City of Lake Station, Indiana
"Our Home Town"
|• Mayor||Bill Carroll (D)|
|• Total||8.42 sq mi (21.82 km2)|
|• Land||8.29 sq mi (21.47 km2)|
|• Water||0.13 sq mi (0.35 km2)|
|Elevation||620 ft (189 m)|
|• Density||1,596.50/sq mi (616.44/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0433905|
Lake Station is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 12,572 at the 2010 census.
Initially, the site of modern Lake Station was the starting point of two Amerind trails leading to Fort Dearborn. Later it became an early stagecoach depot stop, as the Fort Dearborn-Detroit Stagecoach Route passed through the site during the wet season. The location became known as Lake Station as far back as 1851 when it began to serve as a depot, the western terminus of the Michigan Central Railroad (on what would later become its Detroit to Chicago line). This was the first train station in Lake County. The Michigan Central Railroad built a park and railroad shops around its two-story depot. A year later, in April 1852, George Earle mapped out and platted a town of about 6,500 acres (26 km2) on the site, continuing its name of Lake Station.
Being a bedroom community, Lake Station welcomed Abraham Lincoln to its Audubon Hotel, perhaps on more than one occasion, according to oral history. But George Pullman, who tried to negotiate for land in Lake Station for his proposed railcar company, never struck a deal and set up shop on the south side of Chicago instead. Prior to its current location in Crown Point, Indiana, the county seat was located on what is now the west end of Lake Station in a section called Liverpool, although it was a separate settlement at the time.
The name of Lake Station was officially changed to East Gary in 1908 in an attempt to lure executives from the nearby US Steel plant in Gary, Indiana into creating a suburban community. With another name change in 1977, primarily to disassociate itself from the urban decay and crime of Gary, the city reverted to its historical designation of Lake Station.
In September 2015, the mayor of Lake Station, Keith Soderquist, and his wife, Deborah Soderquist, were found guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, and filing false income tax returns. Keith's daughter, Miranda N. Brakley (married name Barnitt), a court clerk, was found guilty of embezzlement and filing bad bankruptcy papers. Under state law, a mayor convicted of a felony forfeits his elected office. The Soderquist's served time in correctional institutions, while Ms. Brakley (Barnitt) served time in house arrest. The Soderquist's and Barnitt are still residents of Lake Station, Indiana. 
Lake Station remains a mostly residential community.
According to the 2010 census, Lake Station has a total area of 8.431 square miles (21.84 km2), of which 8.3 square miles (21.50 km2) (or 98.45%) is land and 0.131 square miles (0.34 km2) (or 1.55%) is water.
The city lies on the Calumet Shoreline, which is seen today as a sand ridge.
- Interstate 65
- Interstate 80
- Interstate 90
- Interstate 94
- U.S. Route 6
- U.S. Route 20
- Indiana State Road 51
Lakes and rivers
- Grand Boulevard Lake
- Deep River (Indiana)
|Source: US Census Bureau|
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,572 people, 4,577 households, and 3,067 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,514.7 inhabitants per square mile (584.8/km2). There were 5,137 housing units at an average density of 618.9 per square mile (239.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 79.7% White, 3.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 11.7% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.0% of the population.
There were 4,577 households, of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.28.
The median age in the city was 35.4 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.2% were from 25 to 44; 26.7% were from 45 to 64; and 10.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,948 people, 5,041 households, and 3,528 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,681.0 inhabitants per square mile (649.0/km2). There were 5,328 housing units at an average density of 642.1 per square mile (247.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.23% White, 0.77% African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.31% from other races, and 2.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.61% of the population.
There were 5,041 households, out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,984, and the median income for a family was $41,454. Males had a median income of $35,761 versus $22,659 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,319. About 10.6% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.
Major employers include Sun Engineering, and Pro-Chem-Co. Lake Station's busiest rail line is CSX Transportation's Porter Subdivision. The Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad also runs through Lake Station.
Arts and culture
Lake Station also plays host to some events such as the Fuzz Follies, which is a car show that takes place in Riverview Park every year since 1984. Since 2004 The Heritage Days Festival has also taken place in Riverview Park. Both events are usually in June. The city's newest event held for the first time in September 2009 is Septemberfest, which is held around Labor Day weekend.
Parks and recreation
- Four Winds Park
- Columbus Park
- Riverview Park
- Miller Park
- Mock Park
- Deep River Outdoor Recreation Center
- Johnson Park
- Bicentennial Park
- Warrick Park
- Riley Park
The mayor of Lake Station since January 1, 2020, is Bill Carroll.
The Lake Station Community Schools district consists of two elementary schools, Virgil I. Bailey and Alexander Hamilton, and one combined junior and senior high school Thomas A. Edison Junior-Senior High School.
The River Forest Community School Corporation serves the West End of Lake Station (approximately one-third of the city). River Forest High School, River Forest Junior High School, John I. Meister Elementary School, and Henry S. Evans Elementary School are all within the city limits of Lake Station (as the result of the city's 1972 annexation of previously unincorporated parts of Hobart Township).
- "Mayor's Office". City of Lake Station. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
- "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Project Administration, 1939. The Calumet Region Historical Guide, p.117.
- "Northwestern Indiana Mayor, Wife Convicted of All Charges". WISH-TV. September 12, 2015.
- "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
- "Request for Proposals Notification" (PDF). City of Lake Station. October 19, 2012.
- "Northwest Indiana Pedestrian & Bicycle Transportation Plan of 2010" (PDF). Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. 2010.
- "Locations and Hours Archived 2008-12-25 at the Wayback Machine." Lake County Public Library. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
- Carole Carlson (December 23, 2019). "From hardwre store to mayor's office: New mayor takes oath of office in Lake Station". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
From hardware store to mayor's office: New mayor takes oath of office in Lake Station