LANSING, Ill. (May 18, 218) – When Jeff White’s carefully orchestrated plans for his May 17 Local History Class fell through, he quickly orchestrated new plans for the 27 adult students. He took them on a “mystery tour” of “places that you could go see anytime, but you just never get around to seeing them.”
The group boarded two Illiana mini buses and headed east, over the border, into Indiana, to visit the following local treasures:
1. Carlson Oxbow Park (Kennedy Avenue and 177th Street, Hammond)
2. Michael Jackson’s birthplace (2300 Jackson Street, Gary)
3. Jean Shepherd’s childhood home and neighborhood (2907 Cleveland Street, Hessville)
4. State Bank of Hammond (5444-5446 Calumet Avenue, Hammond)
5. Downtown Hammond
6. Upper-class Hammond
Throughout the tour, as each stop was revealed, members of the class would exclaim, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to see this!,” confirming White’s premise for the tour. All these sites are close enough to Lansing that most of us don’t make a special effort to see them.
White’s annual Local History Class is a perfect opportunity to learn more about Lansing and our surrounding area. Each class consists of five or six evening field trips to local buildings, cemeteries, farms, and businesses, with White explaining the historical significance. The class visits different sites each year.