Porter County, Indiana facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Porter County, Indiana
Porter County Courthouse in Valparaiso, Indiana
"Front Porch of the Dunes"
Location in the state of Indiana
Indiana's location in the U.S.
|Metro area||Chicago Metropolitan|
|Named for||David Porter|
|Largest city||Portage (population and area)|
|• Body||Board of Commissioners|
|• County||521.8 sq mi (1,351 km2)|
|• Land||418.2 sq mi (1,083 km2)|
|• Water||103.6 sq mi (268 km2)|
|• Metro||10,874 sq mi (28,160 km2)|
|Area rank||29th largest county in Indiana|
|• Region||2,726 sq mi (7,060 km2)|
|843 ft (257 m)|
– NE Jackson Twp
|870 ft (270 m)|
– at Lake Michigan
|585 ft (178 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Rank||9th largest county in Indiana
374th largest county in U.S.
|• Density||393/sq mi (152/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (Central)|
46301-02, 46304, 46307-08, 46341-42, 46347, 46360, 46368, 46383-85, 46391, 46393
|Indiana Senate districts||4th, 5th and 6th|
|Indiana House of Representatives districts||3rd, 4th, 10th, 19th and 20th|
|GNIS feature ID||0450382|
|Airport||Porter County Regional
|Waterways||East Arm Little Calumet River
Little Calumet River
Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor
|South Shore Line stations||Beverly Shores – Dune Park Portage/Ogden Dunes
Porter County is the site of the Indiana Dunes, an area of ecological significance. A museum called the Hour Glass located in Ogden Dunes, contains exhibits that document the ecological significance.
The area of Indiana, which became Porter County was occupied by an Algonquian people named by the archeologist as the Huber-Berrien. This was a subsistence culture that arrived after the glaciers retreated somewhere around 15,000 years ago and the rise of glacial Lake Algonquian, 4–8,000 years ago. The Huber-Berrien people were a subsistence society. The native people of this area were next recorded during the Iroquois Wars (1641–1701) as being Potawatomi and Miami. The trading post system used by the French and then the English encouraged native people to live in central villages along major waterways. Therefore, there are no recorded villages within the current boundaries of Porter County. It was not until 1830 when Chiqua's town and Tassinong appear on maps and in records. Chiqua's town is located a mile east of Valparaiso on State Route 2,the old Sauk Trail. Tassinong is south of Valparaiso about 5 miles (8.0 km) on State Route 49 at Baum's Bridge Road, the main route across the Great Kankakee Marsh.
Porter County was formed in 1836. From 1832 to 1836, the area that was to become Porter County was part of La Porte County. It was named for Capt. David Porter, naval officer during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 521.78 square miles (1,351.4 km2), of which 418.15 square miles (1,083.0 km2) (or 80.14%) is land and 103.63 square miles (268.4 km2) (or 19.86%) is water, most of it in Lake Michigan. The highest point, at 870 feet (270 m), is in northeastern Jackson Township near County Road East 950 North and County Line Road. The lowest point, at 585 feet (178 m), is along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
- LaPorte County (east)
- Starke County (southeast)
- Jasper County (south)
- Lake County (west)
- Cook County, Illinois (northwest, boundary in Lake Michigan)
- Berrien County, Michigan (northeast, boundary in Lake Michigan)
National protected area
The municipalities in Porter County and their populations as of the 2010 Census:
- Aberdeen – 1,875
- Lakes of the Four Seasons – 3,097 (7,033 including portion in Lake County)
- Salt Creek Commons – 2,117
- Shorewood Forest – 2,708
- South Haven – 5,282
- Wheeler – 443
The 12 townships of Porter County and their populations as of the 2010 Census:
- Boone – 6,160
- Center – 43,267
- Jackson – 5,328
- Liberty – 9,319
- Morgan – 3,684
- Pine – 2,709
- Pleasant – 4,432
- Portage – 47,085
- Porter – 9,367
- Union – 8,811
- Washington – 4,785
- Westchester – 19,396
Climate and weather
|Weather chart for Valparaiso, Indiana|
|temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel
In recent years, average temperatures in Valparaiso have ranged from a low of 15 °F (−9 °C) in January to a high of 83 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −25 °F (−32 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1934. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.82 inches (46 mm) in February to 4.66 inches (118 mm) in June.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 164,343 people, 61,998 households, and 43,901 families residing in the county. The population density was 393.0 inhabitants per square mile (151.7/km2). There were 66,179 housing units at an average density of 158.3 per square mile (61.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 91.3% white, 3.0% black or African American, 1.2% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 2.3% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 8.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 29.1% were German, 18.5% were Irish, 10.1% were Polish, 9.7% were English, 5.8% were Italian, and 5.6% were American.
