Historical Images of Porter County

Central House Hotel, Franklin Street, C. E. Carlson, Proprietor
Chesterton, Indiana

Date: Circa 1907-1910
Source Type: Postcard
Publisher, Printer, Photographer: P. L. Huckins
Postmark: February 21, 19??, Chesterton, Indiana
Collection: Steven R. Shook
Remark: The Central House Hotel was originally located in "City West," a lost town site that was along Lake Michigan and located southwest of the present day pavilion at the Indiana Dunes State Park. The hotel was built in 1836 to accommodate stage passengers, land speculators, and City West lot buyers. The structure was moved from City West to Chesterton on skids pulled by oxen teams over snow by David Hopkins in 1850. Hopkins had the hotel placed at the southwest corner of the intersection of Second Street and Broadway. In 1854, all of the remaining structures in City West were destroyed by a fire that was caused by an electrical storm. Hopkins leased the hotel property to others, who ran a business called the Central House Hotel. At 2:00 am on Tuesday, April 7, 1908, the Central House Hotel was destroyed by a fire that originated on the second floor. The Johnson Brothers store, adjacent to the hotel, suffered $5,000 in damages, while Bartel's Hardware also suffered significant damage from the fire. At that time of the structure's demise, Gust Lawson was the owner of the hotel. The Central House Hotel served as Chesterton's primary hotel for 54 years, and was the last remaining vestige of City West. The Methodist Episcopal Church, which incidentally was built by David Hopkins, can be seen behind the hotel. The Central House Hotel structure also operated at different times as Eschenbach's Hotel and Restaurant and the drug store and dental office for Arthur E. Nickel.

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Image and related text prepared by Steven R. Shook


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