"The little town that came to the tracks" Griffith by sambarnett

Griffith Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 7 photos

   With up to five major railroad lines converging at this area by the late 1880’s, the growth of a community seemed inevitable. The first to try were the Dwiggins brothers, Jay and Elmer, real estate agents who purchased 140 acres of land with the intention of creating “Chicago’s Best Factory Suburb.” As they planned on naming the community “Dwiggins Junction,” perhaps it is fortunate that the brothers lost their shirts and skipped town during the Depression of 1893.

Those who stayed, including rail agent Peter Govert, whose 1870’s era white frame house at 338 S. Broad Street is one of the town’s oldest landmarks, worked to ensure the town’s growth and prosperity. They renamed the town Griffith, in honor of Benjamin Griffith, the railroad surveyor who prepared maps of the area.

Griffith still retains its heritage as a transportation crossroads. Many of the Region’s major roads pass through the town of 18,000 residents and up to thirty trains per day halt downtown traffic. Each fall the town holds a railroad festival, sponsored by the local historical society. But perhaps Griffith is best known nationally for this immortal line from The Christmas Story, based on the works of Hammond native Jean Sheppard:

“Did you hear about this guy that swallowed a yo-yo?”
“Swallowed a yo-yo?”
“Yeah, some clodhopper down in Griffith, Indiana.”

  • Intro Updated Mar 16, 2003
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