Of the 61,998 households, 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.2% were non-families, and 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.07. The median age was 38.4 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $73,065. Males had a median income of $59,542 versus $35,534 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,922. About 6.6% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
|Places by population and race|
|Place||Population (2010)||White||Black or African
||Hispanic or Latino
(of any race)
|Beverly Shores, town||613||96.6%||1.3%||0.3%||1.8%||2.8%|
|Burns Harbor, town||1,156||95.4%||1.8%||0.3%||2.5%||5.8%|
|Dune Acres, town||182||95.1%||1.1%||2.2%||1.6%||1.6%|
|Lakes of the Four Seasons, CDP||7,033||93.4%||1.2%||1.0%||4.4%||8.5%|
|Ogden Dunes, town||1,110||96.1%||1.1%||1.3%||1.5%||3.2%|
|Salt Creek Commons, CDP||2,117||94.2%||1.0%||1.6%||3.2%||8.3%|
|Shorewood Forest, CDP||2,708||89.4%||3.8%||4.0%||2.8%||3.7%|
|South Haven, CDP||5,282||91.3%||3.0%||0.3%||5.4%||9.8%|
|Town of Pines, town||708||93.9%||2.3%||0.3%||3.5%||3.1%|
|Places by population and standard of living|
|Beverly Shores, town||613||$68,750||$39,906||$429,200|
|Burns Harbor, town||1,156||$26,337||$62,500||$149,700|
|Dune Acres, town||182||$141,256||$161,875||$677,600|
|Lakes of the Four Seasons, CDP||7,033||$32,908||$84,242||$182,600|
|Ogden Dunes, town||1,110||$59,561||$106,406||$343,800|
|Salt Creek Commons, CDP||2,117||$18,778||$60,478||$114,800|
|Shorewood Forest, CDP||2,708||$49,743||$118,984||$327,400|
|South Haven, CDP||5,282||$19,355||$49,746||$110,800|
|Town of Pines, town||708||$20,255||$36,111||$96,600|
Porter County Cemeteries
The earliest Cemetery in Porter County is the Bailly Cemetery, 1827. After the original burial in 1827, numerous other burials occurred. Additional cemeteries were created as the population grew. Early cemeteries were often family owned or church related. As communities grew, community cemeteries developed. The newest cemetery in the county is Angel Crest Cemetery, just off Indiana State Road 49, north of Valparaiso.
Porter County Parks
Porter County has grown from a single park, Sunset Hill Farm County Park, to four, including: Calumet Trail, Dunn's Bridge County Park, and the newest, Brinkca-Cross Gardens.
- Brinkca-Cross Gardens Located at 27 E. Furness Rd. in Pine Township the garden offers 4 acres (1.6 ha) of trees and shrubs. Slopes and hills create vistas that of flower gardens and numerous hidden plantings, imported by the team of William Brincka and Basil Cross. The Hosta Garden contains many species propagated by Mr. Brincka.
- Calumet Trail. The trail is 9.1 miles (14.6 km) long, parallel to U.S. 12, at the north end of the county. The trail is a mixed use trail, designed for walking, running, biking and cross-country skiing. Its eastern end is just north of where U.S. 12 crosses the tracks in The Town of the Pines. The trail follows the power line west, ending at Mineral Springs Road, where it crosses the railroad track. A restroom can be found at the western end. Water is not available.
- Dunn's Bridge County Park. Located on the southern boundary of the county on County Road 500 East, Dunn's Bridge spans the Kankakee River to Jasper county. It is one of the oldest landmarks in the region. Built over a century ago across the Kankakee River by a resident farmer named Dunn, legend suggests that its origins may be traced to the famous George Ferris, creator of the first 'Ferris Wheel'. The park provides small boat access to the Kankakee River and a parking lot.
- Sunset Hill Farm County Park. Located at 775 Meridian Rd, just south of U.S. 6 the Park consist of 238 acres (96 ha). There are several habitats accessible by trail, including; prairie lands, ponds and woods. Built around the Col. Murray farm, the open meadows are used for festivals and events. Colonel Robert Heffron Murray, a Chicago businessman. He and his first wife, Sue Horton Murray purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) in 1934. With additional purchases, the farm grew to its present size. After the Colonel's death, his second wife Elizabeth Murray and ownership was placed in the county.
- Alton Goin Museum is operated by the Portage Community Historical Society at Countryside Park in Portage to preserve the city's history, including the Trager farmhouse.
- Bailly Homestead & Chellberg Farm is part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
- Brauer Museum of Art is operated by Valparaiso University and is located in Valparaiso University Center for the Arts. It contains the largest collection of works by Junius R. Sloan.
- Depot of Beverly Shores Museum & Art Gallery is a pink stucco museum to preserve Beverly Shores history through rotating exhibits of paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics and woodcarving.
- Hour Glass House Museum contains the works of local artists.
- Porter County Museum of History maintains the history of Porter County.
- Stagecoach Inn & Panhandle Depot is operated by the Hebron Historical Society in Hebron.
- Westchester Township History Museum is operated by the Westchester Public Library and is located in the The Brown Mansion, the former home of a wealthy family that exhibits local history of the Indiana Dunes.
- Task Force Tips Fire Museum is operated by Task Force Tips in Valparaiso to preserve the history of fire equipment.
- 4th Street Theater is a community theater in Chesterton.
- Chicago Street Theatre is a community theater in Valparaiso.
- Front Porch Music is a music supply store that offer a weekly 'open mic' night as sponsor concerts in Valparaiso.
- Memorial Opera House presents live theater and a variety of other monthly programs.
- Valparaiso Theatrical Company travels to different venues in Porter County presenting live theater with the proceeds benefitting a variety of charities.
- Valparaiso University Center for the Arts is the Valparaiso University's performing arts center. They sponsor live stage performances of music, theater and dance.
Images for kids
Porter County, Indiana Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.