Porter County Museum

Porter County Museum The award-winning PoCo Muse (Porter County Museum) maintains free general admission year-round as the oldest institution devoted to the history and culture of Porter County.
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Visit pocomuse.org to plan your future trip! The PoCo Muse engages Porter County's rich past with its evolving present to educate, enrich, and inspire our communities. "Do Your Part! A County Responds to the First World War" is a current featured exhibit that examines the effect World War I had on the everyday life of Porter County residents and shows how they worked, organized, and sacrificed in response. The exhibit provides visitors with an understanding of how Porter County experienced the war. Visitors connect the stories displayed in the exhibit with personal history and experience.

Mission: We engage Porter County’s rich past with its evolving present to educate, enrich, and inspire our communities.

Operating as usual

Meet the fashionable Harriet Massey! Mrs. Massey was born in Sterling, New York on Feb. 20, 1842, and came to Porter Cou...
12/15/2020

Meet the fashionable Harriet Massey! Mrs. Massey was born in Sterling, New York on Feb. 20, 1842, and came to Porter County with her parents at the age of 10. She married Samuel Massey in Chesterton on Dec. 1, 1861. Massey was a prominent member of the Valparaiso Woman's Club and the driving force behind their work to have public restrooms in the Porter County Courthouse. After her work in having the restrooms put in, she herself cared for their upkeep and maintenance. On March 1, at the age of 91, Harriet passed away. A member of the Woman's Relief Corps, the organization departed from their regular schedule so members could attend her funeral.
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Today is #WearYourPearlsDay, which is meant to show, like in the natural design of pearls, "that when life throws dirt our way, we all have value in the end." It is easy to believe that Harriet would have appreciated this holiday. If nothing else, here she is wearing her pearls.
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#PoCoMuse #PoCoHistory #PorterCounty #NWIndiana #portercounty #indianahistory #historichoosiers #hoosier #bathroomattendent #womansreliefcorps #portercountycourthouse #indianacourthouse #firstbathroom #ValparaisoWomansClub

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 197...
12/15/2020

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 1970. Of these, 55 were sent to the North Pole without being prepared for publication because they lacked the necessary information - full name, address and age. So, 421 letters were published between December 15 and Christmas Day. Twelve letters were post-marked after the deadline and were forwarded immediately to Santa’s headquarters. One youngster who wrote St. Nick sent Santa a stick of gum for refreshment while he reads the many letters he’s getting.

Dec. 15, 1920.
12/15/2020

Dec. 15, 1920.

12/15/2020
Dec. 14, 1955: V-M Plans Drastic Changes Due To Newsprint Shortage — Porter County Museum
12/14/2020
Dec. 14, 1955: V-M Plans Drastic Changes Due To Newsprint Shortage — Porter County Museum

Dec. 14, 1955: V-M Plans Drastic Changes Due To Newsprint Shortage — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 14, 1955. V-M Plans Drastic Changes Due To Newsprint Shortage As with other daily newspapers from coast to coast, The Vidette-Messenger faces a severe newsprint shortage in 1956 that manufacturers consider more cri

In 1960, from December 8th through the 12th, Porter County's five-day snow total built to more than 17 inches! More than...
12/14/2020

In 1960, from December 8th through the 12th, Porter County's five-day snow total built to more than 17 inches! More than ten inches remained on the ground on the 13th, and, as you can see in this image, there was still plenty of snow on the 14th. Yet the snow on the ground didn't slow these Banta students, who still left promptly at 12:45 for their trip to school #OnThisDay. Shown are Debbie Ruwersma, 5, and Jackie Ruwersma, 3, being pulled by the family pet, Prince, and guided by their aunt, Mrs. Paul Clifford.
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How did you get to school on snow filled days?
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#pocomuse #pocohistory #hoosierhistory #indianahistory #portercounty #nwindiana #dogsled #snowstorm #historicsnow #valparaiso #bantaschool

Dec. 14, 1920.
12/14/2020

Dec. 14, 1920.

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 197...
12/14/2020

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 1970. Of these, 55 were sent to the North Pole without being prepared for publication because they lacked the necessary information - full name, address and age. So, 421 letters were published between December 15 and Christmas Day. Twelve letters were post-marked after the deadline and were forwarded immediately to Santa’s headquarters. One youngster who wrote St. Nick sent Santa a stick of gum for refreshment while he reads the many letters he’s getting.

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 197...
12/14/2020

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 1970. Of these, 55 were sent to the North Pole without being prepared for publication because they lacked the necessary information - full name, address and age. So, 421 letters were published between December 15 and Christmas Day. Twelve letters were post-marked after the deadline and were forwarded immediately to Santa’s headquarters. One youngster who wrote St. Nick sent Santa a stick of gum for refreshment while he reads the many letters he’s getting.

