Drusilla Carr

Drusilla Carr
Drusilla Carr

The Carr Family of Miller, Lake County Indiana with Stull Widner Waugh and Johnson Iines

Quick Facts
Pioneer and squatter on Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana
Place of Birth:
Porter County, IN
Date of Birth:
July 29, 1856
Place of Death:
Miller, IN
Date of Death:
September 15, 1930

“Squatter Queen”

Drusilla Carr was an unwavering early woman of Miller’s lakeshore who settled in 1872 and through squatter’s rights owned today’s Marquette Park and part of Miller Woods when it was regarded as unfarmable waste sands. In 1908, shortly after Gary’s construction, she began her over two-decade battle against descendants of old claims and a steel giant’s desire for expansion to defend the scenes of her youth and her legal claim to what became invaluable beachfront property. 

Quote by her:

“No one ever told me I was on their property.”

Quote about her:

“She was a heroic little soul who stood her ground when she thought she was in the right. Strength, courage, and dignity were her clothing.”

Drusilla Carr Biography:

“I was born at Gossetburg on Salt Creek.” Druislla Benn was born at a small saw-mill town northeast of Valparaiso in Porter County, Indiana on July 29th, 1856. She and her brother became orphans in the 1860s. Drusilla was taken in by Ann Thomas of Westchester Township, Porter County to work in a kitchen. She was listed in the 1870 census as working as a “domestic” at the age of 13; it also noted that young Drusilla had never been taught to read or write. Her family’s oral history remembers that at this time she was forced to work around very hot ovens. 

She left the Thomas household in 1872 and moved to the Lake County lakefront near the mouth of the Grand Calumet River at Miller to work with her brother at John and Hank Granger’s Fishing shack as a housekeeper. Drusilla recalled, “It was near to where the Gary [Marquette Park] is and close to the lagoon… I cooked for them.” The area would be later described in court: 

That region was then a wilderness, consisting mainly of sand dunes and swamps. There were some ponds, drainage in the form of a broad and shallow river, and here and there clumps of scrub trees. Mink, muskrats, and skunks were plentiful. There were some racoon, wolves, and fox. Wild rice and ducks were plentiful in season.

A young man named Robert Carr was born in Ohio, but grew up hunting and trapping with his father in Illinois. About ten years prior Robert moved near the same place as Drusilla would.  He continued to trap while he lived there with his father, who noted Native Americans in the area in 1861. After Drusilla came, her and Robert’s lives crossed near the beach and soon the couple was engaged. They married on Christmas Day in 1875. Drusilla later explained her work and noted the consequences she observed from unsustainable practices: 

 [I] worked for Carolina Carr, my husband’s step-mother. I picked cranberries for a dollar and a quarter a week. The hollows were filled with cranberries and there were plenty of huckleberries. The man by the name of Nels Anderson (we called him Moss Anderson) pulled the moss out and shipped it to Detroit, I think to use in packing fruit trees; that is the reason there are no more cranberries here.

After the birth and death of a baby girl, the pair had their second child, Edward, in 1875. Drusilla remembered, “I always helped do the fishing. When my oldest son was a baby, I took him with me and rolled him up in a blanket and laid him on the beach. As we moved our windlasses closer together, I moved the baby accordingly.”

Drusilla would later recount the early history of the property: March, 1876, a man came who said his name was Bingham. He said that in the East he had traded for some land in Section 31 and he wanted Mr. Carr to help him locate it. My husband went with him in a boat across the river to the lake. They returned in the evening and Bingham stayed over night… 

He said he was discouraged with his land; that he had been buncoed; that it was not worth the cost of recording the deed… 

I said 'If you don't want it, give it to me.' He answered: "Mrs. Carr, if you will move on the land, you may have it… 

On the evening of the second day Bingham said to me 'I have taken possession of this land. I saw Crockett and told him I had given the land to you and that I wanted him to give you his cottage if you ask him for it.' He asked me where we should find a Notary Public. I told him at Hobart. We could not very well go to Hobart with an ox-team and we could not walk. He told me to read the description from his deed, that he might take a copy of it, and when he got home he would send me a deed. I did so and he left his deed with me. He left my house on the evening of the third day. I never saw him after that. I received a letter from him stating that he had lost his copy and asking me to send him the deed. I sent the deed to him and never heard from him afterward. I wrote him once after that but received no reply. I remember what was in the deed. It read 'We now convey to Bingham all the land in Sec. 31 laying between Lake Michigan and the Grand Calumet River, and West of its mouth to the section line west.' If there was a date on it I have forgotten it.”

