The house at this location, between Cedar Trail and Ogden Road, adjoining an undeveloped road and the park, was built by Richard and Matilda Siebert in 1947. According to County records, the Sieberts acquired the property in early 1947 from Earl and Helen Brown. The Browns had purchased it about ten years earlier from Charles and Bessie Yarrington, who were among the few early landowners and settlers in the new town of Ogden Dunes.
The Sieberts had already been residents, having built the house at 23 Sunset Trail about ten years earlier, and were living there at the time they moved to their new home on Cedar Trail. My family had known the Sieberts slightly through our friends, the Nelson Henry family, a year or so before the Sieberts arrived. In the meantime, our family was spending summers at 16 Hillcrest Road, since 1931.
After my wife and I moved permanently to the Hillcrest house, in 1946, I got to know Dick Siebert while riding the New York Central commuter train from Ogden Dunes to Chicago. I would often sit with Dick and a few other “regulars,” notably Ogden “Nick” Nickerson, Art Zimmerman, Ed Kidwell and Ed Pittet, from the late forties until about 1954, when the steam-powered train discontinued stops at Ogden Dunes.
My wife, Mildred, working at the Gary National Bank (Gainer Bank) in 1947, remembers Mrs. Siebert, a regular customer of the bank in downtown Gary, bringing in samples of wallpaper and fabrics she had selected for their new house then under construction
Dick managed property in downtown Chicago, and salvaged marble and other materials from buildings being renovated or wrecked at that time for use in their Cedar Trail home. The house contains marble floors and other such salvaged material. Of particular note are the wrought-iron outdoor lights he acquired from the McCormick mansion in Chicago. One of these Dick had already installed at their Sunset Trail house and then, later, the other at their newly-constructed house on Cedar Trail.
Mrs. Siebert became ill rather soon after they moved and passed away about three years later. Dick retired at about that time and lived alone, later with a male friend and pet dog, until 1961 when we purchased his Cedar Trail residence. We moved from our Hillcrest home later the same year, in the summer of 1961.
Dick was a veteran of World War I, and was active in the Ogden Dunes American Legion Post, which flourished briefly in the forties and fifties. Upon leaving the Dunes, he first moved to Chicago, then to the Veterans Home in Lafayette, Indiana, where as I recall, he died about 1968.
Before moving into our Cedar Trail home, we made numerous changes to the heating and kitchen layout, and redecorated throughout. What we didn’t do ourselves we contracted each job individually. Our first spring spend preparing to move, we marveled at the
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Melvin T. Tracht