What could be sadder than to see a city full of people with hustle and bustling streets and a prosperous future? It’s hoping to just end up with no people and no hope, just ruined and abandoned.

Gary Indiana, the magic city for many in the past has now become well known for its ruined abandoned ghost towns. It just seems so unreal for the prosperous city with many hopes to turn into the present state we all are seeing now.

In America, industrialization came as early as the 1860s when the demands of various industries in the continent rose with its growing population. With the finding of iron and steel in various parts of the nation the boost in the industry set up also rose with it, and one such city was Gary in Indiana, a city known for its largest steel productions and for its huge share of steel mills.

But what happened to Gary Indiana? Because, as for now, the city is mostly ruined and abandoned. Let’s see the details of what happened to Gary then and now.

Magic City Gary Indiana – How it Begin?

The city is located in the southwest part of Indiana and on the southern coast of Lake Michigan, making it a perfect location for setting up huge steel plants in the nation. The city has its origin in 1906 with the Gary Works steel plant by the US Steel Corporation under the founder Elbert Henry Gary, from which the city gets its name.

Apart from its huge share of steel mills the city constructed roads, highways, schools, theaters, and many other infrastructures in the city. The city started observing many people coming and settling down as steelworkers with their families, and around the 1930s it was a fully packed city with about 100,666 people living there.

The magic city Gary as many called it and the reason being, for its prosperous and glorious rise in the steel production and the growing population of the city made much hope for a much richer future in the later years.

Gary Indiana Population and Weather

Another good thing about the location is its pleasant climate, Gary has pleasant weather over the year, its summer is warm and humid with quality rainfall, and winter just like other parts of the nation is harsh for being freezing, windy, and snowy. The best part about its weather is the summer months which have a warm and humid climate with refreshing and cooling rainfalls.

The population in the initial state of the city was around 16,000 which then rose to 100,666 in the 1930s and later the highest peak was around 178,320 in the 1960s. The population grew with the demand for more steel production, hence more employment, which caused internal migrants and immigrants from parts of Europe to settle down in the city, making it a diverse city.

The population consisted of immigrants from eastern Europe, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and other minor races like Native Americans. At the beginning of the city, the population alone had a large share of about 78% white in the population but around the 60s, the African American share was 53%, and later in the 2000s, it was 83.90% of the total population.

In 2022, Gary’s population was 73,886 as compared to 2010, when it was counted at 80,155, which means it has declined rapidly during the decade.

Why is Gary Indiana Abandoned?

Once a prosperous city full of life now is barren land with ruins, and we can see the remnants of its huge and unique infrastructure all over the city without much sight of any people there. The steel industry was booming in production and employment in the 1920s with World War I, which required high demand for steel production. It reached its peak in the 50s with the second WW, but soon afterward it showed less steel production which is because globalization and the rising competition causes its downfall as its demand keeps declining.

This, in turn, led to the shutting down of many mills and leaving the workers without any jobs and employment, which in turn forced many settlements to move to different locations abandoning their houses in the city and causing a huge decrease in the population.

Is Gary Indiana Abandoned? The Dangerous “Murder Capital”

We have seen the main reason for the city to lose its shine but what other causes might be there for it to push to ruin. Apart from the decline of the steel industry, the city also shows the rise of racial segregation between its white and black population which led to the civil rights movement in the 1970s.

During this time the city was also facing an employment crisis as Steel factories were shutting down and this also led to many residents, mostly the white settlements, moving out of the city. After this, the African Americans alone make up 80% of the city population in the 1980s and the unemployment leads to various crimes in the city from violent crimes like murders, assaults, robbery, and rape to other dangerous crimes like drugs crimes, burglary, kidnapping, and many minor other crimes.

Why is Gary Indiana so Bad?

Gary in the 1990s came to be known as the most dangerous place in the nation. With its rising violent crime, it reported over 3,000 crimes in 1995 over its somewhat 115,269 population, with a murder rate of 91 per 100,000 of the population, which is why it was called the murder capital. And the obituaries in the daily newspaper were more than other news in the city, the fear and danger led more people to relocate to different places.

Gary was the crime center for the criminal Darren Deon Vann, who killed seven Gary women and hid them in various abandoned residencies in the ghost town; he was later put behind the bars in 2014.

Though the city has been called a dangerous city, it’s nonetheless home to many popular and famous people, and when we say famous it’s not just a celebrity we are talking about, we are talking about The Legend! The King of Pop Michael Jackson.

The legendary king of pop was born and raised in Gary itself and his other famous siblings are as well. So the city is one way a prideful city for creating a legend and on the other side, it’s sad to see it turning into a ghost town.