She continued: 

When Bingham gave me the land there was a little log shack north and a little west of 'The Blowout;' on the west side of the river. Mr. Crockett was living in the house at that time. My husband built a house at the west end of the Section, just east of the west line of the section. It was a log house, consisting of only one big room. We lived in that house about a year and a half; then we moved into the Crockett house and Crockett went to the west end.

For a decade or so, they lived near the mouth of the Grand Calumet River, occupying a cabin previously used by “Colonel” David Crockett, a reported former slave.  Drusilla later would testify to at times having to drive off trappers, asserting “this is our land.” In 1877, Drusilla gave birth to another daughter who died shortly after.

 In accordance with common practice at the time, the Carr’s collected loads of kindling wood, cordwood, and lumber from the beach where it had drifted in during storms. They also picked the wild sand cherries and grapes for their own use; and they gathered and sold sassafras in the spring. Though they supplemented by gathering, fishing was likely the family’s main source of income. The Carr’s sold their catch to Clark Station and other small settlements near the shore, westward towards Illinois. Drusilla remembered an impressive catch she helped obtain:

My husband was a fisherman and fished for white fish and sturgeon. But we hadn’t any sale for our fish, only as the farmers came in and traded for them… We had a sailboat and on one particular night, my husband had gone to South Chicago with a load of sturgeon and was late coming back. I was sitting out on the doorstep waiting to see if I could see a sail anywhere on the lake… As I sat on the doorstep, I saw them [sturgeon] jumping one after the other, and thought ‘My, what a haul we could make if someone was only there to help me.’ Finally, David Crockett came along… and he said that he would go to the mouth of the river and see if he could get any help… They laid out the seine while I picked up driftwood and made fires- one to go out by and one to come in by. We pulled in the net and wound up the windlasses and when the net came in, we had 57 large sturgeon.

At this time, massive Lake Michigan appeared to be an endless resource of fish; but overfishing led to a substantial decline in native fish populations, especially in lake sturgeon. Commercial harvest for this species was closed in the lake in 1929 after the annual catch yielded only 2,000 pounds compared to 3.8 million pounds harvested in 1879.

While living in the cabin on the river, Drusilla and Robert’s family continued to grow. In 1878, Drusilla gave birth to her daughter Clara. Three years later in 1881, a new baby boy, Frederick, was born to the family. In 1883, another son, Henry, was born. Around that time, Mr. Carr began to work for the Aetna Powder Mill. Robert had a disability and “walked with a limp,” but his work allowed him to be seated. He worked for the company for 13 years; the first 8-10 years continuously, and the remaining ones intermittently. 
In 1886, the family welcomed another baby girl, Annetta. The Carr’s also owned a house in the nearby town of Miller and Drusilla would go to live there with the children in September when school commenced, and stay there until the term closed. “We did that for several years,” she recalled. 

According to George Brennan’s interview with Drusilla and Robert, the Grand Calumet River’s mouth at Lake Michigan, near today’s Marquette Lagoons, became entirely closed in by sand in the late 1880s. Around this same time, the family of eight moved from their summer cabin to another cabin down the shore:

...we moved out on the beach, north and west…

We decided we would go to the lake-front where it would be handier to my husband's business. He was engaged in fishing. That house had two rooms. We built a barn, an ice-house, and a platform for a dancing pavilion.

