La Porte, Indiana

Coordinates: 41°36′48″N 86°43′03″W / 41.61333°N 86.71750°W / 41.61333; -86.71750
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La Porte
LaPorte County Courthouse, La Porte, Indiana
LaPorte County Courthouse, La Porte, Indiana
Etymology: from French 'the door'
The Maple City
"Live and Love"
Location of La Porte in LaPorte County, Indiana
Location of La Porte in LaPorte County, Indiana
Coordinates: 41°36′48″N 86°43′03″W / 41.61333°N 86.71750°W / 41.61333; -86.71750
CountryUnited States
TownshipsCenter, Kankakee, Pleasant, Scipio
 • MayorTom Dermody (R)
 • Total12.68 sq mi (32.84 km2)
 • Land11.92 sq mi (30.88 km2)
 • Water0.76 sq mi (1.97 km2)
Elevation801 ft (244 m)
 • Total22,471
 • Density1,884.83/sq mi (727.77/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
46350, 46352
Area code219
FIPS code18-42246[3]
GNIS feature ID2395570[2]

La Porte (from French 'the door') is a city in LaPorte County, Indiana, United States, of which it is the county seat.[4] Its population was estimated to be 21,341 in 2022.[5] It is one of the two principal cities of the Michigan City-La Porte, Indiana metropolitan statistical area, which is included in the Chicago–Naperville–Michigan City, IllinoisIndianaWisconsin combined statistical area.

La Porte is located in northwest Indiana, east of Gary, and west of South Bend. It was first settled by European Americans in 1832. The city is twinned with Grangemouth in Scotland.


The settlement of La Porte was established in July 1832. Abraham P. Andrew, one of the purchasers of the site, constructed the first sawmill in that year. The first settler arrived in October, building a permanent cabin just north of what would become the courthouse square.[6]

After the US extinguished land claims by the Potowatomi and other historic tribes of the area by treaty and removal to Indian Territory, in 1833, a federal land office was established in La Porte. People came to this office from newly established surrounding counties to buy land from the government, including Solon Robinson, founder of Crown Point.[7] The office was moved to Winamac in 1839.[8]

By 1835, the settlement had grown to the extent that La Porte was incorporated as a town. A newspaper was established in 1836. La Porte Medical School, the first of its kind in the Midwest, was founded in 1842. An alumnus of school, William Worrall Mayo, established what became the famed Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in 1889.

By 1852, La Porte had become a well-established settlement of considerable size for its time and vicinity, with 5,000 residents. In that same year, it was granted a city charter by the Indiana General Assembly, and the first mayor was elected.[9] La Porte continued to grow, attracting numerous, diverse industries, the largest of which became the Advance-Rumely Company. Advance-Rumely developed and manufactured the Oil-Pull tractor engine, considered to have played a pivotal role in the agricultural development of the Great Plains. By 1869, Advance-Rumely was the largest employer in La Porte.[6]

During the 1850s, numerous maple trees were planted along Indiana and Michigan Avenues in the city by local resident Sebastian Lay. Subsequently, La Porte became known as the "Maple City". Today, Indiana and Michigan Avenues comprise a historic district in the city, containing many homes and other structures of architectural and historical interest. Between 1892 and 1894, the third and current LaPorte county courthouse was erected at a cost of $300,000. The structure is built of red sandstone from Lake Superior, shipped by boat to Michigan City and then by rail to La Porte. The courthouse is considered[by whom?] to be one of La Porte's best-known structures.[10] In 2007 the exterior of the building was extensively restored at a cost of $2.9 million.[11]

Historic sites districts[edit]


According to the 2010 census, La Porte has a total area of 12.37 square miles (32.04 km2), of which 0.71 square miles (1.84 km2) (or 5.74%) is covered by water. U.S. 35 passes through La Porte.[12]

La Porte is accessible from Chicago by the South Shore train line, which begins at Millennium Station and ends in Michigan City, Indiana, with several stops in between, including Chesterton and Hudson Lake, Indiana. Both are only a short drive from La Porte.


