock Yard in Chicago. By the middle of the 1880s, when it built a new plant in Omaha, Nebraska, Hammond was slaughtering over 100,000 cattle a year and owned a fleet of 800 refrigerator cars. After Hammond died in 1886, the company became less important and no longer challenged the giant Chicago packers, who acquired Hammond at the turn of the century and merged it into their National Packing Co.[citation needed]

The Hammond Whiting & East Chicago Electric Railway Company trolley service ran from 1893 to 1940.[8]

On June 22, 1918, the Hammond circus train wreck occurred about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) east of the city, killing 86 and injuring 127 persons.[9]

The downtown Hammond shopping district along State Street and Hohman Avenue included major chains such as Sears and J. C. Penney. The largest stores in downtown were the Goldblatt's and E.C. Minas department stores.[10] The E.C. Minas store was constructed in 1894 and was in business until August 1984.[11] The building which housed the Goldblatt's store had been purchased by the Chicago-based retailer in 1931 and operated until 1982 when it closed due to bankruptcy.[12]

The Pullman Standard Car Company built M4 Sherman tanks in Hammond during World War II.[13][14]

Architect Victor Gruen designed the Woodmar Mall[15] in the Woodmar neighborhood. The mall opened in 1954 and was anchored by a Carson Pirie Scott and Co. store.[16]

According to the 1960 United States Census Hammond's population reached a record high of 111,698 residents.[17] Hammond, like other industrial cities in the Rust Belt, went into decline during the 1970s and 1980s, with the city's population plunging to 94,000 in 1980, and 83,000 in 2000. However, Hammond's economy was more diversified than neighboring Gary, Indiana, East Chicago, Indiana, and the south side of Chicago, which all relied on heavy industry (primarily steel production). Hammond's economy, on the other hand, depended on light manufacturing, transportation & warehousing, retail, banking & insurance, healthcare, hospitality & food service, and construction.[citation needed] In 1981, a toxic flood in Gary led Hammond to erect a barrier on 165th Street, one of several roads connecting the two cities, which led to lasting tensions with Gary.[18]

Prominent manufacturing companies in Hammond include Unilever's soap factory, Atlas Tube, Cargill food processing, Munster Steel, Lear Seating Corporation, Jupiter Aluminum, Tri-State Automation, and Dover Chemical. Warehousing and storage is also prominent, with ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum having large oil storage facilities, and FedEx has a distribution center. Large railroad marshalling yards are also present in the city, with the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad's headquarters in the city. The State Line Generating Plant operated on the Indiana-Illinois state line from 1929 to 2012, and was demolished in 2014.[citation needed]

The Empress Casino opened in Hammond in June 1996 and was replaced with the Horseshoe Hammond casino in 2001.[19]

In February 2006, the decision was made to demolish Woodmar Mall except for the Carson's store.[20] The Hammond Redevelopment Commission announced plans in June 2016 for a $12 million sports complex to be built on the site of the former mall.[21] The Carson's store closed in 2018, and was demolished in 2019, as part of its parent company's liquidation.[22]


The city sits within the boundaries of the former Lake Chicago, and much of its land area consists of former dune and swale terrain that was subsequently leveled. Most of the city is on sandy soil with a layer of black topsoil that varies from non-existent to several feet (a meter or more) thick. Much of the exposed sand was removed for purposes such as industrial use to make concrete and glass. According to the 2010 census, Hammond has a total area of 24.886 square miles (64.45 km2), of which 22.78 square miles (59.00 km2) (or 91.54%) is land and 2.106 square miles (5.45 km2) (or 8.46%) is water.[23]


Lakes and rivers

Adjacent cities, towns and villages




Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[24]

2020 census

Hammond, Indiana – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2010[25] Pop 2020[26] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 33,534 23,674 41.49% 30.40%
Black or African American alone (NH) 17,568 19,584 21.73% 25.15%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 145 112 0.18% 0.14%
Asian alone (NH) 753 611 0.93% 0.78%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 9 21 0.01% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 90 287 0.11% 0.37%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 1,168 2,248 1.45% 2.89%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 27,563 31,342 34.10% 40.24%
Total 80,830 77,879 100.00% 100.00%

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census,[5] there were 80,830 people, 29,949 households, and 19,222 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,548.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,370.0/km2). There were 32,945 housing units at an average density of 1,446.2 per square mile (558.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.4% White, 22.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 13.3% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.1% of the population.

