Crown Point

250px-Lake_County_Indiana_Courthouse

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, withLiverpool, 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 andJane 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] theWashington Post,[11] and the Los Angeles Times.[12]

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