Dec. 12, 1935: KOUTS’ ONE-MAN INFORMATION BUREAU GIVES TIP ON RABBIT HIDE-OUT; BOYS FAIL FIND IT — Porter County Museum
12/13/2020
Dec. 12, 1935: KOUTS’ ONE-MAN INFORMATION BUREAU GIVES TIP ON RABBIT HIDE-OUT; BOYS FAIL FIND IT — Porter County Museum

Dec. 12, 1935: KOUTS’ ONE-MAN INFORMATION BUREAU GIVES TIP ON RABBIT HIDE-OUT; BOYS FAIL FIND IT — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 12, 1935. KOUTS’ ONE-MAN INFORMATION BUREAU GIVES TIP ON RABBIT HIDE-OUT; BOYS FAIL FIND IT BY ROBERT ALLETT KOUTS, Dec. 12.ーGordon Starkey is the local unofficial one-man information bureau. If there’s anything a

Dec. 13, 1920.
12/13/2020

Dec. 13, 1920.

Have you ever wondered how Santa gets into every house on Christmas Eve? In 1975, a group of Porter County youths was as...
12/12/2020

Have you ever wondered how Santa gets into every house on Christmas Eve? In 1975, a group of Porter County youths was asked that very question, and they all came up with some interesting answers! Do you recognize any of these believers?
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#PoCoMuse #DoYouBelieve #PoCoHistory #PorterCounty #NWIndiana #Portage #LakeElisa #Valparaiso #Hebron #SouthHaven #indianahistory

Dec. 12, 1920
12/12/2020

Dec. 12, 1920

Dec. 11, 1940: Help Offered To Family Left Destitute By Fire — Porter County Museum
12/11/2020
Dec. 11, 1940: Help Offered To Family Left Destitute By Fire — Porter County Museum

Dec. 11, 1940: Help Offered To Family Left Destitute By Fire — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 11, 1940. Help Offered To Family Left Destitute By Fire Several movements were afoot today in an effort to extend aid to the Dunklebarger family of Wheeler after fire Tuesday had left a widow and four children hom

Dec. 11, 1920
12/11/2020

Dec. 11, 1920

Dec. 10, 1970: Pupils Need Articles For Yule Project — Porter County Museum
12/10/2020
Dec. 10, 1970: Pupils Need Articles For Yule Project — Porter County Museum

Dec. 10, 1970: Pupils Need Articles For Yule Project — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 10, 1970. Pupils Need Articles For Yule Project Wheels and tires from bicycles, tricycles, and buggies are needed by the Vocational Industrial Club of America (VICA) at Valparaiso High School. They will be used to rep

Eunice Slagle was an influential PoCo Muse volunteer, and it's hard not to think of her during this time of year. Euny l...
12/10/2020

Eunice Slagle was an influential PoCo Muse volunteer, and it's hard not to think of her during this time of year. Euny loved celebrating the holidays, and she also loved her time in the Electrical Division of the McGill Manufacturing Company. She, in large part, is the inspiration and source for this month's free PoCo Muse News publication featuring McGill. Follow the link in the bio to read this month's publications (and subscribe)!
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#localhistory #pocomuse #pocohistory #museumvolunteer #volunteerlove #McGillManufacturing #NWIndiana #portercounty #valparaiso #indianahistory #pocomusenews

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 197...
12/10/2020

There were 476 letters to Santa Claus relayed to the North Pole from The Vidette-Messenger relay station in December 1970. Of these, 55 were sent to the North Pole without being prepared for publication because they lacked the necessary information - full name, address and age. So, 421 letters were published between December 15 and Christmas Day. Twelve letters were post-marked after the deadline and were forwarded immediately to Santa’s headquarters. One youngster who wrote St. Nick sent Santa a stick of gum for refreshment while he reads the many letters he’s getting.

Dec. 10, 1920.
12/10/2020

Dec. 10, 1920.

Dec. 9, 1970: Break School Windows - Vandals Smash 350-400 Panes — Porter County Museum
12/09/2020
Dec. 9, 1970: Break School Windows - Vandals Smash 350-400 Panes — Porter County Museum

Dec. 9, 1970: Break School Windows - Vandals Smash 350-400 Panes — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 9, 1970. Break School Windows Vandals Smash 350-400 Panes Between 350 and 400 windows and glass door panels at six schools and a gymnasium in Porter County were broken early this morning by vandals, who also str

Dec. 9, 1940: Schools Put On Carnival To Boost Athletic Fund — Porter County Museum
12/09/2020
Dec. 9, 1940: Schools Put On Carnival To Boost Athletic Fund — Porter County Museum

Dec. 9, 1940: Schools Put On Carnival To Boost Athletic Fund — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 9, 1940. Schools Put On Carnival To Boost Athletic Fund BY HERB STEINBACH (Photographs by Paul Pattee) The old fashioned “carnival spirit” pervaded Jackson township one night last week as the populace of that

Do you dream of pastry delivery trucks? Enter C.F. Boule & Son Pastry Shop and their delivery team. This image comes fro...
12/09/2020

Do you dream of pastry delivery trucks? Enter C.F. Boule & Son Pastry Shop and their delivery team. This image comes from the Steve Mockler Collection, showing the "Polk's School of Piano Tuning" destroyed by fire in January 1927.
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The second image is an advertisement from 1929. Can you tell from which month? What would you order from Boule's Bakery?
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#pocomuse #localhistory #pocohistory #portercounty #nwindiana #pastryday #pastryshop #regioneats #pianotunning

