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Hammond Business Signs
Hammond is located on the northwestern most tip of the US state of Indiana. Paleo-Indians had inhabited this area for at least 10,000 years prior to European exploration. Between 1400 and 1450, this part of the country had Miami, Shawnee, Piankeshaw, Wyandot, Delaware, and French fur trapping presences. Finally, in 1805, the Delaware “relinquished” the land to US General William Henry Harrison, who at the time was the governor of the Indiana Territory. Later in life, Harrison would become president of the United States, for a month, prior to his death.
The town of Hammond itself was first settled in 1847 by immigrant German farmers, but it wouldn’t be until 1869 that it began to industrialize. George H. Hammond, a butcher from Detroit and owner of the George H. Hammond Company, had a huge influence on this industrialization when he opened a meat-packing plant in the town. It was subsequently named after him. Interestingly, Hammond was one of the pioneers “in the use of refrigerated railcars for the transport of fresh meat.” In fact, he even owned a patent for a refrigerator car design. The town of Hammond was officially incorporated on April 21st, 1884.
Today, according to a 2014 report by the U.S. Census Bureau, Hammond, Indiana has a total population of 78,384 people. This makes it the most populous city in Lake County, Indiana. Hammond, Indiana is also part of the Chicago metropolitan area. According to a 2013 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Chicago metropolitan area is home to 9.9 million people in total. It is the third largest metropolitan area in the country.
In 2014, Hammond’s Mayor’s Office of Economic Development took stock of the largest employers in the city. According to that report, the largest employer in the area is School City of Hammond, responsible for 2,418 jobs. The second largest employer in Hammond, with 2,094 on the payroll, is Horseshoe Casino. Horseshoe Casino, which opened in 1996, is a 400,000 sq. ft. Riverboat casino property featuring “gaming, entertainment, restaurants, bars, and lounges.” Hammond’s third largest employer is the only hospital in the area, St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare, run by Franciscan Health. St. Margaret employs 1,588 people.
Hammond, Indiana is also home to many historic districts and other buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places including Morse Dell Plain House and Garden, Forest-Ivanhoe, Forest-Moraine, Forest-Southview, Glendale Park, Hohman Avenue, Indi-Illi Park, Pullman-Standard, Roselawn-Forest Heights, State Street Commercial Historic Districts, Northern States Life Insurance Company, Southmoor Apartment Hotel, State Bank of Hammond Building, and George John Wolf House.
Hammond, Indiana is currently home to no professional sports franchises. However, the city does have some history when it comes to professional football. The Hammond Pros, founded in 1917, were one of the first professional football teams in the country. In fact, the Hammond Pros were a charter member of the American Professional Football League when it formed in 1920. This league changed its name to the National Football League in 1922. The Hammond Pros (who, coincidently never played a home game in Hammond) moved to Akron, Ohio and became the Akron Pros in 1925. However, for the four years the Hammond Pros did exist, “the NFL had nine African-American players, six of whom played for the Pros. The NFL’s first African-American head coach was Hall-of-Famer Fritz Pollard, of the Pros.” Pollard, a former professional football player, went on to found his own professional football team, the Brown Bombers. Pollard was also a tax consultant, film and music producer, and became the first African-American to own a newspaper in New York City, the New York Independent News.
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