January, 2004 - Door Prairie Barn
This vintage view down a dirt lane shows the Door Prairie Barn, built c. 1878 by Marion J. Ridgway. It is very unusual in that it has nine sides, and may be the only one of its kind in existence. It is still standing today in excellent condition. The contractor is believed to have been E. G. Anderson of La Porte. Mr. Ridgway was a breeder of horses for driving and working and was known for his fine Clydesdale stock from Scotland, English Coach stock, and Norman Draft horses from France. The barn featured pie-shaped stalls around a central hall and second floor grain bins that fed down through built in chutes. The building can be seen on Highway 35 at the south entrance to La Porte.
February, 2004 - Snowstorm of 1967
This photograph shows downtown La Porte after the big snowstorm of 1967. The shot was made at 11:00 a.m. on January 31, looking east down Lincoln Way at the intersection with Indiana Avenue. Traffic is down to one lane with little room to park, all the snow being piled high in the middle of the street.
March, 2004 - Allis-Chalmers Sign
The Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co. bought out the former Rumely tractor plant, founded by Meinrad Rumely in 1853. After this 1931 purchase, the company manufactured harvesting equipment at the La Porte plant until it closed in 1983. This photograph dated April 7, 1949, shows the plant sign and workers’ vehicles parked in front of it. The plant was back into the swing of making harvesting machines after converting to wartime production of the “Ontos” and “M-6” track vehicles.
April, 2004 - 1955 4th of July Parade
This view of the 1955 La Porte parade was taken at the corner of Oregon Street and Lincolnway. Pulled by a Buick convertible is the Sinclair Service Stations float, graced by young ladies in formal gowns encouraging car owners to “power up” with “rocket fuel.”
May, 2004 - Arnie’s Griddle
This photograph of Arnie’s Griddle Restaurant in Michigan City dates from the early 1950’s and was taken by Bill Swedenberg of the News-Dispatch. Waffles are advertised in neon and breakfast prices are well under a dollar each. The restaurant was located at 11th and Franklin streets.
June, 2004 - Clinton Township High School
The dictionary defines the “prom” as a ball, or a dance. It is a colloquial, or informal, American term which abbreviates the word “promenade.” The reference is obviously to the formal march of guests at the opening of a dance. This photograph is of the 1952 Clinton Township High School prom, but unfortunately none of the individuals are identified, including the younger couple at the front acting as “crown bearers.” Please feel free to email the museum with the names of people in the photograph.
July, 2004 - Parade Float in Michigan City
The date of this photograph is unknown, but it is advertising “Michigan City’s Air-Conditioned Theatres” with signs indicating the cool environments of the Tivoli, Lake and Uptown theatres. Presumably others were listed on the other side. The sign on the end appears to say “Miss Michigan City” and this was float number #21.
August, 2004 - Comet Drive-In
The Comet Drive-In theatre was in Rolling Prairie. This photograph is from 1958 and shows the race track there, being used for “quarter midget” racing. This photograph was taken by Bob Miller of La Porte, whose sons raced at the track.