Indiana Towns of 1836
Perhaps you reside in one of these towns? Take a look below to see how your town got started.
Michigan City (founded 1836) – Survived. The town is known for its abundance of pine and hardwood that gave rise to a thriving lumbering industry. The city’s harbor and the arrival of the railroad brought new industry, from the manufacture of rail cars to glassmaking and flour mills. Michigan City even pitted itself against Chicago in a race to become the major port of Lake Michigan.
Strawtown (founded 1836) – Strawtown was originally plotted by William Conner. The early trails in central Indiana came together at Strawtown. Conner trail came through Strawtown; it originated in the Cincinnati area and headed north to Strawtown and then south to Indianapolis. It was considered to become the state capitol since the area was highly travelled, however, in the 1840s and 1850s the town stopped growing due to the alternate means of transportation. Railroads ousted the use of the trails around Strawtown (it was four miles from the nearest railroad) which led to its demise.
View larger image of Strawtown map here
Town of Bengal (platted March 1836) – The site was situated on both sides of the Wabash and Eerie Canal about one half mile South of the Maumee River. The site was never developed or settled.
Town of Carmel (founded 1836) – Survived. Known as Bethlehem until 1874, Carmel started as a small trading post and farming community.
Town of Fairport (founded 1837) – Intended to give the small town of Fort Wayne competition, it was the largest plat, or area of land, recorded up to that time and one of the largest ever recorded in Allen County, Indiana. The original plat was located on both sides of the Wabash and Erie Canal. There was a tavern for travelers on the River Road and the canal, a post office and general store. The post office moved and with the decline of the canals use, Fairport was forgotten.
Town of La Porte (founded 1833) – Survived.
Town of LaGrange (founded 1836) – Survived.
Town of Middlebury (founded 1836) – Survived.
Town of Monticello (founded 1834) – Survived. It was founded by the White County commissioners on a bluff above Tippecanoe River. It is named after the mansion of Thomas Jefferson.
Town of New Haven (founded 1839) – Survived.
Town of Westport (founded 1836) – Survived.