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Life’s Better Here in DeKalb County

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ind (WPTA21) - There is plenty of history here in 21 country. This week's "Life's Better Here" takes us to DeKalb County.

DeKalb County has a rich history in transportation. Our trip took us to Auburn, home of the classics. "The history of Auburn Automobiles dates back a little before 1900, before 1900 they were carriage makers. In 1900 the Auburn Automobile Company emerged from the carriage makers", said Walter Fisher, Marketing Manager of Auburn Cord Dusenberg Automobile Museum.

As the company began production, it didn't make the most stylish automobiles. "Basically, they were horse carriages in those days. If you take a carriage and get around without a horse, that's what it was known for", Fisher said.

In 1924, a man named Errett Loban Cord (EL Cord) bought out Auburn Automobiles and started making changes to the body style. Two years later, Cord buys Dusenberg Incorporated and revolutionized American automobiles.

Dave Yarde, Executive Director of National Auto & Truck Musuem says, "The L-29 was America's first front-wheel drive automobile and they were assembled right here in this building by the Auburn Automobile Company".

Cord ran into something that would put the brakes in his business. The Great Depression sapped the market for luxury cars and led a contraction in the automotive industry. But EL Cord's legacy lives on in Auburn.

"Just take a drive in Auburn, you will see plenty of classic cars. The people of Auburn have just become accustomed to seeing them in their everyday lives", said Fisher

It's history you can visit in your own backyard. And it's another reason why Life's Better Here.

Matthew Bullock

Matthew Bullock is the weekend morning meteorologist for ABC21.

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