Carr settles on Lake Michigan shore near present-day Lake
Street in Miller
Carr marries Drucilla
gravel road is built all the way to the south end of the
present Marquette Park Lagoon with a 200-foot wooden bridge
built across the Grand Calumet River at that point.
Chanute, a Chicago engineer, uses the new gravel road
and bridge to bring himself, his party, and his equipment
to Carr’s Beach to begin experiments in aviation.
| 1896 JULY
flies the first heavier-than-air craft in North America
off the dunes 600 feet west of the Gary Bathing Beach
Aquatorium. At that time nobody had ever heard of the
word airplane or the word Aquatorium.
|| The City of Gary is incorporated.
Steel attempts to gain control over Lake Street Beach.
Drucilla Carr, now a widow, fights them to a legal standoff
until she dies in 1936.
|| The City of Gary wishes to annex Miller. Local Miller
residents rally and promptly incorporate their town in
order to avoid annexation.
|| The “Annexation Never” party wins the Miller
Town Board election.
“Annexation Never” party Town Board members
are sworn into office and immediately vote to annex to
the City of Gary. (Town folklore insists to this day that
the three “Annexation Never” Town Board members
were later given high level jobs by a big corporation
headquartered in Pittsburgh.)
| Now that Miller is a part of the City of Gary, work is
begun on Lakefront Park which eventually becomes Marquette
Gary Bathing Beach Bathhouse opens with a huge celebration.
The City of Gary provides 5,000 bathing suits for people
to rent for only 50 cents. You could change your clothes
in the Bath House, rent a bathing suit, and enjoy fun
in the sun.
|| The newly formed Army Air Corps., the fore-runner of our
present Air Force, conducts a “scientific study”
which concludes that African Americans are emotionally,
intellectually, and physically unfit to fly aero planes.
Western Society of Engineers dedicated a bronze tablet
to Octave Chanute, "The Father of Aviation",
at the site of his glider flying experiments of 1896 and
|| US Steel, now in control of Lake Street Beach, sells it
to the City of Gary.
| Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt assembles leading black Americans
in the White House to have lunch with her husband, the
President. During this luncheon the idea was conceived
to have a portion of the Army Air Corps be all black,
from the top to the bottom, as a true test as to whether
or not African Americans were fit to fly aircraft. The
black airmen became known as the Tuskegee airmen, named
after the Alabama institute where they received their
MAY 8 - VE Day
results are in and the all black Tuskegee wing of the
Army Air Corps. had not lost one bomber, had the most
kills, and had the fewest number taken as prisoners of
war of any wing of the Army Air Corps.
Truman, citing the results of the Tuskegee Airmen experiment,
integrates the armed forces and starts America on a path
inexplicable reasons, the Gary Park Department remodels
the Gary Bathing Beach Bath House, destroying most of
the original balustrades and capstones that had been on
the building. This remodeling contributes to the deterioration
of the building.
|| Gary celebrates its 50th anniversary. The town is booming.
Most people still ride buses. Every warm summer day, hundreds,
if not thousands, of people go to Marquette Park on the
are no longer riding buses in America, the move to the
suburbs has begun, and the cities begin to deteriorate.
|| The City orders the bathhouse closed. It is boarded up
and posted “No Trespassing”.
Gary Bathing Beach Bathhouse begins to seriously deteriorate
and people begin calling for its demolition. Fortunately,
the cast concrete building is so well-built that the cost
of tearing it down is prohibitively high.
newly formed Society for the Restoration of the Gary Bathing
Beach Aquatorium and Octave Chanute’s Place in History
(an organization with one of the longest names on record
including an entirely new word, “Aquatorium”)
opens the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium to the public,
takes down the “No Trespassing” signs, and
cleans up the graffiti.
A new roof was put on the building at a cost in excess
balconies are put on the front of the building, replacing
poured concrete where the destroyed balconies had been.
|| The balconies on the north end are replaced.
|| A new sewer system is put into the Aquatorium and a new
sidewalk system is set up around the building.
of National Landmark of Soaring No.8, one-hundred years
after Octave Chanute and his team did their glider flying
experiments, in the dunes just west of the Aquatorium.
The plaque was sponsored by the National Soaring Museum,
Elmira, NY and the Chicagoland Glider Council.
100th year of aviation is celebrated at the Aquatorium
with people coming from across the country. The Chanute
Aquatorium Society raises a record amount of money to
put into the building.
walls are replaced in front of the building. They had
completely deteriorated. The building starts to take on
a remodeled look.
|| The Tuskegee Wing of the building is begun.
newly built Tuskegee Wing of the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium
is dedicated July 24, 1999.
top deck of the Aquatorium is completely redone with a
new waterproofing coat that will allow museum space on
the first floor. The original balustrades and capstones
taken out in 1993 are remade and replaced.
|| After receiving a matching grant of $10,000, the Society
Board of Directors determines it will erect statues to
Octave Chanute and the Tuskegee Airmen in the front of
the building. Fund raising begins for the statues.
nationally known sculptor, Michael Dente, is commissioned
by the Society to begin development of statues of Octave
Chanute and the Tuskegee Airmen.
Talk Theater: Octave Chanute Live with actor Tony Mockus
presenting a one-man show.
|| Statue of Octave Chanute pointing to the very dune where
he conducted his experiments in 1896 is dedicated on the
100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first
flight at Kitty Hawk.
|| Talk Theatre, a fund raiser for the Tuskegee statue, recounts
the story of how feminism began in Miller Beach with the
relationship between noted Chicago author Nelson Algren
and French philosopher Simone Bouvier. Bouvier tells Algren
in their Miller Lagoon cabin that she has been studying
the plight of women most of her life but can’t put
it into any context. Algren suggests that she look upon
women world-wide as white Americans look on African Americas,
as second-class citizens. The following year Bouvier publishes
“The Second Sex” and the era of feminism begins.
|| The Tuskegee statue is dedicated in front of the Tuskegee
Wing of the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium. The dedication
takes place on May 8, 2005, exactly 60 years from the
end of World War II in Europe. An end hastened by African
American pilots who fought in the European Theater thereby
exposing the 1927 Study of the US Army Air Corps. a complete
|| The Miller Room of the Aquatorium is dedicated with historical
pictures of Miller and Gary.
|| For the 17th consecutive year, the Society for the Restoration
of the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium will have a successful
fund raiser in which it will be reported that everyone
had a good time and generally felt better about themselves
for having contributed to the only successful historical
preservation project in Northwest Indiana.
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