Crown Point Community Library

Library Updates

Winfield Branch Library Opening Soon

Posted by lclemons on

There is a lot of community enthusiasm about the new branch, and one of the questions most asked is “when will it open?!” Branch manager, Brenda Thompson added, “We’re thrilled that it isn’t going to be very much longer!”
Patrons of the Winfield Branch Library shouldn’t have any trouble finding their new library when it opens late September. The new location is just down the street in the Doubletree Plaza located at the corner of Randolph and 109th.
Not much work is needed on the outside, but plenty of work is being done in the interior. The new branch location features over 3,000 square feet of more space. It will offer a public meeting room, more seating, additional public computers, dedicated spaces for Teens and Children, an outside book drop and better parking options.
A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebration is being planned in October. Please look for updates on the library’s website and the September issue of Check It Out.DSC_1243-bHard hats

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Board of Trustees Hold Public Hearing

Posted by lclemons on

The Crown Point Community Library Board of Trustees will hold a Public Hearing, to discuss appropriations for rainy day funds, approval of
personnel manual revision and new ILS system, on Monday, July 18 at 5:00 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Board Room, located on the 3rd Floor.  A special board meeting will immediately follow. I.C.# 5-14-1.5-6.


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Explore Indiana State Parks This Summer

Posted by lclemons on

In 2016, Hoosiers can check out state parks by checking out an entrance pass from their public library. The State Park Centennial Annual Pass Library Check-out Program is a partnership between Indiana State Parks and the Indiana State Library to encourage people to visit libraries and parks. The passes will provide access to Indiana’s 32 state parks and also to Indiana’s state forest recreation areas where entrance fees are charged. Passes will be available for check-out until December 31.

Let the Library help you explore! Both the Crown Point and Winfield Branch Libraries have ONE Indiana State Park Pass that can be checked out for up to seven days at a time. The pass can’t be renewed, and a $1 per day late fee will be assessed if the pass is not returned by the due date. If the pass is lost, the patron will be charged a $50 replacement fee, which is the cost of the annual pass.

In addition, the library has a variety of road trip guides to help you plan your journey. Come in today and “Check It Out!”

turkey run

Pictured Above: Turkey Run State Park

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Indiana Room History Blog – Celebrating the Indy 500? Thank the Cobe Cup

Posted by jletcher on

The Crown Point Community Library Indiana Room celebrates and collects the history of Crown Point, Lake County, and Indiana.  It is a place to learn about the community and to conduct genealogy research.  “If Solon Could See Us Now?” is the history blog for the Indiana Room- a place to explore new people, places, and other entries featuring a variety of topics.  Please enjoy this online display about the Cobe Cup.

Celebrating the Indy 500? Thank the Cobe Cup

2016 is the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 (also known as: The 500, The 500-Mile Race, Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, Indy 500, or International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race {sweepstakes dropped in 1981}).  Although the Indy 500 first ran in 1911, it paused for several years during World War II.  The Greatest Spectacle in Racing may currently run in Indianapolis, but it has its beginnings 134 miles to the north in Crown Point.

Conceived by Ira Cobe, president of the Chicago Automobile Club, the race was intended to bring car racing to the west and create a new race to rival the Vanderbilt Cup in the east.  Cobe chose Northwest Indiana for its vicinity to Chicago and its hospitable landscape.  He planned the event for June 1909, even underwriting the road preparation and telegraph stations that needed to be installed along the route.

The course was 23.27 miles per lap which included Crown Point, Cedar Lake, and Lowell.  Affectionately known as “The Nine Mile,” Indiana Avenue was nicknamed so after the Cobe race since it was the Nine Mile Stretch of track from Lowell to Crown Point.  The roads were smoothed, some new sections built, and parts were coated in macadam at the cost of $21,000.00, starting at the beginning of May 1909.  Time was of the essence since there would be a $500/day delay fee if the road was not completed for the first day of the race.

newpaper with route cropped1993 newspaper with route cropped

Source: A Special Souvenir Edition of you Post-Tribune: Share in the Celebration: A Salute to One Hundred-Fifty Years of Progress in Crown Point (June 21, 1984, Page 5) and The Lake County Star newspaper microfilm collection

May is the first mention of the impending race in The Lake County Star newspaper.  There were sporadic articles each week about the progress of the road and other necessary construction, the potential visitors to the area, and the racers themselves.

