PoCo Muse

PoCo Muse The award-winning PoCo Muse is the oldest institution devoted to the history and culture of Porter County. The PoCo Muse engages Porter County's rich past with its evolving present to educate, enrich, and inspire our communities.

Operating as usual

November 21, 1921
11/21/2021

November 21, 1921

November 21, 1921

November 20, 1921
11/20/2021

November 20, 1921

November 20, 1921

November 19, 1921
11/19/2021

November 19, 1921

November 19, 1921

November 18, 1921
11/18/2021

November 18, 1921

November 18, 1921

November 17, 1921
11/17/2021

November 17, 1921

November 17, 1921

November 16, 1921
11/16/2021

November 16, 1921

November 16, 1921

November 15, 1921
11/15/2021

November 15, 1921

November 15, 1921

Many thanks are owed to our living history enthusiasts for interpreting the era of the First World War, to the visitors ...
11/14/2021
World War I on Porter County Museum's lawn

Many thanks are owed to our living history enthusiasts for interpreting the era of the First World War, to the visitors who braved the less-than-ideal weather to ask great questions, and to Doug Ross and The Times of Northwest Indiana for covering the outdoor event.

Visitors to the Porter County Museum got a glimpse Saturday of how soldiers from various nations were equipped for World War I.

November 14, 1921
11/14/2021

November 14, 1921

November 14, 1921

November 13, 1921
11/13/2021

November 13, 1921

November 13, 1921

"Boy oh boy am I lucky I thought, little did I know what the Army was like. A man who was an expert at shoeing horses wo...
11/12/2021
G. D. Conover Memoir, 1916-1919 — Porter County Museum

"Boy oh boy am I lucky I thought, little did I know what the Army was like. A man who was an expert at shoeing horses would probably be the mail clerk and this proficient mail clerk who was eager to do his duty as best he knew how, would wind up doing K.P. duty, digging ditches, building latrines et cetera -- but being a farm lad I had also had experience in these enterprises -- so what's the difference -- Mr. Innocence signed on for the duration." - Garrett Dille Conover (1895-1983)

Some of you may remember Dr. G. D. Conover (who served one term as mayor in Valparaiso in the 1940s) as a longtime Porter County dentist, but you might not know he was a veteran of the First World War. His memoir of the time right before and during his stay in France is not only an incredible recollection from a local resident, but it is a true treasure and an important piece of American history.

This memoir was written for posterity in 1974 by Dr. Garrett D. Conover (1895-1983), mostly about his time in the U.S. Army during the First World War, and mostly in France. Transcribed by Quinn Albert of the PoCo Muse in 2021.

November 12, 1921
11/12/2021

November 12, 1921

November 12, 1921

Enjoy free admission to our Montague/Urschel Gallery to see "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community."
11/11/2021

Enjoy free admission to our Montague/Urschel Gallery to see "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community."

Thursday, Nov. 11: 11a-4p
Friday, Nov. 12: 11a-8p
Saturday, Nov. 13: 10a-4p*
Sunday, Nov. 14: 11a-4p

Visit to trace the five-decade journey of local architectural firm Design Organization, now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

*10-11a on Saturday, Nov. 13, is an exclusive viewing hour for PoCo Muse Members. The MUG will open to the public at 11a.

We extend a hearty thank you to all generations of veterans from Porter County and beyond. This poem by Edwin Szold (190...
11/11/2021

We extend a hearty thank you to all generations of veterans from Porter County and beyond. This poem by Edwin Szold (1900-1974) appeared in The Valenian annual from Valparaiso High School in 1918 as a tribute to classmates who participated in the First World War.

We extend a hearty thank you to all generations of veterans from Porter County and beyond. This poem by Edwin Szold (1900-1974) appeared in The Valenian annual from Valparaiso High School in 1918 as a tribute to classmates who participated in the First World War.