Climate data for LaPorte, Indiana (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1897–1901, 1948–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 69
Mean maximum °F (°C) 52.9
Average high °F (°C) 31.2
Daily mean °F (°C) 24.2
Average low °F (°C) 17.3
Mean minimum °F (°C) −3.8
Record low °F (°C) −23
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.01
Average snowfall inches (cm) 23.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 16.7 12.6 12.5 12.7 13.2 11.0 10.1 9.8 9.6 12.3 13.0 14.8 148.3
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 12.0 8.8 4.5 1.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 2.9 8.5 38.2
Source: NOAA[13][14]


Historical population
Source: US Census Bureau

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[15] of 2010, 22,053 people, 8,962 households, and 5,362 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,891.3 inhabitants per square mile (730.2/km2). The 9,992 housing units had an average density of 856.9 per square mile (330.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.1% White, 3.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 12.9% from other or unknown races, and 7.5% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 12% of the population.[16]

Of the 8,962 households, 31.6% had children under 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.2% were not families. About 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.39, and the average family size was 3.04. The median age in the city was 36.2 years. 24.5% of residents were under 18; 9.5% were between 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 24.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.3% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, 21,621 people, 8,916 households, and 5,545 families lived in the city. The population density was 1,886.8/sq mi (728.5/km2). The 9,667 housing units had an average density of 843.6/sq mi (325.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.6% White, 1.92% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 3.39% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 6.52% of the population.

Of the 8,916 households, 29.8% had children under 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were not families. About 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.36, and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the age distribution was 24.5% under 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,376, and for a family was $45,784. Males had a median income of $32,319 versus $22,756 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,900. About 7.7% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under 18 and 13.1% of those 65 or over.


La Porte City Hall

The government consists of a mayor and a city council. The mayor and two council members are elected in a citywide (at-large) vote. Five of the seven city council members sre elected from individual districts.


The La Porte Community School Corporation serves about 6,500 students.

Primary and secondary education[edit]

  • Public schools
    • La Porte Community Schools
      • La Porte High School
      • La Porte Middle School
      • Kesling Intermediate School [17]
      • Crichfield Elementary
      • Hailmann Elementary
      • Handley Elementary
      • Indian Trail Elementary
      • Kingsbury Elementary
      • Kingsford Heights Elementary
      • Lincoln Elementary
      • Riley Elementary
      • South LaPorte County Special Education Cooperative
  • Private schools
    • La Lumiere School (9–12)
    • Saint John Lutheran School (K–8)
    • St. Joseph's School (PK–5) – closed June, 2012
    • Door Prairie Adventist Christian School (PK–8)
    • Renaissance Academy (PK–8)

With eight state baseball titles, La Porte High School holds the distinction of winning the greatest number in Indiana.[18][19]

Public library[edit]

The city has a public library, a branch of the La Porte County Public Library.[20][21]


The Advance-Rumely tractor company, established in La Porte, developed steam engines and eponymous green kerosene tractors.

La Porte has been featured in an occasional movie, including Prancer (1989), A Piece of Eden (2000), Treadmill (2006), Providence (2009), and Women's Prison (2009).

La Porte was once the home of the Parsons Horological Institute, founded in the 1890s and still extant as part of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

La Porte was the eastern terminus of the Chicago – New York Electric Air Line Railroad, an ambitious early high-speed rail project.

Author J. K. Rowling has a Portkey (Key to the City) for La Porte. It was presented to her by Emerson Spartz.[22]

Places of interest[edit]

Places of interest include the Indiana and Michigan Avenues Historic District, Downtown LaPorte Historic District, Francis H. Morrison House and Marion Ridgeway Polygonal Barn, all of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[23][24]

La Porte Little Theatre Club,[25] a live community theatre group, was founded in 1925. LaPorte County Historical Society[26] features several historic displays including the Kesling Automobile Collection of more than 30 vintage and rare automobiles.[citation needed]

Parks and recreation[edit]

La Porte has an extensive city park district.[citation needed]