The main grandstand was built along IN 55 about 1.25 miles south of the turn onto what is now Joliet Ave.  It served as the start and end point of the race.  Crown Point lumberman, D.A. Root was awarded the contract to supply the lumber and build the stands as well as the walking bridge over the course.  The Grandstands were located on the east side of the street and the parking was provided on the west.

newpaper with grandstand cropped

Source: The Lake County Star newspaper microfilm collection


Photograph Courtesy of The Lake County Historical Museum

Although financial backers and elite racing fans from around the country sat in the stands, most people lined the streets along the course rather than pay $10 for parking and then $5/person for a seat in the grandstand.  Illinois National Guardsmen also lined the course- to protect both spectators and racers.  There was a secondary stand on Main Street at the Square that only had 1 customer and a brass band.

street scene 1 street scene 2

Photographs Courtesy of The Lake County Historical Museum

The Western Stock Chassis Championship was planned as a 2 day open road race.  The Indiana Trophy race was only a 10 lap race on the same course for smaller engines, held the first day.  Joe Matson was victorious on June 18th, beating 17 other drivers.  He finished the race in 4 hours 31 minutes and 21 seconds in a Chalmers-Detroit with an average speed of 51 mph.  The Cobe Cup was awarded on June 19, 1909, following the 395 mile race (17 laps) for “bigger engines.”  Driving a Buick, Louis Chevrolet won the staggered start race that included 12 cars.  Chevrolet was victorious not by order of finish, but by his time.  With the average speed of 49 mph, he won in 8 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds, beating the first to cross the finish line by 65 seconds.


Photo source: The Times newspaper

Hoping to be a commercial success and annual event, investors actually lost money.  Expectations were high for filling the newly built grandstand with spectators.  There were estimates for up to 100,000 fans before the race, with actual numbers around 35,000.  Since those fans chose to picnic roadside along the course, it cost backers an estimated $25,000.  The Cobe Cup is considered a success only from a racing point of view.  Assessment included, “Not a racer was spilled and not a car turned turtle.  The pilots went around the curves discreetly instead of precipitately.”  Perhaps this due to the fact that the drivers were permitted to practice the course that included a dangerous, and infamous, S-Curve halfway between Crown Point and Cedar Lake starting June 10th, from 2-4pm, per the public notice on the front page of the June 4, 1909, edition of The Lake County Star.  The S-Curve has since been straightened slightly, no longer the danger it once was.

The Cobe Cup Trophy was presented to Chevrolet on the steps of the Courthouse.  The 5’4” trophy no longer exists, rumored to have been melted down for scrap metal after Chevrolet’s death.

At the time, there was little love lost about the event.  The Lake County Star front page headline on the edition following the race read “THE GREAT RACES ARE OVER. The Crowds Have Dispersed.  Thank the Lord.” along with, “the best part is no one was killed or severely injured and plenty of vendors frosted.”  The full column article mostly recalled the hassle of the race rather than the crowds and notoriety it brought to the area.  Later in the edition, an article headlined “Threaten to Come Again” quoted Cobe as saying “Well, from the way I size up the situation now, I believe that we can repeat our races next year: in fact, I think I can safely say that the second running of the Cobe Cup will be in 1910.  As to our plans it would be hard to say right now, but we are going ahead with our preparations just the same and are going to begin early next time.”

Subsequent races were cancelled and moved to the Indianapolis Speedway, where it was later decided to only hold one annual race starting in 1911- The Indianapolis International Sweepstakes.

song cover

Photo source: IU Collections: INHarmony

Nostalgia has taken over, as it often does.  Lyricist Victor H. Smalley and composer Bernard Adler retold the story of the Cobe Cup race with their song, “I Love My Horse and Wagon, But Oh! You Buick Car.”  Since 1984, there have been annual reenactments of the Cobe Cup- a general cruise along the course with a police escort of cars pre-dating 1975.  More recently, newer cars have been allowed to participate if qualified within the rules.  It was cancelled in 2013 due to lack of local support, but returned in 2014.  In 2015, 90 participated in the cruise, which commenced at the Lake County Fairgrounds and ended there with a celebration and car show.  Want to participate this year?  The 2016 Cobe Cup Cruise will be held at the Lake County Fairgrounds on June 18th.

As you watch the Indy 500 this Memorial Day, say a little thank you to Crown Point- it created the path to The Brickyard.