November 11, 1921
11/11/2021

November 11, 1921

November 11, 1921

Our very own Asa Kerr made the front page of the November 2021 issue of Senior Life with their cover story "Preserving H...
11/10/2021

Our very own Asa Kerr made the front page of the November 2021 issue of Senior Life with their cover story "Preserving History, Honoring Veterans."

Visit the southeast corner of Indiana Avenue and Franklin Street in Valparaiso this Saturday between 10a-2p to interact with living history enthusiasts in our First World War outdoor encampment.

Our very own Asa Kerr made the front page of the November 2021 issue of Senior Life with their cover story "Preserving History, Honoring Veterans."

Visit the southeast corner of Indiana Avenue and Franklin Street in Valparaiso this Saturday between 10a-2p to interact with living history enthusiasts in our First World War outdoor encampment.

November 10, 1921
11/10/2021

November 10, 1921

November 10, 1921

November 9, 1921
11/09/2021

November 9, 1921

November 9, 1921

November 8, 1921
11/08/2021

November 8, 1921

November 8, 1921

November 7, 1921
11/07/2021

November 7, 1921

November 7, 1921

November 6, 1921
11/06/2021

November 6, 1921

November 6, 1921

Visit our Montague/Urschel Gallery today, tomorrow, and Sunday between 11a and 4p to see "Designing 50 Years: Architectu...
11/05/2021

Visit our Montague/Urschel Gallery today, tomorrow, and Sunday between 11a and 4p to see "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" to trace the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

Visit our Montague/Urschel Gallery today, tomorrow, and Sunday between 11a and 4p to see "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" to trace the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

November 5, 1921
11/05/2021

November 5, 1921

November 5, 1921

"Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special guests today...
11/04/2021

"Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special guests today at 4p and to the general public tomorrow at 11a. This retrospective exhibit traces the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

Image • A glimpse of the north wall inside the Montague/Urschel Gallery highlighting our brand new featured exhibit, which is on display through April 2022.

"Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special guests today at 4p and to the general public tomorrow at 11a. This retrospective exhibit traces the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

Image • A glimpse of the north wall inside the Montague/Urschel Gallery highlighting our brand new featured exhibit, which is on display through April 2022.

November 4, 1921
11/04/2021

November 4, 1921

November 4, 1921

Did you know "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special...
11/03/2021

Did you know "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special guests tomorrow at 4p and to the general public on Friday at 11a? This retrospective exhibit traces the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

Image • A detail of the cover of the inaugural edition of Design Organization’s (DO) newsletter featuring biographies of partners Doug Pierce and Chuck Bone, 1976.

Did you know "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special guests tomorrow at 4p and to the general public on Friday at 11a? This retrospective exhibit traces the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

Image • A detail of the cover of the inaugural edition of Design Organization’s (DO) newsletter featuring biographies of partners Doug Pierce and Chuck Bone, 1976.

Are you familiar with the story of "Old Joe" and the two years he spent as official mascot of the Valparaiso Fire Depart...
11/03/2021
Joe’s Bark Is More Deadly Than Bite, But Faithful Fireman’s Mascot Can Run — Porter County Museum

Are you familiar with the story of "Old Joe" and the two years he spent as official mascot of the Valparaiso Fire Department? Read this recently-rediscovered 1937 news article to learn more about Valparaiso's beloved eighty-seven pound pup.

Like the old gray mare, Joe “ain’t what he used to be.” Joe is the eighty-seven pound English Pit mascot of the Valparaiso Fire Department. Now twelve years old, the barrel-bodied old veteran spends most of his time sleeping beneath the department’s card table – sleeping with one eye open ...

Have you had a chance to view this great new history-focused public art on Indiana Avenue? Stop by to visit "Old Joe" ne...
11/03/2021

Have you had a chance to view this great new history-focused public art on Indiana Avenue? Stop by to visit "Old Joe" next time you are in downtown Valparaiso.

