Downtown Hammond in the 1880s....

Even before the Lake County Supreme Courthouse was constructed at Hohman and Rimbach, the commercial section was in early development.The intersection in the middle of the photograph is State Street. The building in the lower right is a bus station and you can see a woman waiting near the doorway for the next bus. People are freely walking up and down Hohman Avenue, a dirt street. Wooden sidewalks are in place for pedestrians. (Photo taken 1890 looking South on Hohman Avenue from the railroad tracks. Caroline Hohman has yet to build The Hohman Block on the southwest corner of Hohman Avenue and State Street, the site of the Hohman Opera House.

Hohman Avenue 1890 - Looking north toward "Broken Corner". The tall man in the dark outfit (extreme right) can be seen standing on the sidewalk smoking a long-stem pipe while two others (one leaning against the light post and the other holding the reins to the horses) chat and get caught up on the news. On the left, two women walk a young child. The building on the left of Hohman Avenue with the bay window on the second floor, may be seen again in the picture (three down) taken from the top of the Hammond Building.

Some of these buildings, besides the Courthouse, can be seen in other photographs of this area. On the right, above the horses, is a billboard for Jones Business College. That billboard can be seen in a photo of The Hammond Building (Fox Men's Wear)...

The small posters pasted  on the side of the wooden building at the far right, advertise events for June 8 and June 9 suggesting this picture may have been taken in late spring.

The primary means of transportation was by walking and many people lived close to where they worked, shopped and attended church or school. Although there appear to be streetcar tracks in place it is possibly Sunday and people relied on walking to get around. This picture looks north on Hohman Avenue toward Broken Corner (Lake County Courthouse).

Looking north on Hohman Avenue from Clinton Street (circa 1910). Notice the hanging street lights.
Later post card images taken from this photo would remove the hanging light and the busy telephone poles
and wires along Hohman. A cluster of retail stores have been built on the southern end of Hohman,
looking north toward the courthouse and Broken Corner.



Now looking South on Hohman Avenue from Broken Corner.
You can identify the same wooden frame building at the extreme left of this picture, as being the same building in the
photo just above this one where the men and the horse are standing in front of the open door. (Notice the single window
on the second floor.  This is the view of Hohman Avenue showing some early activity south of Broken Corner.


Hohman Avenue and Rimbach, looking North. You can follow the stores around the corner as you walk north. The Jones Business College sign is clearly seen in the pictures above this one. On the far right at the curb you can see the water pump for watering horses. It sits in front of Central High School, seen in other pictures of CHS.  It is removed as some postcard pictures were doctored for printing but the stores on the west side of Hohman Avenue (where the big Lion Store and later Goldblatt's would be built) are clearly seen in this high resolution photo.

Notice the small wooden buildings in the back of the storefront (edge left), indications that people lived very close to this commercial district of Hammond.



Hohman Avenue and Fayette, looking North.  Familiar buildings now become noticeable. The wooden frame storefront selling "California Fruit" on the awning is now open for business Traffic picks up in the late afternoon. (Notice the angle of the shadow on the awning indicating the movement of the sun is hovering over the western sky.  The building on the right was to become the home of Jack Fox & Sons menswear. The structure still survives and was recently sold for a business college. (circa 1908)


  Kaufman and Wolf's, Lion Store, boasted 200 feet of frontage on Hohman Avenue. It was eventually purchased by Goldblatt Brothers of Chicago, and renamed. Looking southwest, this was the eventual site of the corner Christmas display window later featured in Jean Shepherd's "Christmas Story," on Hohman and Sibley. (1911)  

This 1909 photo looking south on Hohman Avenue and State Street shows informal gatherings of people standing in the street awaiting a trolley.
Streets are still under the control of the horse and buggy with few automobiles harolding the new technology in Hammond.


  Broken Corner looking northwest shows the courthouse and the new Lion Department Store at Hohman and Rimbach. The building at the far right was once owned by E.C. Minas, then later an auto parts store. Streetcar lines are in place but horse and buggies dominate local transportation on Hohman Ave.  




The view is from State Street looking south on Hohman Avenue, the primary mode of travel is still the horse and buggy but the streetcar
tracks show the establishment of public transportation. Overhead street lights and telephone poles litter the image of a busy downtown.


Taken from the railroad diamond on Hohman Avenue north of State Street and looking south, you can see the early
Indiana Hotel in the center right. Horse and buggies are sharing the road with automobiles and streetcars. (1900 Photo)

Hammond residents did live near to the downtown business district. It was close to their work, grocery stores, and places to eat and drink with friends. This interesting photo shows the back side of the buildings facing a downtown commercial street. Notice the frame house, probably a rental, and the parked horse and buggy at the far right. It gives good insight on how people in Hammond lived.
(Courtesy: Planet Hammond)

  Hohman - 1930s   Hohman - 1940s   Hohman - 1950s   Hohman - 1960s  

These images and the web pages are maintained by Richard Barnes, HHS'59.

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