  • Allesee Park, (Boyd Boulevard) – is a 6-acre neighborhood park on the south side of the city. It was developed adjacent to a housing subdivision to provide recreational facilities to the neighborhood. The Park was named after George Allesee Sr (18989-1968). The City of La Porte designated the land to be a park and named it after George shortly after his passing. George Allesee was the long time Physical Director of the La Porte YMCA, He also broadcast La Porte Slicers Games on the Radio for 50 years, was the PA Announcer for Sunday Baseball at FOX Park, and for Parochial Football at Kiwanis Field in La Porte. George Allesee Coached many Baseball, Basketball, and Volleyball teams for the YMCA that won state championships. George was the founder of the La Porte Old Timers Baseball association and The La Porte Baseball Hall of Fame. He also played Minor League Baseball after playing High School Football, Basketball, and Baseball. His oldest son also named George was also a well known La Portean as a Sub Teacher for many years after being a History Teacher. His youngest son Tom Allesee played college basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers. The park includes a baseball diamond, basketball half-court, benches, parking, playground, and a walking track. Improvements were made in 2000 thanks to a donation by Richard Allesee (one of his sons) to the La Porte Park Foundation.
  • Ben Rees Park, (Scott Street) – is a 1.5-acre parcel that is half of a square block located near the Civic Auditorium. The park was the site of the Fourth Ward School in the early 1900s. The school was demolished in the 1920s and the property was donated to the city in the 1940s. The park was named in honor of Ben C. Rees, a local attorney and school board member. A new playground, basketball court and gazebo shelter were installed through the help of community volunteers and contributions.
  • Bill Reed Tennis Complex (2150 A Street) – features several tennis courts, parking, water fountains and a pavilion.
  • Charles W. Lindewald Park, (Park Street) – is considered La Porte's first park. A parcel of land, 9.4 acres on Lower Lake, was purchased in 1890. The original parcel contained a notable grove of white oaks, of which a few stands of this native timber still remains. Facilities include a picnic shelter with grills, playground, restrooms, water fountains, ball diamond, basketball half-court and 12 lighted horseshoe pits, which are home to the La Porte Horseshoe Pitches Association.
  • Clarke Field, (Farrand Avenue) – is a two square block area of 6 acres that was a donation to the city in the late 1930s. The park is generally surrounded with tall, mature fir evergreen trees that provide a buffer for the adjacent residential areas. The main recreational usage at Clarke Field are two ball diamonds, one used primarily by the La Porte High School junior varsity and La Porte Babe Ruth Baseball and the other for younger age levels. The park also contains a playground, ball diamonds, a concession stand, water fountains, and public restrooms.
  • Fox Memorial Park, (Truesdale Avenue) – originally started in 1911 with only 15 acres, has grown today to 170 acres. In the early 1900s, flowers, shrubs, and trees were planted to further beautify the hills of mature oak, hawthorn and wild apple.[citation needed] The entire park was landscaped and strolling paths developed. Fox Memorial Park includes Clear Lake, which encompasses approximately 100 acres of the total park. The trees planted in the early 1900s have matured and additional recreational facilities have been developed at the park. The park has ball diamonds, including Ron Reed Field; basketball; playgrounds; picnic shelters with grills; fishing; boating; water fountains; walking and fitness trials; and Thrills ‘n’ Spills Skate Park. The park also contains the Dennis F. Smith Amphitheatre, home to events such as the Arts in the Park program.[citation needed]
  • Hastings Park (Monroe St.) – is a small park, featuring a playground and benches.
  • Kesling Park (2150 A Street) – is located on the southern edge of the community. It started with a small 2-acre land donation and has since grown through additional donations by the Kesling family to the present day size of 90 acres. Today, residents from all of La Porte enjoy the modern facilities including four ball diamonds, six tennis courts, a walking and nature trail, soccer fields, basketball courts, sledding hill and picnic shelters. The park also contains Fort La Play Porte, a large community-built playground.
  • Koomler Park (Miller Street) – covers 4 acres in southern La Porte. It was initially a play area developed by the federal government in the 1940s for children of the workers at the Kingsbury Ordinance Plant. In 1962, this land was transferred to the city for exclusive use as a park. Today, Koomler Park serves the residents of Maple Terrace and offers a ball diamond, basketball court and playground.
  • LaPark (1st Street) – is adjacent to Bethany Lutheran Church.
  • Rumley Park (Home Street) is a 4-acre neighborhood park that was purchased and developed entirely with federal funds in 1980. It was actually a replacement park for the former Marquette Park, which was located four blocks away. Marquette Park was a piece of donated land that was unsuitable and unbuildable for a park. Rumley Park offers a basketball court, playground, picnic facilities and fishing.
  • Scott Field (Jefferson Avenue) – was the result of another land donation of a developer. Originally, in the layout of Scott's Second Addition, 5 acres in the middle of the new housing development was left as a neighborhood play area. The land was donated to the City of La Porte in 1923. It was not until 1952 that the Park Department entered a 99-year lease, for $1 per year, with the school corporation. The park currently includes a shelter, playground, ball diamond, open play, half-court basketball and picnic facilities.
  • Soldiers Memorial Park (250 Pine Lake Ave.) – was dedicated in 1928 and contains 556 acres. It is the largest city park and known for its trees, water sports and organized recreational activities.[citation needed] The park encompasses all of Stone Lake, 140 acres of water and all but 628 feet of shoreline. Also the park provides a variety of active and passive recreational activities including swimming, playgrounds, diamond sports (softball, baseball and t-ball), volleyball, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, fishing and boating. The property is approximately 85 percent woodlands and water. Access is available to Stone Lake, Pine Lake, Crane Lake and Craven Pond. Nature trails have been developed through a stand of native trees, allowing environmental education opportunities. Soldiers Memorial Park is also the site of the Park Department Office and maintenance facilities, as well as Cummings Lodge.[citation needed]
  • Stone Lake Beach (300 Grangemouth Drive) – is a public beach with a volleyball courts, playground, picnic shelter, concession stand, and public restrooms.
  • Warsaw Tot Lot (Warsaw Street) – is a small playground of less than 1 acre in size. The triangular piece of land was donated to the city in 1946 and was developed in 1980 with funding from a federal grant. The play equipment has been recently updated thanks to a donation from the La Porte Park Foundation. Park also has a basketball half-court.
  • Pine Lake Beach (Pine Lake Avenue) – is a public beach with picnic tables, a newly built walk-way across the beach, and a picnic shelter including a grill.
  • Ski-Beach (Waverly Road) – is a public beach with picnic tables and grills. This beach is commonly used by boaters, and has a channel connecting Pine Lake to Stone Lake.
  • Clear Lake
  • Crane Lake
  • Fish Trap Lake
  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Lily Lake
  • Lower Lake
  • Orr Lake
  • Pine Lake
  • Stone Lake
  • Legacy Hills Golf Club[27]
  • Beechwood Golf Course[28]
  • Briar Leaf Golf Club[29]
Public activities
  • Fitness Fridays
  • Saturdays in the Sun
  • Saturday Farmers Market
  • TacoFest
  • Cruise Night
  • LakeFest



