Gary - Encyclopedia

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GARY, a city of Lake county, Indiana, U.S.A., at the southern end of Lake Michigan, about 25 m. S.E. of Chicago, Ill. Pop. (1910 census) 16,802. Gary is served by the Baltimore & Ohio, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, the Michigan Central, the Pennsylvania, the Wabash, and (for freight only) the Chicago, Lake Shore & Eastern, and the Indiana Harbor Belt railways, and by several steamship lines plying the Great Lakes. There are about 21 sq. m. within the municipal limits, but the city lies chiefly within a tract of about 8000 acres composed at the time of its settlement mainly of sand dunes and swamps intersected from east to west by tha Grand Calumet and the Little Calumet rivers, small streams respectively about and 3 m. S. of the lake shore. In 1906 the United States Steel Corporation bought this tract to establish on it a great industrial community, as direct water connexion with the Lake Superior ore region was possible, and it was comparatively accessible to West Virginia coal and Michigan limestone, with unusual railroad facilities. The Steel Corporation began the actual building of the town in June 1906, the first step being the installation of an elaborate system of sewers, and of mains and conduits, for the distribution of water, gas and electricity. The water-supply is taken from the lake at a point 2 m. offshore by means of a tunnel. These public utilities the Steel Corporation controls, and it has built about 500 dwellings, two hotels, a bank, and its own plant. A small patch of land, now within the limits of the city, has been from the beginning in the hands of private owners, but the remainder of the lots (except those already sold) are owned by the Steel Corporation, and are sold under certain restrictions intended to prevent real estate speculation, to guarantee bona fide improvement of the property, and to restrict the sale of intoxicating drinks. Between the Grand Calumet river (which has been dredged out into a canal) and the lake lies the plant of the Steel Corporation, covering about 1200 acres. All the machinery in this great plant is driven by electricity from generators whose motive power is supplied by the combustion of gases from the blast furnaces. From the same sources is also supplied the electricity for lighting the city. The rail mill is operated by three-phase induction motors of from 2000 to 6000 horse-power capacity. The city was chartered in 1906 and was named in honour of Elbert Henry Gary (b. 1846), chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the finance committee of the United States Steel Corporation.

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