8 Lupine Lane
Ogden Dunes, Indiana 46368


4:00PM – 5:30PM
Third Sunday of Each Month
(Or By Appointment)

Museum History

The cottage was built in 1993-1934 on Lupine Lane by Pete Nicholson for Orlin D. and Tillie Frank.  Orlin Frank, a botanist/naturalist, taught at the University of Chicago Laboratory School.  The Franks named their cottage, the “Hour Glass” to represent the “Sands of Time”.  In 1942, when O.D. retired, he and Tillie moved permanently to Ogden Dunes.  At that time they added the western third of the cottage, including the garage, two bedrooms and half-baths on the 2nd floor, and a bedroom on the 3rd floor.   After the deaths of Tillie (1878-1960) and O.D. (1879-1963), the “Hour Glass” was passed to family members who sold it to Sue Mechtersheimer (1905-1993) in 1992.  Sue, a former Chicago teacher/administrator, a part-time realtor, and long-time resident of Ogden Dunes, had sold the lot on Lupine Lane to O.D. Frank in 1933.  The central feature of the cottage is the large great room on the 2nd floor with its famous “Friendship Fireplace”, constructed with stones and fossils, given to the Franks, because of their interest in travel and natural history.  Over 400 stones are numbered, with an index showing who gave the stone, where it was from, and the date.  It is a double fire-place built in the shape of an hourglass, with the second fireplace in the loft above the living room.

With Sue Mechtersheimer’s gift, the Historical Society now had a permanent home.  It now houses a permanent exhibit on the first floor, as well as space for storage.  The great room on the 2nd floor allows us to offer programs and accommodates an audience of forty or more.  It also serves as space for rotating or seasonal exhibits.  The two former bedrooms serve as an archival room and an exhibit room.   The attached rear porch also provides exhibit space.

The “Hour Glass” also provides space for community activities and meetings.   Because the Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization, we can open the museum only when we have programs.  However, the public can view the exhibits by appointment.  Please call, 219-763-0658 or 708-383-7105, for an appointment or contact one of the members of the Board.  We have made our exhibits available to local libraries and recently, we began a collaboration with the Town to install large, rotating exhibits in the Town’s Community Room, adjacent to the Volunteer Fire Department on Hillcrest Road.

Since its founding in 1991, the Historical Society has published regularly the “Hour Glass Newsletter” for its members.   With this website, we will add articles that have appeared in the past issues of the newsletter.  This continues our mission of presenting the history of our community and its residents and organizations.   Also beginning with its founding, the Historical Society shares the history of northwest Indiana through six to eight public programs a year.

With support from Tri Kappa, the Ogden Dunes Community Foundation, the Anderson Foundation, the Town of Ogden Dunes, and other friends and organizations, we continue to collect and to organize the papers, photographs, and objects that reflect the history of Ogden Dunes.   Our collections include papers and photographs from the Town, the major community organizations, and residents of Ogden Dunes, as well as works of art from artists associated with Ogden Dunes.

The Historical Society regularly collaborates with other historical organizations.   A member of the Board meets regularly with the representatives of other Porter County museums.  The POCO Museum (Porter County Museum) has provided significant assistance to us, especially in supporting the Ogden Dunes Stories Project that resulted in the permanent exhibit on the first floor.  POCO also featured an exhibit on O.D. & Tillie Frank and the Hour Glass Cottage in 2014-2015.   We have also shared exhibit materials with the Beverly Shores Museum and the POCO Museum.  In 2016 the Historical Society co-sponsored a Mid-Century Architecture Tour of Ogden Dunes and Beverly Shores with Indiana Landmarks.    Also in 2016 the Historical Society and other local museums collaborated with the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to offer a series of exhibits celebrating the creation of the National Lakeshore in 1966.   Our exhibit, “The Battle for the Dunes: the Ogden Dunes Stories,” is now installed Town’s Community Hall.

The Historical Society also sponsored two major homes tours,  “Cottages of Ski Hill Road” in 2007 and “Homes and Studios of Artists of Ogden Dunes” in 2009.

In 1993-1994 the Historical Society collected and published all the issues of the “Ogden Dunes Sandpiper”, an occasional town newsletter published from 1938 to 1970.   This is a valuable resources detailing the development of the Ogden Dunes community during its formative years.  More recently, the Historical Society, Ken  Martin and Dick Meister produced Ogden Dunes: A Photographic History, published by Arcadia Press in its Images of America Series in 2014.


