January, 2010 - Gun Room, W.A. Jones House
The Gun Room in the W. A. Jones house on Johnson Road, now operating as a B & B called Arbor Hill Inn. Mr. Jones came from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. His successful iron foundry in Chicago allowed him to travel and collect the firearms and weapons that today comprise the W. A. Jones Antique Firearms Collection housed at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum. Mr. Jones built a large home overlooking Pine Lake and called it "Hillside Home."
February, 2010 - Plat Map of La Porte County
This line drawing is from the first plat map of La Porte County, published in 1862. The classic Italianate style house depicted was the home of T. J. Patton, and even his horse is shown in the illustration. The house still stands today in La Porte, somewhat altered, at 1402 Lincolnway.
March, 2010 - Chicago-New York Electric Air Line Railroad
This photograph dates from c. 1907 and shows some of the recently laid tracks of the Chicago - New York Electric Air Line Railroad. The street shown is South Main (later Lincoln Way) looking towards the east. The cross street is Michigan Avenue. Promoted as a high speed electric train following an arrow-straight path from Chicago to New York, the promotion collapsed after making its way only from Chicago to La Porte.
April, 2010 - Bastian-Morley Showroom
The Bastian-Morley Showroom was recently torn down near the intersection of Pine Lake and Truesdell Avenues. Known in recent years as "Little Tavern," the building was originally an attractive showroom for products made locally by Bastian-Morley, Inc. In business for over 50 years, the company made gas-fired boilers and water heaters at its plant on Truesdell Avenue.
South Shore Railroad station on 11th Street, Michigan City, Indiana - 1920's.
June, 2010 - Summer on the Lakes
The photo below shows a family tent-cottage near Pine Lake, probably in the Baptist Assembly Grounds. These "chautauqua-style" camps existed around the country and featured summer cultural lectures, concerts, and recreational activities taking advantage of the cooling breezes of lakeside locations. In this local La Porte photo, the family has proudly dubbed their camp "Peerless" and have outfitted it with every comfort of home, including rocking chairs, other furniture, and a home-type kerosene lamp can be seen inside. Notice the family dog, the formal style of dress, and the racquets ready for play.
July, 2010 - La Porte's 4th of July Parade
The photo below shows a float from Marquette Mall in Michigan City, parading down Lincoln Way in La Porte's 4th of July parade. The photo dates from around 1967 and was taken in the 700 block, looking towards the north side of the street. The John E. Smith Furniture & Appliance store building today is occupied by the Antique Junction Mall. The Ridgway Building to the right of it now houses lawyer's offices and other businesses. The second photo at the bottom shows the rest of the block down to the corner, including the building that recently was home to a French restaurant.
August, 2010 - Central School
With school about to begin, here is a photo taken possibly in the 1930's in front of the old Central Junior High building located on Harrison St., approximately where Lincoln Elementary School is today.
September, 2010 - Wreck of the Muskegon
This photograph shows the wreck of the "Muskegon," a steamboat that sank, was raised possibly for salvage, and then towed out into the lake to be sunk for good. Here it is seen in Trail Creek near the old lighthouse on the right. Today, divers go down to the Muskegon, sitting in its watery grave, to take a look.
October, 2010 - The Chicago to New York Electric Airline
The Chicago to New York Electric Airline was begun in September 1906, with the "first dirt" being thrown in construction work south of La Porte, Indiana. The line was promoted as a level, straight route that would cut hours off a trip between the two far-flung cities. As it turned out, the railway made it from Chicago to La Porte, and stopped. Construction never continued east from La Porte. It was, however, popularly used by La Porte residents while it was in town, and special cars were added to carry people from downtown La Porte to the County Fairgrounds at 5 cents a ride. (Photograph of "Fairground" car is in the museum archives.) Photo below shows an "Airline" car in downtown La Porte on South Main (later Lincoln Way) crossing Michigan Ave. This was a spur line that made a loop around South Main, Monroe, Jefferson, and Madison, continued west down South Main, turned south on "I" Street to continue out of town, connecting to the main east-west route. The rails curving to the left in the photo are for the Chicago, South Bend, and Northern Indiana Railway turning north on Michigan Ave. (Information from the 1907 Atlas of La Porte County, Indiana)
This 1970's photograph shows several buildings that were soon to be torn down when the photo was taken. Positioned on the north side of State Street between Indiana and Michigan Avenues, they are from left to right, the old Sheriff's Residence, County Jail, and County Power House. These were all leveled to make way for the new La Porte County Complex building and for the building of the overpass bridge. The building on the far right remained standing for a couple of decades longer, before it, too was demolished. It was known as the Shaffer Laundry building.
This is one of our all-time favorite old photographs here at the museum. It shows downtown La Porte in the 1930's, judging by the autos parked on the street. Note the lights strung across the street. You can almost feel the excitement in the air at a time when all the stores were open in the evening, lights blazing, with local residents doing their holiday shopping. The view is looking west on Lincoln Way from approximately Jackson St. On the extreme left is Levine's Boston Store, today a popular antique mall.