The family filled their icehouse with ice they cut from the nearby Grand Calumet River. In 1890, Drusilla gave birth to her eighth and last child, Myrtle. She recounted one frightful occasion with one of her babies on the beach:

Once I was attacked by one [bald eagle] and had a terrible time with it. 

…when I went down to the beach, it tried to get at my baby. The eagle was terrible hungry and I fought with it for quite a while. My sunbonnet seemed to keep it away from my head and eyes, but I had to fight it hard to keep it away, and it might have gotten the baby if it had not been for the bonnet.

Drusilla’s daughter Clara married George Buckingham in 1894. The pair lived in Chicago, before moving to Pennsylvania, where Clara lived until her death in 1933. By around 1895, Robert stopped working for the plant.  Around 1896, a gravel road (today’s Lake Street) and a bridge was built over the Grand Calumet River. The Carr family put rollers under their house, hitched a horse to it and moved it to the east of the road. Following the road’s construction, the Carr children left for school from their lakefront home. Around this time, Drusilla befriended Octave Chanute, Grandfather of Flight, who used her property for his first instrumental glider experiments. She defended him from townspeople who called him “the Crazy Old Man of the Sand Dunes” and spread rumors that his gliders were thatched with chicken feathers.

In the 1900 census, Drusilla was noted as living in Hobart, Indiana with her 5 living, unmarried children, her nephew, and a hired hand. Since Robert was not listed, it is possible he remained at the lakefront. A couple years later, tragedy struck the family. Drusilla recalled, “I moved to Indiana Harbor in November, 1902. My husband died there. I moved back to the lake-front in February, 1904. While I was at Indiana Harbor, my son and a Mr. Adams took care of things at the lake-front.” In 1906, Drusilla witnessed the occupation of the lakeshore with the construction of Gary, the “Magic City,” built by smoothing the land’s beach ridges into their adjacent wetlands. The next July the Carr’s would grieve again when Drusilla’s youngest, Myrtle, died at age 16. Her son, Frederick, was married in January of 1908.  

In 1908, the first verified legal case was brought against the 52 year-old widow. For over 30 years, her claim to her 120 acre property remained unquestioned; but with an increasing population and as available land along Lake Michigan disappeared, the property became much-desired. While her case continued, the City of Gary began legal action to acquire lakefront property for a park. Their premature condemnation resulted in the following:

“The city of Gary has been permanently enjoined from condemning certain land in Miller for park purposes…

The action to condemn was begun in September, just prior to the municipal election in Gary, and it was not long before the city found out that it had made the move prematurely, and that the annexation of Miller would be necessary before the land could be condemned.”

Gary would have to acquire Miller to get the lakefront, but the same article notes that approximately seventy-five percent of the owners of property in the Town of Miller were against annexation. Gary’s seven mile lakefront was occupied by industry, and city officials were set on providing a lakefront park. The city decided to pursue the annexation of Miller to get the land. In 1912, the Times of Munster wrote: 

“It is now practically decided that Gary will get no lake front park at Miller. While many Miller people would like to see a public park in the town there is too much suspicion of the Gary city hall crowd. The political history of Gary is too well known in Miller and for that reason there is no disposition to place the lake front in the hands of the present administration.”

In February of 1911, Drusilla’s 1908 case was dismissed. An article from April 1911 helps illustrate the growing interest in Miller’s lakefront:

In summer, Miller beach, a rival of the famous auto course at Daytona, FL., is the Mecca for thousands from Chicago and from the towns and cities of northern Indiana. Hundreds of summer homes are maintained on the Miller beach, and in the last few years the town has become the Atlantic City of Indiana, only lacking the amusement attractions of the eastern ocean resort.