The Hour Glass Museum has four exhibit rooms. Financial support for the mounting exhibits manifesting building community spirit comes from the “Henry Kazmier Exhibit Fund.”

“Ogden Dunes Stories”

Location: “Hour Glass” Museum, 1st Floor

Duration: Permanent

Installed in 2015 in cooperation with the POCO Museum. It relates the history of Ogden Dunes through photos and stories, collected from former and current residents.

“Building Community Spirit:
Sun-Kissed Summers”

Location: “Hour-Glass” Museum, 2nd Floor

Duration: Annual (October to October)

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We have dedicated space on the 2nd floor for an annual exhibit that focuses on a theme that reflects “Building Community Spirit”.   The 2017-2018 Exhibit is the first exhibit in this space.   The theme, “Sun-Kissed Summers”, tells of story of how organized or semi-organized activities scheduled along the beach brings people together, creating a community.  This one and future exhibits are and will be supported by by the Henry ‘Hank’ Kazmier Exhibit Fund.   Hank Kazmier devoted nearly 50 years of his life organizing and supporting activities that built ‘community’ in Ogden Dunes.


“Battle for the Dunes”

Location: Community Hall, adjacent to Ogden Dunes Fire Station

Duration: Annual

In cooperation with the Town of Ogden Dunes the Historical Society will install… [read more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”] rotating exhibits in the Community Hall. This is the first exhibit to be installed.  It was originally installed in the Museum in 2016 as part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the creation on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  It tells the story of how Ogden Dunes and its residents worked to save the dunes.  In October 2018 we will move “Sun-Kissed Summer” to the Community Hall.   The purpose of this program is to increase access by the Ogden Dunes community to the History of Ogden Dunes.


“Ogden Dunes’ Ship Wreck”

“Soccer in Ogden Dunes”

Location: “Hour-Glass” Museum, 2nd Floor

Duration: Seasonal

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The Ogden Dunes ship wreck is along the shore near East Hill Road and Shore Drive.  Today this wreck, once part of an 19th century sailing ship, measures approximately 90 feet by 24 feet.  Part of the skeleton of the ship is buried in sand and part covered by water.  When lake levels drop, parts of the ship are visible.  When uncovered and subject to storms, pieces of the wreck are torn from the ship.   The Historical Society has recovered about 20 pieces of the wreck.  These have been measured and photographed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

“Soccer in the Dunes” celebrates the role of soccer in the history of Ogden Dunes. Since the late 1960s hundreds of boys and girls have participated in soccer.  This tradition continues even to today.   The early impetus came from Nick Matavuli, an Ogden Dunes resident, who organized the first teams and took a group of boys with the support of the Ogden Dunes community to Moscow in 1971.   Five years later another group of young men from Ogden Dunes travelled to Great Britain as part of the celebration of the Bi-centennial and a sign of friendship with England.


“Artists of the Dunes: Dale Messick and Marshall D’Arcy”

Location: “Hour-Glass” Museum, 2nd Floor

Duration: Rotating

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Dale Messick (1906-2005), the creator of ‘Brenda Starr: Girl Reporter’, lived in Ogden Dunes from 1952 to 1967.  Over the span of over 30 years, she created approximately 10,000 story boards.   This exhibit focuses on Dale’s years, growing up in Hobart, Indiana, and her years in Ogden Dunes.

Marshall D’Arcy, an Ogden Dunes resident, is a highly respected photographer of the “Wild Flowers of the Indiana Dunes.”  Each colored photo contains its scientific name, the date and time of the photo, and its geographical location.  We have also lent and installed framed photos from this collection for short-duration exhibits in local libraries.

In addition to the work of these two artists, we have on permanent display individual works by artists who have resided or do reside in Ogden Dunes.


“Rotating Exhibits”

Location: “Hour-Glass” Museum, 2nd Floor

Duration: Rotating and/or Seasonal

Through out the year, the Historical Society mounts either special exhibits, focusing on events, places, or stories of Ogden Dunes, and on seasonal exhibits.[read more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]For example, we have exhibited from time-to-time photos and text that have focused on individuals, for example, Alice Mabel Gray, ‘Diana of the Dunes’ or O.D. and Tillie Frank, the original owners of the “Hour Glass” cottage.   The Society also mounts seasonal exhibits.  For example, during the Winter we display photos and objects from the Ogden Dunes Ski Jump, as well as “Winter Scenes” painted or photographed by local artists.   Another example is the extensive exhibit that tells the History of Celebrating Memorial Day in Ogden Dunes that is installed in May and June.