There were 29,949 households, of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.8% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.36.

The median age in the city was 33.3 years. 27.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.3% were from 25 to 44; 24.2% were from 45 to 64; and 10.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

2000 census

As of the 2000 United States Census,[6] there were 83,048 people, 32,026 households and 20,880 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,630.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,401.6/km2). There were 34,139 housing units at an average density of 1,492.2 per square mile (576.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 72.35% White, 14.57% African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 9.32% from other races, and 2.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.04% of the population.

There were 32,026 households, out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.3% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,528, and the median income for a family was $42,221. Males had a median income of $35,778 versus $25,180 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,254. About 12.0% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


Major employers

According to the city, those businesses employing 200 or more employees in Hammond are:[27]

# Employer # of employees
1 Franciscan Health Hammond 2,500
2 School City of Hammond 2,485
3 Horseshoe Casino 1,866
4 City of Hammond 875
5 Walmart 785
6 Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad 759
7 Lear Seating Corporation 615
8 Contract Services Group 300
9 Unilever 255
10 Morrison Construction Company 250
11 Cargill 240

Arts and culture

National Register of Historic Places

The following single properties and national historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Public libraries

Hammond Public Library, located at 564 State Street, includes the Suzanne G. Long Local History Room. The system used to operate the E.B. Hayward Branch at 1212 172nd Street and the Howard Branch at 7047 Grand Avenue. Both branches have since been closed. The Hammond Public Library was the first library in the state to form a recognized union, a local of AFSCME. Patricia E. Robinson was the first president of the library union.[28]


Hammond was defeated by the team from Taipei, Taiwan in the 1972 Little League World Series.[29]

The Hammond Pros (1920–1924)

The Hammond Pros was one of the earliest professional football teams in the United States. When the American Professional Football League was formed in 1920, the Hammond Pros was a charter member, as it also was when the league changed its name to National Football League in 1922. However, four years later, when the NFL decided to reduce the number of teams, it did so by simply folding smaller franchises. The Hammond Pros never played a home game in Hammond.

During the four years of the Hammond Pros' existence, the NFL had nine African-American players, six of whom played for the Pros. The NFL's first African-American head coach was Hall-of-Famer coach Fritz Pollard of the Pros.


Hammond is incorporated as a city under Indiana law. It therefore has a mayor and a nine-member city council. Hammond's City Hall is located at 5925 Calumet Avenue. The Hammond City Council has meetings scheduled for the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

The city maintains a city court on the second floor of the City Hall,[30] exercising a limited jurisdiction within Lake County. The court handles not only local ordinance violations and certain minor criminal matters, but also a significant portion of the debt collection and eviction actions brought in Lake County.

City Council

List of mayors

# Name Term Party
1 Marcus Towle 1884–1888 Republican
2 Thomas Hammond 1888–1893 Democratic
3 Patrick Reilly 1893–1894 Democratic
4 Fred R. Mott 1894–1898 Republican
5 Patrick Reilly 1898–1902 Democratic
6 Armanis F. Knotts 1902–1904 Republican
7 Lawrence Becker 1904–1911 Democratic
8 John D. Smalley 1911–1918 Democratic
9 Daniel Brown 1918–1925 Republican
10 Adrian E. Tinkham 1925–1930 Republican
11 Charles O. Schonert 1930–1935 Republican
12 Frank Martin 1935–1942 Democratic
13 G. Bertram Smith 1942–1948 Democratic
14 Vernon C. Anderson 1948–1956 Republican
15 Edward Dowling 1956–1968 Democratic
16 Joseph Klen 1968–1976 Democratic
17 Edward J. Raskosky 1976–1984 Democratic
18 Thomas M. McDermott, Sr. 1984–1992 Republican
19 Duane Dedelow, Jr. 1992–2004 Republican
20 Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. 2004–present Democratic


School City of Hammond

All of Hammond is served by the School City of Hammond,[31] a school corporation under Indiana state law that is independent of the civil city.

