Located just off the shores of Lake Michigan, Griffith is a storied town known for its railroads and baseball diamonds. Known as “The Town That Came to the Tracks,” it is in the Guinness Book of World Records for most baseball diamonds per capita, as well as the most train tracks to intersect at one point.
The first settlers in Griffith arrived in 1853, after the Indiana State Legislature passed the Swamp Reclamation Act, allowing immigrants to make their way west. The first settlers were Mathias and Anna Miller, buckwheat and corn farmers from Germany. The area quickly grew as a railroad junction, and farmers welcomed it as it gave them a way to ship milk and crops to Chicago and Detroit. Griffith was officially incorporated in 1904, and while the farming aspect has largely disappeared, Griffith has expanded as a metropolitan suburb.
The town is served by the Griffith Public School District, which is comprised of five schools: three elementary schools, Griffith Middle School and Griffith High School. There is also one parochial school in Griffith: St. Mary Catholic Elementary and Junior High. The Gary/Chicago International Airport is the closest commercial airport, although many residents prefer the Chicago airports, located less than a half hour away. Amtrak service is available from nearby Whiting, and a South Shore Rail station is located in East Chicago.
Once known as “Baseball Town USA” for its numerous baseball fields, Griffith has recently grown into one of the biggest football towns in the state of Indiana. The Griffith Parks Department is home to a number of recreational fields, which host AAU baseball, Pop Warner Football, Blackcats basketball and youth soccer. The Griffith Parks also feature extensive playground equipment, parks and trails, as well as a number of popular fishing spots.