The article’s words were prophetic. That same year Drusilla opened up a bathhouse on the beach. Each morning, Drusilla raised an American flag to the top of the mast. In May of 1912, she was declared by the jury rightful owner of the land in another legal case. The bathing beach was an exceedingly popular area; on one Sunday in 1914, around 3,000 people visited Carr’s Beach. The Carr’s charged for dressing rooms and bathing suit rentals. “Carr's Beach was a play land, featuring a miniature railroad, a shooting gallery, a pleasure boat and several night spots.”  Drusilla’s youngest son, Henry, married in 1916. By 1917, Fred managed the dance hall and roller rink and there were over 100 cottages on the beach that they collected rent from. Eli Stillman Bailey wrote in his book, The Sand Dunes of Indiana, “At Carr's a thousand visitors have enjoyed the bathing, not only one day, but on several occasions, and ten thousand people have taken advantage of a national holiday to visit this beach.”

The push for Gary to annex Miller continued. Another article stated, “... the imposition of high taxes and heavy assessments, deter Miller people from the annexation step at this time.” A newspaper in 1916 shared insight into the situation involving Drusilla: 

“The Gary park commissioners had been constantly besieging the feeble old woman. They have set out to condemn the land ostensibly for park purposes and are now restrained by court order. Steel men dominate the park board. Corporation lawyers and hired orators are trying to induce the town of Miller to be annexed to Gary so that the park board can more readily condemn the land, and bring about this purpose two of the papers at Gary are annoying the seventy-year old woman and are believed to be trying to intimidate the people of Miller into consenting to annexation by printing stories that if the park board doesn’t get the land shady resorts will be started, presumably on land in question, by one of her lawyers.”

In 1917, Indiana’s supreme court reversed lower courts decisions that gave Gary’s “Park Board” the Suspicions involving Gary administration at the time contributed to the public’s hesitancy of both annexation and a lakefront park. Some feared that it would be accessible only to the affluent. In 1919, the City of Gary successfully, albeit controversially, acquired the Town of Miller. William P. Gleason, superintendent of Gary Works, donated 116 acres of lakefront on behalf of the company. It was first called Lake Front Park, and when expanded later, Marquette Park. In May of the following year, the Mayor of Gary addressed his citizens; “Just one year ago the annexation of the Town of Miller was completed. Since that time we have obtained title to 120 acres of land…”

Much of this land had been part of Drusilla and Robert’s original tract. He also alluded to the further condemnation of land for an additional 100 acres. It is important to note that despite the circumstances, the establishment of a lakefront park was progressive. Marquette Park was second only to Michigan City, Indiana’s Washington Park as the earliest part of the Dunes saved.

In 1920 Drusilla concisely summarized her legal claim, “No one ever told me I was on their property.” That same year, her son Edward died at age 45. An attorney called her “a forceful, determined woman with a lot of grit, although unschooled, knew her rights and would not be pushed around.” Throughout her many court cases, Mrs. Carr would occasionally be ordered off the property, but she ignored all evacuation notices. She had beautiful blooming gardens; and it wasn’t uncommon for visitors to leave her a donation or $1 for a flower. Many neighbors would visit to check on her during the cold, coastal winters. Sometimes referred to as “Squatter Queen” or “Fisherwoman,” Drusilla hated publicity and was known to shake a broom at reporters. While part of her tract had been made into a city park, another portion of it was at risk to industrial expansion. In 1923, Drusilla said: 

“...I hope the scenes of my youth, where I have lived so happily and brought up my children, will not be desecrated by huge industrial smoke stacks. I would rather sell to people willing to make this a beauty spot, a wonderful beach, but sell I will.” 

In 1927, Indiana passed a law that required squatters to pay property taxes. The same year a storm destroyed their old homestead. Drusilla recalled, “... the sand pushed in the walls… and covered everything! I hated to see that old house go!” In October of 1929, additional gales destroyed Carr’s Beach’s roller skating rink, concession stand, and shooting gallery concession.

