The Hammond Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1912 and now boasts over 400 members active in all aspects of civic life. The Chamber adheres to the following mission statement: The Hammond Chamber of Commerce believes in a commitment to private enterprise, to enhance the quality of life and the support of a healthy economic environment. It's mission is to promote private enterprise and mutually beneficial relationships among It's members and between business and the community through governmental relations, membership services, educational services, community development and economic development.
Hammond, Indiana was incorporated in 1883. The first permanent 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 were German farmers newly arrived from Europe 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 G.H. Hammond Company packing house following merchants and farmers to the area. Many other businesses followed. The city now has a population of 84,000 people enjoying easy access to the wide variety of jobs, outdoor activities, cultural opportunities and entertainment options.
Located on the southern most shore of Lake Michigan, Hammond is conveniently accessible by land, rail, water and air. Burns International Harbor is one-half hour to the east. The Chicago loop is one-half hour to the northwest. The South Shore Train serves the Indiana commuter and vacationer from South Bend, the Dunes to the Chicago loop. A suburban shuttle service runs to both O'Hare and Midway airports. The Gary Airport serves commercial shippers and is growing. Many railroads and trucking companies have headquarters in the area.
Major national and international corporations have facilities manufacturing goods such as steel, chemicals, oil, soap, corn products, petroleum products, packaging materials, etc. which provide well paying jobs for thousands of people from Hammond and the rest of Northwest Indiana as well as the south Chicago suburbs.
Hammond boasts a wide variety of attractive housing stock at tax rates far below those in neighboring Illinois. Homes range from those of the founding fathers in the historic district and the elegant older homes of early merchants and professionals to new family homes in many diverse and livable designs. Many parks and open areas provide families with outdoor activities. The bike path runs the 11 miles from the North end of the city to the South border, connecting with other paths at both ends.
Woodmar Shopping Mall is easily accessible from anywhere in the City. Newly remodeled, the Mall has regular activities for all ages and interests and also is the home of local mall walkers. The area near the Mall will soon host many new shops and discount retailers. Smaller shopping areas conveniently serve many neighborhoods
The Hammond Marina hosts the new Empress Casino Hammond with its gambling and restaurants. The Hammond Marina is a first class facility for pleasure boats, fishing, swimming and other water activities. The annual Venetian Night and fireworks are viewed against the skyline of Chicago. Wolf Lake features nationally famous windsurfing as well as fishing, swimming and the annual August fest with major entertainment, a carnival and great food.
A regional professional symphony and an arts center housing galleries and theater serve the people of the area and work with the public schools. The International Culture Festival highlights the various traditions of the many diverse ethnic groups populating the South end of Lake Michigan. Many neighborhoods grew around a central church or synagogue and those family ties remain strong and sustaining today. Historic areas celebrate their heritage and the Little Red Schoolhouse (built in 1869) has a parade and festival in its honor.
Three new state-of-the-art elementary schools have been built in the last four years with remodeling going on in other public schools. The internationally recognized Partners in Education program pairs business and industry with the schools to enhance the education of our young people. Purdue University Calumet and Calumet College of St. Joseph are four year education facilities with both traditional college courses and specially designed technical programs for businesses in the area and for workforce development.
Opened in 1898, Saint Margaret Hospital remains the premiere health care facility in northwest Indiana. Saint Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers has earned a reputation for being a trendsetter and leader in introducing innovative medical practices and technologies to the Calumet area.
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