Trail Creek (Lake Michigan)
La Rivière du Chemin (River of the Trail)
Bird's Eye View of Michigan City, 1869, by A. Ruger (partial sketch).
|City||Michigan City, Indiana|
|Source confluence||Confluence of West Branch Trail Creek and East Branch Trail Creek|
|- elevation||610 ft (190 m)|
|Michigan City, Indiana|
|East Fork Trail Creek, Otter Creek|
Trail Creek is a 7.3-mile-long (11.7 km) north- by northwest-flowing
Trail Creek was called Myewes-zibiwe in
In 1816 a shoreline survey indicated that Trail Creek was 30 feet (9 m) wide. At its mouth and on the harbor's western bank stood "Hoosier Slide", a 200-foot-tall (60 m) sand dune (today's
In 1832, Isaac Elston bought 160 acres (65 ha) of land including Trail Creek and the harbor, intending to build a road to homesteaders in central Indiana so that they could export farm crops to Lake Michigan. Michigan City arose from Elston's ambition. Early visitors to the region were captivated by its rugged beauty, its abundance of wildflowers and berries, and especially the majestic Hoosier Slide and other sand dunes. Incorporated in 1836, Michigan City's early prosperity was due to the flowing waters of Trail Creek which afforded good locations for lumber and gristmills. In the 1800s 13 grist mills were located on the banks of Trail Creek.