Sources and Additional Reading

Special thanks to the Lake County Historical Museum for several photographs

The Lake County Star newspaper microfilm, Crown Point Community Library

Early Years of Chicago Area Racing- The Turn of the Century and Beyond by Stan Kalwasinski

The Cobe Trophy Race of 1909: Louis Chevrolet’s big day The Times May 23, 2013

Cobe Cup Race from Cruise IN

The Hub Pages: Travel: Crown Point

Song Image and Lyrics from IU Collections: INHarmony

Regional Streeters, Indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

NY Tribune 06201909

Cobe Cup Information from Lowell Public Library

See the Crown Point Community Library Indiana Room for titles available in the library also.

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Summer Reading Kick Off at Winfield Library Monday, June 6th

Posted by rwray on

Come to the Winfield Library on Monday, June 6th from 11:00 -12:00 and meet Rusty the Railcat for our Summer Reading Program kick off!!! While you’re signing up for this years’ Summer Reading there will be face-painting and baseball card cut out photo opps! Come into the library wearing your sports uniform and receive an extra ticket for the next week’s prize drawing! This year’s Summer Reading Program goes from June 6th – July 29th. Hope to see you there!!!


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Money Smart Presentations

Posted by lclemons on

Money Smart Week, April 23-30, 2016

Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. The Library will have a large variety of free consumer help sheets located in the Reference Department on the second floor of the Crown Point location.
The Crown Point Community Library location will also host the following special presentations for FREE!

Personal Finance for Adults
April 19 at 2:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 1

Kelly Griese, Investor Education Coordinator from the Indiana’s Secretary of
State office, will present a Personal Finance seminar for adults including the subjects of debt, credit cards and budgeting.
Light refreshments will be served and a $25 Visa gift card door prize will be awarded to one of the attendees at the conclusion of the presentation.

Preventing Identity Theft
April 26 at 6:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 1

Crown Point’s Fifth Third Bank will present a seminar on preventing Identity Theft. Identity theft is a form of stealing someone’s identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity, usually as a method to gain access to resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name. Come hear how you can prevent identity theft from impacting your finances.

For more information please contact Julie Wendorf at 219-306-4597.

Indiana Money Wise

Centier Logo

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Mini Golf Tickets On Sale NOW!

Posted by lclemons on

The Crown Point Community Library is celebrating National Library Week, April 10 – 16, by presenting its annual miniature golf event, a “Hole Lot of Fun”. Come celebrate the library and participate in this fun-filled event! Tickets go on sale April 1 at the Crown Point and Winfield Branch Library. Skip the long lines on the day of the event!

This year we have four schools participating in the “hole decorating” contest sponsored by our Friends of the Library: MacArthur Elementary, Lake Street Elementary, Solon Robinson Elementary and Trinity Lutheran. Tell your family and friends to come to the event to play and VOTE for their favorite school. The winning school will receive $300 to purchase books for their school library.

Tickets are $5 per person or $20 for a group of five. Your ticket includes one game of mini golf and entry to the Family Fun Zone where there will be refreshments, face painting, a balloonist, games and more! Ronald McDonald will be visiting at 10:30 a.m.

Don’t worry about parking, the City of Crown Point has donated “Molly the Trolley” to transport  you to and from the library that day. Park at the Wheeler Middle School lot and the trolley will take you around the square and drop you off right in front of the library. The trolley will run every 30 minutes from 10 – 3 p.m.

We are so excited for this event! Hope to see you there!

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Posted by lclemons on

The Crown Point Community Library will take part in the Big Library Read program, the world’s largest global eBook reading club through libraries and schools that connects millions of readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time. Crown Point Library users will be able to borrow the eBook and audiobook, American Sniper: The New York Times bestselling memoir of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, starting Thursday, March 17 and concluding on Thursday,March 31 by visiting Big Library Read is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading platform for eBooks and audiobooks from the library. The free program runs for two weeks and to get started reading, all that is needed is a Crown Point Community Library card.

Big Read 2016

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  • Crown Point


    Monday -Thursday: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

    122 North Main Street
    Crown Point, IN 46307


    Question about the website?

  • Winfield Branch


    Mon., Wed. & Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Tuesday & Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    Saturday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Sunday: Closed

    10771 Randolph St
    Crown Point, IN 46307


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