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CRA118 -- A.A. Lindsey Papers


1.00 Linear Feet
January 1983


Dr. A. A. Lindsey, Emeritus Professor of Biology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and former scientific consultant to the Save the Dunes Council, donated the Lindsey Collection to the Calumet Regional Archives on October 9, 1982.

Property rights in the collection are held by the Calumet Regional Archives; literary rights are dedicated to the public. There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Linear feet of shelf space: 1 linear foot.
Number of containers: 2 boxes.
Calumet Regional Archives Collection 118
Processed By: Stephen McShane
Date: January, 1983

Scope and Content

These records partially document the establishment and history of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore from 1958 to 1976. Papers gathered by Dr. Alton A. Lindsey, a biological scientist and consultant for the Save the Dunes Council during the 1960's, constitute the collection. The major record series comprises correspondence (1962-1969) with numerous scientists, environmentalists, and public officials during the campaign to preserve the Indiana Dunes from industrial development. The correspondence detail the positions of the various parties such as the Save the Dunes Council, local corporations, and the press involved in the park-port controversy and also provides insight into the viewpoints of the scientific community regarding establishment of the Dunes National Lakeshore. Press releases and newsletters generated by the Save the Dunes Council (1961-1968) furnishes information on the Council's efforts to rally support for its cause and keep members and the public informed about the Lakeshore plans. A series of newsclippings (1962-1970) supplement the newsletters, providing an account of the Council's proposals and actions and the response of public and private organizations. These clippings illustrate the opinions of several central Indiana newspapers and provide a good complement to clippings held in the Thomas Dustin Papers (CRA 113). In addition, the collection retains several files recording testimony of concerned citizens and public leaders before United States Senate and House of Representatives committees in 1964 and 1965. Finally, Dr. Lindsey's miscellaneous notes and papers contain various materials related to biological and ecological concerns in the park-port controversy and reveal some personal views of the issue.

Researchers will find that the Lindsey Collection contains significant materials on the establishment of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and particularly the involvement of the scientific community in the Lakeshore campaign. Researchers should note that a history of the Dunes Lakeshore effort is located in Box 1, File Folder 1. Additional Dunes and environmental collections held by the Calumet Regional Archives include the Bailly Alliance Records (CRA 023), the Edward Newell Papers (CRA 064), the James Newman Papers (CRA 073); the Community Action to Reverse Pollution Records (CRA 099); and the Thomas Dustin Papers (CRA 113).

Historical Sketch

Declaring that the unique Indiana Dunes areas along Lake Michigan deserve preservation from potential industrial development, Mrs. Dorothy Buell of Ogden Dunes, Indiana, established the Save the Dunes Council in 1952. With several other local residents, Mrs. Buell began a fifteen year campaign to "save the Dunes." While the Council organized plans, developed strategy, and recruited volunteers, a movement to establish a Lake Michigan harbor at Burns Ditch had arisen simultaneously, providing two opposed viewpoints regarding the proper use of the Indiana Dunes areas. By the late 1950's and 1960's, the park vs. port controversy had become one of the most explosive issues debated in the Calumet Region as well as in the entire nation.

Among the many volunteers joining the Save the Dunes Council, Dr. Alton A. Lindsey acted as the Council's scientific advisor and primary contact with the scientific community during the National Lakeshore effort. Assuming the task of mobilizing support of scientists and educators for the national park, Dr. Lindsey noted that a Dunes national park would serve Indiana by providing recreational, natural, and educational advantages for residents and attracting highly trained and creative people to the area. Also, Lindsey emphasized that a Dunes Lakeshore park would aid scientific education, acting as an outdoor museum and natural laboratory for future scientists and experimentation. Through many letters and petitions, Lindsey secured support from the Indiana Academy of Science as well as eleven former presidents of the Academy. Also, Lindsey acquired the backing of the Ecological Society of America, the first occasion the Society had supported publicly a legislative issue. In addition, 376 university and college educators in Indiana expressed desire for the park. Because of Lindsey's efforts, the Save the Dunes Council received the backing of seventy-two percent of Indiana's scientific community.

Lindsey's efforts along scientists and educators complemented the Save the Dunes Council's massive publicity campaign aimed at congressmen, newspapers' editors, conservationists, and concerned citizens. Volunteers, including Lindsey, spoke before community groups and testified before numerous Congressional committees. Finally, in 1964, U.S. Senators Birch Bayh and Vance Hartke of Indiana joined Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois in sponsoring a compromise bill, comprising a federally funded port project tied to a provision for a Dunes national park. The Senate passed the package in 1965; with the backing Indiana Congressmen Roush and Madden and Arizona's Morris Udall in the House of Representatives, the 89th Congress authorized the establishment of a 5,800 acre Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in October 1966.

The Save the Dunes Council had achieved its goal to preserve the Indiana Dunes. Noting the significance of the Dunes issue, Dr. Lindsey later commented that, "The dunes preservation was, I think, the most suspenseful and protracted cliffhanger in the modern environmental movement" (Origin of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, located in Box 1, File Folder 1 of the Lindsey Papers). Today, Dr. Lindsey retains a keen interest in environmental movements as the Save the Dunes Council continues to work for preservation of more Dunes acres around the Dunes national park.

Box File Description
1 1 A.A. Lindsey, The Origin of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, 1982
2 Correspondence, Thomas Dustin, (1962 -1969)
3 Correspondence, Dorothy Buell, R.A. Mann, (1959-1966)
4 George Anderson, 1962-1963
5 Correspondence, Private companies and other agencies, 1963-1964
6 Correspondence, Ecological Society of America, 1963
7 Correspondence, Associated Press vs. Dunes, (1963-1966)
8 Correspondence, Letters to Editors, 1963-1965
9 Indiana legislators, 1962-1963
10 Correspondence, Paul Douglas, (1958-1966)
11 Correspondence, U.S Congressmen, (1962-1967)
12 Correspondence, Kennedy Administration, Army Engineers, 1962-1963
13 Correspondence concerning Halleck and McFadden, 1965-1966
14 A.A. Lindsey, notes and related materials, 1962-1967
15 A.A. Lindsey, "The Steelmen and the Governor", n.d.
16 Press Releases, Save the Dunes Council, 1963, 1965
17 Save the Dunes Council, announcements and letters, 1961-1968, 1976
18 Dunes Council printed material and publicity items, (1962 -1965)
19 Poster negatives, (2), "Dunes battle," 1963

Box File Description
2 1 U.S. Senate hearing testimony, March, 1964
2 Newsclippings, hearings, March, 1964
3 U.S. House of Representatives hearings, October, 1965
4 Dunes hearings materials, 1966
5 Magazine articles, (1963 -1966)
6-11 Newsclippings, 1962-1970
13 Manuscript, "The Indiana Dunes and the Start of American Ecology", A.A. Lindsey, 1981

Subject Tracings

  • Bayh, Birch
  • Community Groups
  • Conservation
  • Douglas, Paul
  • Dustin, Thomas
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Economic development
  • Environment/Ecology
  • Hartke, Vance
  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Industry
  • Lake Michigan
  • Lindsey, A.A.
  • Parks
  • Politics
  • Port
  • Save the Dunes Council
  • State of Indiana
  • Steel