In the heart of the calumet region, hardworking Hammond helped build America. Originally known as State Line Slaughterhouse, the city began as no more than a meatpacking plant for nearby Chicago. In time, the city grew, and at its industrial height, trains, chains, cigars, shirts, candy, nuts, player pianos, commercial wallpaper, concrete roof slabs, gutters, boilers, potato digging devices, screws and steel products poured from its many factories. Meanwhile, its many racetracks and casinos earned it the title of "Atlantic City on the Lake." The city also nurtured Jean Shepherd of A Christmas Story fame and was even home to an early NFL team. Hammond-born journalist Joseph S. Pete explores bygone landmarks like Phil Smidt's, Madura's Danceland, the State Theatre, the Woodmar Mall and the W.B. Conkey factory, all of which now live only in legend.