The LaPorte Herald-Argus is the only newspaper directly serving La Porte, but it has been combined with The News Dispatch to form The Herald Dispatch.


La Porte receives television and radio broadcasts from Chicago and South Bend.


WCOE, 96.7 FM, WLOI, 1540 AM and Rock, 106.5 FM[30][31]

In the 1990s, WCOE was a broadcast home to the area NBA Chicago Bulls.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: La Porte, Indiana
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Live and Love La Porte - Visiting". July 22, 2012. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Moore, Powell A.; The Calumet Region, Indiana's Last Frontier; Indiana Historical Collections, Vol. XXXIX; Indiana Historical Bureau, Reprint 1977
  8. ^ Indiana Commission on Public Records. Retrieved 03/12/10.
  9. ^ History of LaPorte County, Indiana: Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages, and Townships. C. C. Chapman & Co. 1880. p. 627.
  10. ^ Official Website of the City of La Porte, History of La Porte. Retrieved 10/10/10.
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Ken Herceg & Associates. Retrieved 10/10/10.
  12. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  13. ^ "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  14. ^ "Summary of Monthly Normals 1991–2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  16. ^,laportecityindiana,US/LND110210
  17. ^ Kesling Intermediate School Retrieved 11/09/23
  18. ^ "IHSAA Baseball Team State Champions". Archived from the original on March 18, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2010. IHSAA Historical Information. Retrieved 03/12/10.
  19. ^ "IHSAA State Champions by School". IHSAA. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  20. ^ "Indiana public library directory" (PDF). Indiana State Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 18, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "Library Hours & Information". La Porte County Public Library. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  22. ^ "Portkeys | Wizarding World". Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  23. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  24. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 9/29/14 through 10/03/14. National Park Service. October 10, 2014.
  25. ^ "Home". La Porte Little Theatre Club. Archived from the original on July 5, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  26. ^ "La Porte County Historical Society Museum". La Porte County Historical Society Museum.
  27. ^ "My Homepage". Legacy Hills Golf Club. Archived from the original on July 5, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  28. ^ "Welcome to Beechwood Golf Course". BeechwoodGolfCourse.
  29. ^ "Briar Leaf Golf Club – LaPorte / Northwest Indiana – 18 Hole Golf Course". Briar Leaf Golf Club.
  30. ^ LinkedUpRadio, Envisionwise Website Service /. "Rock 106.5 – Hometown News Now". Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  31. ^ "New classic rock station on air in La Porte". The LaPorte County Herald-Argus. Indiana. June 13, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  32. ^ Painter, Kristen Leigh (July 20, 2016). "Obituary: Professor, nonprofit leader Alvera Mickelsen blended feminism and Christian teaching". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  33. ^ "Dumbing of Age". Dumbing of Age. Retrieved September 3, 2020.

External links[edit]