Over the years, Drusilla’s legal battles were financed by selling off pieces of her holdings. Between 1912 and 1917, her lawyer, Frank Pattee, paid delinquent taxes on the Carr estate and sold his lien to the Gary Land Co., a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. “Attorneys from Mrs. Carr based their defense principally on an alleged promise made to Mrs. Carr by Attorney Pattee in which he had agreed to return title on the land to her after the taxes, interest and fees had been paid to him.” An article from April 25th, 1930 illustrates a courtroom scene: 

“A veteran of 12 hard-fought court battles, 8 of which she emerged from victorious, Mrs. Carr took her seat, shook out her skirts and faced the courtroom squarely… 

On her left were arrayed the Gary Land Company’s counsel. In the spectators’ pew sat a lone figure, Fred Catt, her eldest son. Her wrinkled countenance lighted up a faint smile when she espied him… 

While the old woman was testifying, Fred Crumpacker, Hammond lawyer, representing the land co., objected frequently and vigorously to certain questions put by Darrow. However, he was overruled almost invariably by Judge Chipmean who appeared anxious to hear all of the aged “squatter’s” story. In his cross-examination of the witness, Crumpacker attempted to prove that the disputed tract really was best suited for a manufacturing site and that the 200 odd cottages now standing on it were ‘mere shacks.’... Once during the cross examination, Crumpacker, sensing that the old woman was becoming fatigued, asked her if she were too tired to go on. She straightened in her chair as if from an electric shock ‘Me–tired? Me?’ She exclaimed. 

‘I should say not, young fellow. You go right ahead!’”

Though Drusilla offered to assume the debt, U.S. Steel refused, arguing that the land was more suited to industry than shacks. That August, the Munster Times wrote of the Judge’s anticipated ruling: 

“Principal among the findings adopted by Judge Chipman, who will hand down his formal decision in a Valparaiso court… are the following:

1.  That Mrs. Carr was in undisputed possession of the Miller beach tract from March, 1876, until July, 1925, when the Lake circuit court appointed Victor K. Roberts of Lowell as commisioner to make separate deeds to Mrs. Carr and her associates, the latter being Ballard, Attorney Daniel E. Kelly of Valparaiso; Mrs. Bertha K. Manlove, widow of a former Gary lawyer; Henry Warrum, former judge…

2.  That all the tax sales by and tax deeds to Frank B. Pattee, Crown Point lawyer, second stellar figure in the land litigation, were illegal and invalid.”

But Drusilla’s health was failing. On September 15, 1930, near the hour of her death, Drusilla revealed she had an important message to deliver and summoned her lawyers; but before their arrival, she died. At her autumnal funeral atop Miller Cemetery, Frederick Backemeyer spoke to several hundred mourners, “She was a heroic little soul who stood her ground when she thought she was in the right. Strength, courage, and dignity were her clothing.” The next January, the judge indeed ruled in her estate’s favor, but also mandated that the Carr heirs had to pay back taxes plus interest to properly own the land.

In November of 1937, the corporation that oversaw Drusilla’s estate containing her heirs decided to try to sell half of their 88-acre tract west of Marquette Park with back taxes for $120,000 to the City of Gary for park purposes. Despite the property being worth millions, the city declined. Moles in the Carr’s corporation for U.S. Steel had reported what was brewing, and the company hinted that it would donate a comparable chunk of land to the city for free. “The attorney for the estate, the same one who had naively turned his Carr land over to U.S. Steel, was beside himself. He screamed for all to hear that U.S. Steel had given the City of Gary nothing but nothing…” By 1940, the compounded debt on the land had accumulated to $92,000. Just before the 88-acre tract was set to be auctioned, it was sold to the land company owned by U.S. Steel at a “sheriff’s sale.” A Valparaiso newspaper reported:

“In defiance of a restraining order served one minute before he was scheduled to offer the Drusilla Carr tract of land for sale to the highest bidder, Sheriff John Knotts… sold the property to the Gary Land company for $92,632.”

