Downtown Hammond in the 1940s.... 


Hammond, Indiana was still growing in the 1940's... This photo taken in 1948 suggests an urban cavern created by large buildings.  Photo actually taken on Fayette Street looking west toward Hohman Avenue and the front of Goldblatt's, the Calumet National Bank is on the left and the Hohman Building (Jack Fox retail store) is on the right. Fayette Street eventually became a one way street because of the continued growth and traffic congestion.

  Here is another picture taken during the 1960s looking west toward Hohman Avenue and Goldblatts as presented above. The Hammond Times was located on Fayette just behind the Jack Fox building.

Photo provided by Joe Kaminski

This beautiful, high resolution photo of the courthouse at Hohman and Rimbach shows detail
of the Goldblatt store (right) and moderate traffic at approximately 10:00 a.m. on a pleasant day.


If you walk West on Fayette Street in the above picture and then turn to your left, this is what you are most likely to see. Early settlers referred to this as "Broken Corner" because of the bend in Hohman Avenue that takes traffic to the South. On the extreme right you see the front of the Lake County Superior Court House. The church spires in the center belong to St. Joseph's Cathedral. 


  From the courthouse tower looking northeast on Hohman Avenue near Fayette Street, the late afternoon shadows begin to darken the day in downtown Hammond, Indiana. A strip of storefronts, including "Two Legs" (lower right) caters to the needs of shoppers.  


Hohman Avenue curved slightly and continued south of Broken Corner toward St. Margaret's Hospital, Harrison Park and residential districts. This photo, looking southeast, shows Mercantile Bank and Hammond's Montgomery Ward building. On the end of the block was Northern Indiana Public Service Company's office building where many customers visited to pay their utility bills. Many residents, even in the 1940's, still did not have checking accounts and many bills were paid for in cash. At the far end of the street you can see the tall vertical sign of the Paramount Theater.


 Looking  south on Hohman Avenue from State Street, this picture by O.W. Bodie, was part of a series to document the traffic
congestion caused by the railroads that inconvenienced shoppers and businesses, taken from a glass plate negative.


The City of Hammond is making changes in the downtown area. The old brick streets are being paved and the streetcars
 are no longer present.  Automotive traffic is still slow enough to allow J-walkers to cross safely.

Even at night, downtown Hammond was a safe place for people to visit. This photo from the 1940s was taken at 9:40 pm.
Christmas decorations on the light pole at the left suggest a December evening.
The Parthenon Theater was still keeping the area a destination place for Hammond kids and families. This tranquil
photo was provided by Planet Hammond.



The W.T. Grant Company  was located on the east side of Hohman Avenue across from Goldblatts. The wood floors and the broad wooden steps would squeak when you walked on them. The comic books were on the second floor, a good marketing ploy to get kids to browse through the store. Goldfish were five-cents and were put in a Chinese take-out box. They seldom survived the bus ride home and ended up unceremoniously being flushed down toilets throughout Hammond. "Yard Goods" did not refer to rakes and shovels. Many Hammond mothers still sewed their children's clothes and made their own dresses, guaranteeing return visits for "yard goods" where you could buy fabric measured by the yard.




This 1940 photo, courtesy of O.W. Bodie, looks east from Hohman Avenue down State Street. The traffic provided for real
gridlock for cars attempting to go East and West. Add to this the railroads crossing and traffic coming to a standstill when
the railroad gates were lowered. The water tower on the horizon right sat atop E.C. Minas. (Photo: Bodie)



Our mothers would always warn us about walking in front of a railroad engine since you would never know when it was going to lurch  forward and crush you under the wheels.  They told us other scary stories that kept us awake at night but probably also kept us alive. Yet, we would often see well dressed adults become impatient with a train and walk around the front. This passenger train is blocking traffic on State Street as passengers load and unload from the Hammond depot. (Looking North with the Monon Depot at extreme left)


Photo courtesy of Hammond Public Library




Visit Hohman Avenue - Hammond, Indiana

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

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