In 1822, a French fur trader named Joseph Bailly settled at the area which was
previously occupied by the Potawatomi Tribe. Some of the structures from
this early homestead
can still be viewed by
the public as a part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
The first land owner in what is now
Chesterton was Mau-Me-Nass, a Potawatomi woman who received the land
through a government treaty. The ownership passed on to her father, Pier
Moran, and eventually to the Thomas family, the family that platted the
original downtown area into a village they named Calumet, which is now
the original platted area of the Town of Chesterton.
At one point, Chesterton claimed the only
train station in Porter County, causing it to become a major railroad
center. Other industries for the area were brickyards and C. O.
Hillstrom's organ factory. Other industries that impacted the town
were the steel mills in the Northwest Indiana region and Indiana Port.
In the 1920s, the Indiana Dunes State Park acquired land from Chesterton,
resulting in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.