In June 2021, the School City of Hammond permanently closed two junior/senior High Schools: Donald E. Gavit and George Rogers Clark, first opened in the 1930s and 1960s respectively.

Privately owned and operated schools

Catholic schools are under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary.

St. Catherine of Siena, a Catholic elementary school, opened prior to 1959. Prior to 2009 its enrollment had declined, with 130 students that year, and its financial state had deteriorated. The school closed in 2009.[33]

Colleges and universities



Borman Expressway

Most of Hammond's streets are laid out in a grid pattern similar to Chicago's streets. While Madison Street in Chicago acts as the reference point for north–south street numbering the first "1" is removed; this makes what would be a five digit address number in Illinois into a four digit address number in Hammond. The state line is used as the reference point for east–west street numbering.

Other cities and towns in Northwest Indiana that use the Hammond numbering system are Whiting, Munster and Highland. Dyer also uses the Hammond numbering system but the first number removed from the north–south streets is a "2," as by that point the Illinois numbers across the state line start with the number 2 (Munster's street numbers start with a "1" north of the Dyer line, making them 5 digits); and East Chicago uses the canal located in the middle of the city as the east–west reference point, while embodying Hammond's numbering system for the north–south streets.

Public transportation

The South Shore Line, a Chicago to South Bend, Indiana commuter rail line, has a station on Hohman Avenue. It is operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides twice-daily service in both directions, operating its Wolverine through the Hammond–Whiting station between Chicago and Pontiac, Michigan, just north of Detroit.

The nearest commercial airport is Chicago Midway International Airport about 25 miles away in Chicago.

Bus transit was provided by the Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority, which assumed responsibility from the city's Hammond Transit System in 2010, establishing EasyGo Lake Transit system in its place.[34] All EasyGo buses were discontinued on June 30, 2012 due to a lack of funding.[35] In addition, Pace routes 350 and 364 and GPTC Tri-City Connection Route 12 from Gary, Indiana stop at Hammond's Dan Rabin Transit Plaza.

Medical centers and hospitals

The only hospital in Hammond was Franciscan St. Margaret Health on Stateline Road, across the street from Calumet City, Illinois. It is an accredited chest pain center serving Northwest Indiana and the south suburbs of Chicago. The hospital was founded in late 1898 and was originally called St. Margaret Hospital, later merging with Our Lady Of Mercy Hospital in Dyer, Indiana, in the 1990s and was part of the former Sisters of St. Francis Health Services. The hospital closed in December of 2022.