Have you visited yet? Retired Assistant Chief Bill Abel stopped by to pet old Joe and say hello. Get your selfie today and tag us!

November 3, 1921
11/03/2021

November 3, 1921

November 3, 1921

Did you know "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special...
11/02/2021

Did you know "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special guests this Thursday at 4p and to the general public on Friday at 11a? This retrospective exhibit traces the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

Image • Christine Probasco, interior designer, and Jill Harper, director of the graphics department, at a workstation in the office of Design Organization (DO), 1980.

Did you know "Designing 50 Years: Architecture + Community" opens in our Montague/Urschel Gallery to members and special guests this Thursday at 4p and to the general public on Friday at 11a? This retrospective exhibit traces the journey of local architectural firm Design Organization (DO), now Shive-Hattery, from its modest beginnings in Valparaiso, to its broad regional and national success.

Image • Christine Probasco, interior designer, and Jill Harper, director of the graphics department, at a workstation in the office of Design Organization (DO), 1980.

November 2, 1921
11/02/2021

November 2, 1921

November 2, 1921

Check out this great coverage in the The Times of Northwest Indiana by Doug Ross of our Halloween guided walking tour in...
11/01/2021
WATCH NOW: Halloween tour of cemetery highlights spooky, kooky stories

Check out this great coverage in the The Times of Northwest Indiana by Doug Ross of our Halloween guided walking tour inside Valparaiso's Old City Cemetery.

P.S.- The caption to this image is true, but it's worth clarifying that the Porter County Commissioners purchased the cemetery property from Truman and Mary Cheney Freeman for $150 on September 14, 1854. That's still only approximately $4,325 in 2021 dollars.

The tour told stories of several of Valparaiso’s early settlers.

November 1, 1921
11/01/2021

November 1, 1921

November 1, 1921

Many thanks to all of you who spent a little bit of your afternoon with us inside Valparaiso's Old City Cemetery for the...
10/31/2021

Many thanks to all of you who spent a little bit of your afternoon with us inside Valparaiso's Old City Cemetery for the guided walking tour today. In case you missed it, here's one perfectly unusual true story that embodies the spirit of Halloween.

The death of Thomas Pratt (1823-1894), who was a blacksmith, Civil War veteran, and longtime Valparaiso grocer, was unusual. He had a premonition of his death through a dream just a day before he passed away. The circumstances of his demise were covered by our newspapers at the time, and were also discussed in a book by Frederic W. H. Myers entitled "Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death," was which published by Longmans, Green, and Company in 1903.

“...He had dreamed that he was dead, yet he possessed the peculiar power of one in a trance - to see all that went on about him, though he was unable to move or speak. He had noted the preparations for his burial, and he even named the half-dozen friends who served as pallbearers. He also told of the funeral services being held in the Memorial Hall, and of his ride to the cemetery and the lowering of his coffin into the grave. And when the first dirt was thrown upon the box he awoke from the trance and called to his comrades, and they drew him from the grave. The pallbearers of the dream will be the pallbearers at his burial, Monday, which will be from the new Memorial Hall.”

Many thanks to all of you who spent a little bit of your afternoon with us inside Valparaiso's Old City Cemetery for the guided walking tour today. In case you missed it, here's one perfectly unusual true story that embodies the spirit of Halloween.

The death of Thomas Pratt (1823-1894), who was a blacksmith, Civil War veteran, and longtime Valparaiso grocer, was unusual. He had a premonition of his death through a dream just a day before he passed away. The circumstances of his demise were covered by our newspapers at the time, and were also discussed in a book by Frederic W. H. Myers entitled "Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death," was which published by Longmans, Green, and Company in 1903.

“...He had dreamed that he was dead, yet he possessed the peculiar power of one in a trance - to see all that went on about him, though he was unable to move or speak. He had noted the preparations for his burial, and he even named the half-dozen friends who served as pallbearers. He also told of the funeral services being held in the Memorial Hall, and of his ride to the cemetery and the lowering of his coffin into the grave. And when the first dirt was thrown upon the box he awoke from the trance and called to his comrades, and they drew him from the grave. The pallbearers of the dream will be the pallbearers at his burial, Monday, which will be from the new Memorial Hall.”

