History of Highland, Indiana: What are the key milestones

History of Highland, Indiana: What are the key milestones

History of Highland, Indiana: What are the key milestones

Highland, Indiana is a vibrant town with a rich history that has shaped its present-day identity. Situated in Lake County, Indiana, Highland has seen significant milestones throughout its development. From its humble beginnings to its growth as a thriving community, this article explores the key milestones in the history of Highland, Indiana.

Early Settlement

Highland traces its origins back to the early 19th century when the area was inhabited by Native American tribes. In the early 1830s, European settlers began to arrive, attracted by the fertile land and opportunities for trade along the Calumet River.

The first recorded European settler in the area was William Heigler, who established a farm near what is now Kennedy Avenue. Other pioneers soon followed, and the community began to grow.

Railroad Expansion

One of the key milestones in Highland's history was the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century. The establishment of the Chicago and Atlantic Railway (later known as the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad) brought significant economic growth to the area.

The railroad opened up new opportunities for trade and transportation, connecting Highland to larger cities like Chicago. This expansion played a vital role in the town's development and laid the foundation for future growth.

Incorporation and Growth

Incorporated as a town in 1910, Highland experienced rapid growth in the early 20th century. The population increased, and businesses flourished, including the opening of the first bank in 1911 and the construction of the first high school in 1926.

The town's strategic location, excellent transportation links, and a strong sense of community contributed to its continued growth and prosperity.


Following World War II, Highland experienced a period of industrialization and suburbanization. The construction of the Borman Expressway (I-80/94) in the 1960s provided easier access to the region and encouraged further growth.

During this time, Highland saw the development of new residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and industrial parks. The town became an attractive destination for families seeking a suburban lifestyle while remaining close to urban amenities.

Community Development

In recent decades, Highland has focused on community development and revitalization efforts. The town has invested in infrastructure improvements, including the renovation of downtown areas, parks, and recreational facilities.

Highland also takes pride in preserving its historical heritage. The Main Square Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, showcases the town's architectural legacy and serves as a reminder of its past.

Key Milestones in Highland's History

  • Early settlement by European pioneers
  • Introduction of the railroad
  • Incorporation as a town in 1910
  • Industrialization and suburbanization
  • Community development and revitalization

Notable Landmarks and Attractions

  • Wicker Memorial Park
  • Main Square Historic District
  • Highland Parks and Recreation Department
  • The Indiana Welcome Center
  • John Dillinger Museum

Population Growth in Highland

Year Population
1900 623
1950 4,723
2000 23,727
2020 22,914

Frequently Asked Questions about Highland, Indiana

Q: What is the history of Highland, Indiana?

A: Highland was settled by European pioneers in the early 19th century. The town experienced significant growth with the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century and was officially incorporated in 1910.

Q: What are some notable landmarks in Highland?

A: Highland boasts several notable landmarks, including Wicker Memorial Park, the Main Square Historic District, and the John Dillinger Museum.

Q: How has Highland developed over the years?

A: Highland has experienced industrialization and suburbanization since World War II. The town has focused on community development and revitalization, investing in infrastructure improvements and preserving its historical heritage.

Q: What is the current population of Highland?

A: As of 2020, the population of Highland is approximately 22,914.

Reuben Macedonio
Reuben Macedonio

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