The land sat unused for about a decade before U.S. Steel decided against expansion and sold the former Carr land to the City of Gary for about what it paid. A federal report entitled “Race, Class, Gender, and American Environmentalism” describes the area of Drusilla’s original claim as a local trigger in the civil rights movement:

As was the case in many cities across the country, Blacks in Gary, Indiana, linked the struggle for civil rights with those of environmental equality. During the 1950s and 1960s, labor activists, NAACP representatives, and community residents decided to push for recreational rights. The Midtown section of Gary where most Blacks lived, had a severe shortage of recreational facilities, and the two existing neighborhood parks were poorly  maintained. Blacks were barred from using other city parks and living in other neighborhoods. Marquette Park, which had a public beach, was guarded to ensure that Whites had exclusive use of the facilities. When Whites used fear, intimidation, and vigilante tactics to deny Blacks use of recreational facilities, the police did not protect the rights of Blacks. 

As early as summer 1949, a multiracial group of about 100 residents and labor activists calling themselves the Young Citizens for Beachhead Democracy, rallied at city hall, then drove to Marquette Beach to take control of the beach. As the caravan neared Miller, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the Gary metropolitan area, the protesters encountered an angry mob of Whites wielding bats, clubs, iron pipes, and rocks. Though the caravan was greeted with a torrent of rocks, they continued on to the beach. The protesters spread out their blankets, hung banners, and planted an American flag in the sand. Their takeover of the beach, however, was short lived. Police arrived, and claiming that the beach was closed for the day, promptly ordered the picnickers to leave. The group left but printed up flyers about their excursion and distributed them at the city's factory gates. 

The beach takeover generated publicity, but mainstream civil rights groups like the NAACP criticized the action as unnecessarily militant. Another group promoting racial harmony, the Anselm Forum, rejected invitations to participate because they thought revolutionaries had masterminded the plan. The Midtown Youths Council also charged the rally was orchestrated by ‘pinkos and radicals’ solely to create dissension. 

With the backing of civil rights groups, in July 1953, two car loads of young Black women from the NAACP visited Marquette Park. While they were at the beach, their cars were vandalized and when they returned to their cars, a gang of White youths threatened and assaulted the women. As the youths were about to overturn the cars, the police arrived and dispersed the crowd but made no arrests. Civil rights leaders used the incident to demand that the city protect Black beach goers. The mayor promised protection, and true enough, a few weeks later when Black representatives from the Urban League and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance visited the park, there was no trouble. Although some Blacks continued to experience hostility, no full-scale violence occurred. As the police presence at the park receded, however, Whites escalated their attacks to Blacks. Blacks did not feel secure about visiting the park. 

In 1961, another incident forced civil rights leaders to revisit the issue of Marquette Park. On Memorial Day, a Black man was severely beaten on the beach by Whites as the police looked on. Five hundred Blacks jammed city council chambers demanding that the city investigate the actions of the police, integrate the police force patrolling the park, and issue a public statement deploring the actions. The mayor refused to take action and urged Blacks to be patient. 

Even during the 1960s and 1970s when Richard Hatcher, the first African American Mayor of the City, was in office, Blacks still felt uncomfortable using Marquette Park. Racial violence still erupted at the park. Adopting an avoidance strategy, Blacks stayed away from the beach when Whites were there and used it late evenings and nights. They also used less popular (but more polluted) beaches to the west of the city and congregated in one section of the beach--regardless of which beach they were using. Rather than relaxing and enjoying the environmental amenities, Blacks were concerned with amassing large enough numbers to stave off threats and danger.

According to a 1958 map, by that time Marquette Park had expanded westward to contain today’s Lake Street Beach area. In 1961, the battle between preserving the Dunes for a national park or using the land for a deep-water port for industry was active and heated. The major push for its construction was in Porter County, but Mayor George Chacharis of Gary and other Lake County mayors wanted the port built in their county. In an attempt to block the port, the City of Gary filed a case in federal court to prevent Midwest Steel, today’s U.S. Steel near Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk from infilling the lake to produce a western breakwall for the future port. The port was eventually realized in Porter County at the expense of an area known as the Central Dunes. If the port had been approved for Lake County, much of the Miller Woods lakefront would be unrecognizable today. 

