Historical Images of Porter County



Sall Mountain Asbestos Company and Reid Murdoch & Company
Chesterton, Indiana


Date: 1909
Source Type: Postcard
Publisher, Printer, Photographer: E. G. Atkins
Postmark: September 18, 1909, McCool, Indiana
Collection: Steven R. Shook
Remark: This photograph shows the Reid Murdoch & Company #7 (a furniture manufacturing plant) and the Sall Mountain Asbestos Company. The present day location of this image would be west of 15th Street near the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company tracks. In 1897, a branch of the Warren Featherbone Company of Three Oaks, Michigan, was established at Porter; it remained in operation only a few years producing items formerly made of whalebone out of the tail and wing feathers from turkeys. The vanes and vexilla from the turkey feathers were used in pillows, upholstery, and cushions. In January 1905, the property passed into the hands of the Sall Mountain Asbestos Company, a manufacturer of rubber and mica roofing, as well as fire-proofing materials. In 1912, Sall Mountain Asbestos Company had 105 employees, making it the largest employer in Porter County. The company ceased operations in Chesterton in 1923.

Between 1990 and 1996, a city park (Jackson Park) was located on this site. The park was permanently closed and play equipment removed when it was discovered that three locations in the park tested positive for asbestos at a depth of six to twelve inches in concentrations as high as 30 percent.

A concrete skate park was installed at the location and opened for use in 2010. A parking lot was also established at the west end of the site to allow better access to the Prairie Duneland Trail.

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Image and related text prepared by Steven R. Shook

 

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