Former State Line Generating Plant in Robertsdale

Notable people

Main article: List of people from Hammond, Indiana

Sister city

See also


  1. ^ a b "Hammond's 125th Anniversary Day". City of Hammond, Indiana. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "2014 Public Officials Directory". Lake County Board of Elections and Voter's Registration. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  3. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hammond, Indiana
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ "Profile for Hammond, Indiana". ePodunk. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
  8. ^ McKinlay, Archibald (January 26, 1997), "Calumet Roots. Trolleys were Hammond success", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on June 17, 2018
  9. ^ Lytle, Richard M. (2010). The Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918: Tragedy on the Indiana Lakeshore. Stroud, Gloucestershire, England: The History Press. ISBN 978-1596299313.
  10. ^ Burton, Jeff (November 27, 2009), "Hammond's downtown shopping district once a retail mecca", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on December 28, 2016, At various points in the city's 125-year history, major national retailers like Sears, J.C. Penney, Kresge's and F.W. Woolworth all had downtown storefronts, but the giants of Hohman and State were local stores, E.C. Minas and Goldblatt's. The two department stores occupied more than 300,000 square feet of retail space.
  11. ^ Porta, Sharon (February 6, 2002), "Minas building downtown fixture for 108 years", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on June 17, 2018, The Minas building was constructed in 1894 and the neighboring building, the Henderson building, was constructed prior to 1904...The store closed its doors for good on Aug. 15, 1984.
  12. ^ Skertic, Alison (October 12, 1999), "When Goldblatts closed, Hammond lost a part of its identity", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on June 17, 2018, The Goldblatts building had stood on Hohman Avenue since the 1920s, when it was known as the Lion's store. Goldblatt Brothers Inc. bought the store in 1931 and retained control until the store closed in 1982.
  13. ^ Pete, Joseph S. (October 25, 2014), "Hammond-made tanks star in World War II movie Fury", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on January 28, 2015, Pullman made railroad cars on Chicago's South Side but was pressed into military service during the war. In less than a year, Hammond native Raymond Fox set up a tank and weapons factory at 165th Street and Columbia Avenue in south Hammond.
  14. ^ "WWII veteran joins historians for program on Hammond tank production", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, April 16, 2015, archived from the original on June 17, 2018, Hammond was one of 10 locations in the U.S. that built the M4 medium tank.
  15. ^ Hardwick, M. Jeffrey (2003). "Chapter Five: A 'Shopper's Paradise' for Suburbia". Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0812237627.
  16. ^ Bierschenk, Edwin (June 7, 2016), "A sporting chance for revival at former Woodmar site", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on January 16, 2017
  17. ^ Historyhammondindiana.com Archived April 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Schmidt, William E. (September 5, 1988). "Hammond Journal: Earthen Barrier Serves as Both Dam and Symbol". The New York Times. p. 6. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  19. ^ Steele, Andrew (June 26, 2016), "For NWI casinos, it's been 20 years and $20 billion", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on October 2, 2016, The original Empress Casino in Hammond — officially open for business on June 29, 1996 — was a standard boat at 43,000 square feet of gaming space.
  20. ^ Holecek, Andrea (February 8, 2006), "Wrecking ball aimed at Woodmar Mall", The Times of Northwest Indiana, Munster, Indiana, archived from the original on January 16, 2017
  21. ^ Quinn, Michelle L. (June 8, 2016), "Former Woodmar property eyed for sports complex", Post-Tribune, Merrillville, Indiana, archived from the original on June 9, 2016
  22. ^ Pete, Joseph S. (April 29, 2018). "Carson's to close in Southlake Mall, Hammond and Michigan City". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Munster, Indiana. Archived from the original on May 4, 2018. Carson's will close its department stores in Southlake Mall in Hobart, the Marquette Mall in Michigan City and in Hammond, where the three-story store is all that remains of the once-thriving but now largely demolished Woodmar Mall.
  23. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  24. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  25. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Hammond city, Indiana". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  26. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Hammond city, Indiana". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  27. ^ "Hammond's Top 10 Employers". City of Hammond, Indiana. Mayor's Office of Economic Development. April 18, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  28. ^ "Library Information, Locations, Hours Archived 2008-12-15 at the Wayback Machine." Hammond Public Library. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  29. ^ "Little League World Series". littleleague.org. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  30. ^ "Courts – Lake County Bar Association – Indiana". lakecountybar.com. Archived from the original on July 31, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  31. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Lake County, IN" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 1 (PDF p. 2/3). Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  32. ^ City Baptist High School
  33. ^ McCollum, Carmen (May 30, 2009). "Students, staff, parents mourn closing of longtime Catholic school". NWI Times. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  34. ^ "Transit System: Routes and Schedules". Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority. Archived from the original on August 16, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  35. ^ "Northwest Indiana Regional Bus Authority: Welcome". Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013.