Anyone know of an 85-acre park at Spectacle and Loomis Lakes in Valparaiso? In 1960 a proposed plan of the area was publ...
12/09/2020
Dec. 8, 1960: Plans Being Developed For Proposed Valparaiso Park In Spectacle-Loomis Area — Porter County Museum

Anyone know of an 85-acre park at Spectacle and Loomis Lakes in Valparaiso? In 1960 a proposed plan of the area was published in the Vidette-Messenger. Follow the link to read the details of the plan.
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#LocalHistory #onthisday #pocomuse #pocohistory #portercounty #nwindiana #valpoparks #spectaclelake #loomislake #valparaiso #indianamuseums

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 8, 1960. Plans Being Developed For Proposed Valparaiso Park In Spectacle-Loomis Area By ROLLIE BERNHART Preliminary action has been taken by the Valparaiso Park District board to acquire and develop an 85-acre land

Dec. 9, 1920.
12/09/2020

Dec. 9, 1920.

Dec. 8, 1920.
12/08/2020

Dec. 8, 1920.

Even though we've sent out the December 2020 issue of PoCo Muse News about McGill Manufacturing, you can still sign up t...
12/07/2020

Even though we've sent out the December 2020 issue of PoCo Muse News about McGill Manufacturing, you can still sign up to have the free digital publication sent to your inbox!

With more than 107 years of combined service to the electrical division, (from left to right) Bill Jungjohan, Alton Bowman, and Ken Weideman stand outside the old plating room at McGill's before it was torn down to add a new section. June 1970.

Bill Wellman shared his remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.
12/07/2020

Bill Wellman shared his remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.

Dec. 7, 1940: Born Before ‘84? It Will Be Hard Thing To Prove! — Porter County Museum
12/07/2020
Dec. 7, 1940: Born Before ‘84? It Will Be Hard Thing To Prove! — Porter County Museum

Dec. 7, 1940: Born Before ‘84? It Will Be Hard Thing To Prove! — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 7, 1940. Born Before ‘84? It Will Be Hard Thing To Prove! Porter county residents born before 1884 will find it impossible to get statistical records in Valparaiso and Porter county to establish their age in event

Evelyn Bradshaw shared her remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.
12/07/2020

Evelyn Bradshaw shared her remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.

Lee Maynard shared his remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.
12/07/2020

Lee Maynard shared his remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.

Fannie Lindsley shared her remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.
12/07/2020

Fannie Lindsley shared her remembrance of Pearl Harbor with the PoCo Muse back in 2012.

Many may write letters to Santa, but not many get one back. Follow the link to read the letter that Santa wrote to a Lib...
12/07/2020
Dec. 4, 1964: Liberty Pupil Asks Whether Or Not Santa Really Exists Santa Clause Doesn’t See Debate Need — Porter County Museum

Many may write letters to Santa, but not many get one back. Follow the link to read the letter that Santa wrote to a Liberty Elementary School Pupil in 1965.
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#PoCoMuse #PoCoHistory #PorterCounty #nwindiana #SantaClaus #LetterFromSanta #LibertyElementary

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 4, 1965. Liberty Pupil Asks Whether Or Not Santa Really Exists Santa Clause Doesn’t See Debate Need (EDITOR’S NOTE ー Answer to letter to Santa Claus from the staff of Liberty Township school’s “Lion Roar.”)

Dec. 7, 1920.
12/07/2020

Dec. 7, 1920.

Dec. 6, 1935: VALPARAISO CITIZENS FIND V.U. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IS WELL WORTH PATRONAGE — Porter County Museum
12/07/2020
Dec. 6, 1935: VALPARAISO CITIZENS FIND V.U. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IS WELL WORTH PATRONAGE — Porter County Museum

Dec. 6, 1935: VALPARAISO CITIZENS FIND V.U. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IS WELL WORTH PATRONAGE — Porter County Museum

Originally published in The Vidette-Messenger of Porter County on December 6, 1935. VALPARAISO CITIZENS FIND V.U. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IS WELL WORTH PATRONAGE BY ROBERT ALLETT Valparaiso citizens are gradually awakening to the fact that Miss Helen Dvorak is building a splendid musical organi

Dec. 6, 1920
12/06/2020

Dec. 6, 1920

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.

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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.

Nearby government services


Comments

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
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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
Family violin in my possession after not knowing for sure where it was for over three decades. A hand written note inside that was put there by my father sometime before his death in 1979 says that this violin was given to my Great, Great Grandfather for a wedding gift about 1832
How cool is that.I know alot of the names,and ofcourse Santa. Merry Christmas everyone and I still believe.
Merry Christmas to the Porter County Museum! Thank you to all the Employees and Volunteers. A special Thank You to Kevin Matthew Pazour for his hard work and "Wonderful History Posts" throughout the Year, keep them coming we sure enjoy them. Thanks and Happy New Year
Came across this ad last night while doing a little PC history surfing😊
Was told there was still evidence of the Courthouse fire in 1934 ? still showing in one of the courthouse floors ?
The 1976 Waltons Episode w/Beulah Bondi as Aunt Martha Corinne is on the insp channel right now 😊