219 is the North American telephone area code for northwest Indiana and Chicago that includes Lake, Porter, La Porte, Newton, and Jasper counties. The area code includes the cities of Schererville, Chesterton, Lake Station, Crown Point, Cedar Lake, Hobart, Whiting, Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, Merrillville, Munster, Griffith, Highland, Portage, Valparaiso, Michigan City, Ogden Dunes, St. John, La Porte, DeMotte, Roselawn, Kouts, Lake Village and Rensselaer. 219 is largely coextensive with the Indiana side of the Chicago metropolitan area. Service is provided by AT&T, Frontier Communications, and Northwestern Indiana Telephone Company.
Originally, Indiana received two area codes. 317 served the northern two-thirds of Indiana, while 812 served the southern third. In 1948, 317 was cut back to central Indiana, while the northern third of Indiana--including Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, South Bend, Elkhart and Fort Wayne--received 219. It was the first area code created after the NANP system went into effect a year earlier.
Despite the presence of the Chicago suburbs, Michiana and Fort Wayne, this configuration remained unchanged for 53 years. By the end of the 20th century, however, 219 was on the verge of exhaustion. The supply of numbers was further limited because northwest Indiana is part of the Chicago LATA (which itself had seen three new area codes created in a little more than a decade), meaning that many numbers on the Illinois side of the metro area weren't available for use. It was decided to split northern Indiana into three area codes. Northwest Indiana won a random drawing to decide which of the areas would keep 219. The central portion of the old 219 territory, centered on South Bend, became area code 574. The eastern portion, centered on Fort Wayne, became area code 260. The area codes split on January 15, 2002. Permissive dialing of 219 continued across northern Indiana until June 14, 2002.
|Indiana area codes: 219, 260, 317, 574, 765, 812/930|
|North: 269, Lake Michigan|
|West: 708, 773, 872 and 815/779||area code 219||East: 574|
|Michigan area codes: 231, 248/947, 269, 313, 517, 586, 616, 734, 810, 906, 989|
|Illinois area codes: 217, 224/847, 309, 312, 331/630, 618, 708, 773, 779/815, 872|