As years passed, the tract of land, adjacent to a vast U.S. Steel holding remained mostly undeveloped. By 1976, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore expansion bill being considered by Congress included the former Carr tract between Marquette Park and U.S. Steel’s land. Around the same time, the City of Gary spoke with the steel company about a donation of the land to the city. Gary had proposed to build a marina on Lake Michigan similar to Hammond’s. Before any donation, the park bill passed. “The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore expanded to include part of Miller Woods, an unspoiled ~300 acre section of beaches, lagoons, ponds, black oak-blueberry forest, which U.S. Steel had held for expansion.” 

In 1980, U.S. Steel donated 212 of those acres to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A portion of Drusilla’s land had successfully been added to the national park to remain open space in perpetuity. The donation was controversial, however; because “many feared the donation might result in the de facto modification of the 1976 authorized boundary.” Much of the un-donated land included areas used for solid waste disposal, and the 1976 legislation stipulated that the Secretary of the Interior could only acquire parcels after it was assured the land could be reclaimed at no expense to the government. These areas remain under the ownership of U.S. Steel.

Today, Marquette Park of Gary or Miller Woods at the national park are wonderful places to connect to these stories. Indiana Dunes National Park’s Paul H. Douglas Trail in Miller Woods winds through the beach ridges and wetlands that were once under the threat of development. Drusilla’s tract began where the trail crosses the Grand Calumet River, where over a century ago the Carr’s cut blocks of ice to last them the summer. It extended to the beach, where the family did their fishing; and east, to the old mouth of the Grand Calumet River in today’s Marquette Park. The western boundary is clear on satellite imagery near the beach– marked by gray, industrial slag piles instead of golden dunes. 


The Times, Hammond IN June 4 1939 
 “’Squatter Queen’ Blocks U.S. Steel Even in Death” ; Page 42

Munster times 2010
 May 2, 2010; “This lady of the lake was strong as steel” By Archibald McKinlay; Page 14
March 10 1923, Indianapolis News 
“Living Almost Fifty Years on Lonely Tract of Land May Bring Gary Woman About $500,000” ; Page 18  

February 16, 1910; The Times, Munster, IN 
 “Gary Gets An Adverse Decision” ; Page 1

August 23, 1916; Munster Times, Munster, IN
 “Wants Lake Front Park For Gary” ; Page 2

May 16, 1912; Munster Times, Munster, IN
 “Miller Is Not To Be Cajoled” ; Page 8
August 28, 1916; Times, Munster, IN
 “Carr Acres Basis of New Suit” ; Page 1

April 12, 1911; The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, IN
 “Fortune in the Dunes” ; Page 16

Vidette Messenger 1987
 December 31, 1987; “Long Battle for Drusilla Carr” ; Page 2

July 27 1914 article
 The Times, Munster ; “3,000 People Visited Miller Beach Sunday” ; Page 2

June 23, 1916; Munster Times, Munster, IN
 “Steps Taken By Gary To Annex Miller” ; Page 14

March 20, 1988; Times, Munster, IN 
 “Region gained from Carr’s strength” ; Page 91

May 18, 1920; The Times, Munster, IN
 “Mayor Hodges Denies Budge Story” ; page 2

The Times, Munster, May 17, 1912
 “Fisherwoman Wins Suit Once More” ; Page 1

October 23, 1929 Munster Times article
 “Gary Shoreline Is Hit Hard Yesterday” ; Page 14

July 5, 1930; Vidette-Messenger of Porter County, Valparaiso, IN
 “Decision in Land Contest To Be Given” ; Page 1

August 13, 1930; Vidette-Messenger of Porter County, Valparaiso
 “Mrs. Carr Will Win Land Suit, Judge Informs” ; Page 1

October 25, 1937; Times, Munster, IN
 “Land Sale May Be Delayed” ; Page 9

January 27, 1940; Vidette Messenger of Porter County, Valparaiso, IN
 “Defies Order Sells Drusilla Carr Property” 

The content for this article was written by Joseph Gruzalski, a researcher with Indiana Dunes National Park. Funds were made possible by a National Park Foundation grant. 

Indiana Dunes National Park

Last updated: December 29, 2022