Intrigued by the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant’s history? Explore that and more during Aug. 24 tour

Employees of Kingsbury Ordnance Plant gather for a photo. (LaPorte County Historical Society photo)

Information from Indiana Landmarks Experience

Visit the northwest Indiana military compounds that protected America from World War II through the Cold War — including Kingsbury Ordnance Plant, where more than 20,000 people worked during World War II filling ammunition shells.

The annual Indiana Landmarks Experience will give you that opportunity and more during a tour Aug. 24, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buy tickets before Aug. 13. Tickets are $85 for the full-day tour. Purchase tickets at this link: https://www.indianalandmarks.org/event/cold-war-experience/

During this day-long exploration, you’ll visit northwest Indiana military compounds that protected America at home and abroad from World War II (1939-1945) through the Cold War (1947-1991). The tour originates in LaPorte.

Among sites on the tour:

— Kingsbury Ordnance Plant, just south of LaPorte, where more than 20,000 people worked during World War II, nearly half of them women, filling ammunition shells. All passed through the facility’s employment office, a building created by John Lloyd Wright, inventor of Lincoln Logs, accomplished designer of International-style buildings, and son of the famous Frank. You’ll tour a building currently undergoing renovation and see bunkers used to store munitions.

— In Lake and Porter counties, you’ll tour two former Nike Missile bases — part of the “ring of supersonic steel” that protected Chicago from 1956 to 1974. The administrative offices of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore occupy a building that was part of a Nike base. At lunch, Mark Morgan and Mark Berhow, authors of the book “Rings of Supersonic Steel,” will discuss the purpose and operation of the bases.

You’ll also see former Nike Missile Control Area C-47, where the original radar towers remain in place.

The Cold War Landmarks Experience begins at 9 a.m. Central Time at the LaPorte County Historical Society Museum on South Indiana Avenue in LaPorte, and ends back in the same place at 5 p.m. The cost of $85/person ($75/Indiana Landmarks member) includes lunch and motorcoach transportation from LaPorte to tour sites.

These sites are not handicapped accessible. Tourists should dress casually and wear sturdy walking shoes.

3 Responses to “Intrigued by the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant’s history? Explore that and more during Aug. 24 tour”

  1. billie thresh womack

    Aug 03. 2018

    My father was just one of many who worked there and he was one of the last to leave there in 50’s.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Karel Armstrong

    Aug 10. 2018

    My Grandparents home was taken to build the Ordnance plant and my Aunt Worked there. Quite a history in this area.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Judy k

    Aug 15. 2018

    My aunt worked in the canteen and cafeteria there. The plant operated round the clock, so therefore the rest of laporte did too. Restaurants on Lincolnway were open 24 hours snd were busy at all shifts. Workers rented rooms or attics and having little or no cooking facilities, ate in the local diners. My mother went to laporte over the thanksgiving holiday to visit my aunt, her sister.
    Mom decided to stay in laporte and rented a room, -actually a large closet- in a house across from the current YMCA.

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