There are over 15 miles of coastline that can be explored.
The 1933 “Century of Progress” homes, originally built for the 1933 Chicago World's fair, fully and partially restored.
Memorial Opera House—a memorial to Civil War veterans built in 1893.
Backstory and Context
result from a movement that had begun in 1899. there were three people who were imperative on making these dunes turn into something real and tangible, there names were "Henry Cowles, a botanist from the University of Chicago; Paul H. Douglas, Senator for the State of Illinois; and Dorothy R. Buell, an Ogden Dunes resident and English teacher." Henry Cowles had then published an article entitled "Ecological Relations of the Vegetation on Sand Dunes of Lake Michigan," that feautured in the Botanical Gazette in 1899 that made Henry to be the "father of plant ecology" in North America and that then brought international attention to the in depth ecosystems existing on the dunes.
They went through many trials after some light was shed upon this amazing discovery of so much, but what was written and found wasn't enough. Industry wanted to take over and put the dunes to rest but that just could not happen seeing as there was one of the largest sand dunes on the lakeshore counting at 200 feet in height! There were many years of battle to try and save the dunes, during the first twenty years brothers called the Ball brothers of Muncie, Indiana, glass fruit jar manufactures , and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company of Kokomo personally carried this sand dune "The Hoosier Slide" away in railroad boxcars.
There was so much faith in these dunes that people would not go down without a good fight. Becuase there was so much fight in everyone the Prairie Club of Chicago was created in 1908. It was the first group that gave the idea of parts of the dunes could not be touched, maintained in its condition and there trying to find a common ground. It was then that the National Dunes Park Association promoted "A National Park for the Middle West, and all the Middle West for a National Park." They were hit yet again when the depression happened and its new slogan was to "Save the Dunes" and then changed to "First Save the Country, Then Save the Dunes!" as the the World War died out and the depression began. There was a ten year petition to save the dunes, and that did not go without struggle.
Finally In the summer of 1961, all of the people that kept fighting so that the dunes could be saved started to see hope. "Then President John F. Kennedy supported congressional authorization for Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, which marked the first time federal monies would be used to purchase natural parkland." It was also known that President Kennedy took a stand on the National Lakeshore, outlining a program to link the nation's economic vitality to a movement for conservation of the natural environment. This program became known as The Kennedy Compromise, 1963-1964.
"By the time the 89th Congress adjourned in late 1966, the bill had passed and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore finally became a reality."