Have you signed up for our free guided walking tour of Valparaiso's Old City Cemetery at 2p today? It's not too late to ...
10/31/2021

Have you signed up for our free guided walking tour of Valparaiso's Old City Cemetery at 2p today? It's not too late to visit pocomuse.org/events to reserve your spot.

Have you signed up for our free guided walking tour of Valparaiso's Old City Cemetery at 2p today? It's not too late to visit pocomuse.org/events to reserve your spot.

Address

153 Franklin St
Valparaiso, IN
46383

General information

The PoCo Muse (short for Porter County Museum) is located at the southeast corner of Indiana Avenue and Franklin Street (153 S. Franklin) in downtown Valparaiso, Indiana. Programs and activities (unless otherwise indicated) are now held inside the Montague/Urschel Gallery at 20 Indiana Avenue (across the street from the PoCo Muse), accessible through the Franklin Street entrance on the south facade of the building. Current PoCo Muse hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 10a until 4p. Occasional special hours are listed at pocomuse.org. For a complete listing of our upcoming events, be sure to click over to our events page on this Facebook site.

Telephone

(219) 465-3595

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We Are Porter County

From the marshes of the Kankakee to the sands of the Indiana Dunes, a diverse people have embraced this diverse land. And though the world of today looks very different than that of the county’s founding, the land beneath our feet has remained constant, reminding us that we are Porter County.

STARTING OUT

The PoCo Muse began when the Porter County Historical Society temporarily gathered artifacts to create a display for Indiana’s Centennial Celebration in 1916. When some of the contributors did not want their objects back, the permanent collection was born. Our unique assortment of artifacts stems from the hard work, determination, and perseverance of several generations of members and volunteers.

It has been difficult to pinpoint an exact start date for regular hours of operation, but most sources show that the collection was officially showcased on a regular basis on the lower level of the Valparaiso Public Library in the early 1930s.

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Comments

Our latest PoCo Muse pop up is at South Haven this afternoon. Come visit us!
These are builder's photographs of Gary & Valparaiso Railway Company car #1.
Malden is still here
Next time you drive on Bullseye Lake road about 1/4mi west of the lake, see if you can pick out the house I grew up in. The house has been beautifully enlarged .
Piece of local history.
Today in History ***157 YEARS AGO*** On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered remarks, which later became known as the Gettysburg Address, at the official dedication ceremony for the National Cemetery of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, on the site of one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles of the Civil War. Though he was not the featured orator that day, Lincoln’s brief address would be remembered as one of the most important speeches in American history. In it, he invoked the principles of human equality contained in the Declaration of Independence and connected the sacrifices of the Civil War with the desire for “a new birth of freedom,” as well as the all-important preservation of the Union created in 1776 and its ideal of self-government. GETTYSBURG ADDRESS TEXT The full text of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is as follows: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. "Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. "But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Thank you for opening the Union Street Cemetery. It was a great day to be out remembering the early community of Valparaiso. FYI: images of the cemetery and other sites in Valparaiso are available from Wikimedia commons.. They are available for public use with the caveat that the image must be listed as from Wikimedia and the contributors name listed. Thanks again for sponsoring the public day at Union Street Cemetery. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Union_St_Cemetery,_Valparaiso,_Ind
Washington Twp high school 1930.
El
This is amazing things about PORTER COUNTY, INDIANA!
Early 1950’s. Left (Ted Griffith), Center (Marie Griffith), Right (Phil Griffith); car is a Studebaker. (Just a guess, Ted is about 7, Marie is about 11, and I am about 5)
In an antique shop in KY. I do not have a connection. Just sharing in case some one is interested