1920s: “The Beginnings”

In the mid-twenties three external events influenced the development of Ogden Dunes. One, the completion of U.S. 12 “Dunes Highway” directly linked Chicago to southern Michigan. Two, the construction of the Burns Waterway (Ditch) directly east of Ogden Dunes that linked the Little Calumet River to Lake Michigan and drained the watershed south of Ogden Dunes.  Three, Samuel Insull’s purchase and upgrade of the South Shore electric railway.

1923: Ogden Dunes, Inc., led by Samuel Reck and included Colin Mackenzie and Joseph Boo purchased over 500 acres from the estate of Francis Ogden.

1925: Alice Mabel Gray, “Diana of the Dunes”, died on February 9 in her cabin, “Wren’s Nest” , located between Polliwog Pond and the today’s Water Pumping Station.

1925: Ogden Dunes, Inc. recorded its 1st Subdivision with 315 lots, including 48 along the lake front.  The boundaries are approximately Hillcrest Road on the west, Ogden Road on the east, and Boat Club Road on the south.  Ogden Dunes Realty handled the promotion and sales.

1925: The Town of Ogden Dunes incorporated with 24 home owners voting to incorporate.  This allow a legal easement across the New York Central and the South Shore Railroad tracks.

1927: The recently formed Ogden Dunes Ski Club, made up of residents of Chicago, leased land and constructed the largest man-made ski jump in North America for international competition.  The first competition was held in January 1928 drew  nearly 10,000 spectators.

1929: National Steel announced plans to build a large steel mill, a lake port, and a new town just east of the recently opened Burns Waterway.  Just as the Great Depression nearly destroyed Ogden Dunes, it also postponed for 25 years the industrial development east of Ogden Dunes.

2018-07-20T09:34:01+00:00