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Posted on: February 9, 2017

Burns Harbor unveils historical Indiana Territory Boundary Line marker


On February 4, 2017, the Town of Burns Harbor unveiled a plaque marking the Indiana Territory Boundary Line to celebrate a bit of local history and to commemorate Indiana’s Bicentennial, which was celebrated in 2016. The unveiling was originally planned for December 2016, but was postponed due to weather conditions. This historical marker sits on the northern boundary line of the Indiana Territory, which was formed in 1800 by the United States government when the Northwest Territory was split into the Ohio Territory and the Indiana Territory. This northern boundary line was formed by a line that began at the southern bend of Lake Michigan and ran due east to the first principal meridian­—established in 1798 and originating at the junction of the Ohio and Miami rivers, otherwise, the eastern border of Indiana—and continuing on until Lake Erie.  In 1815, the Indiana Territorial Legislature petitioned the U.S. Congress to have the territory recognized as a state, and realizing that access to Lake Michigan would be vital to the state’s future economic growth, they made a plea to extend the state’s northern border to the north to include part of southern Lake Michigan.  When Congress allowed Indiana to become the 19th state in the union in 1816, it moved Indiana’s border 10 miles to the north of the extreme southern shore of Lake Michigan. Had the original northern boundary line not been moved, it would have put a portion of present-day Burns Harbor in Michigan.

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