Small Town Spotlight: La Porte Indiana

Dan Petreikis
By: Dan Petreikis Last Updated: August 4, 2020

What a long, strange summer it’s been! If you’ve been following along, each month we shine the spotlight on one of the amazing small towns that make up our incredible community here in Northwest Indiana. After a few months off, we resume our tour of our local cities, and this time we head east to La Porte County to check out the town of La Porte, a great place to live, work, and play!

With a population of more than 22,000 residents, La Porte (which means “the door” in French) was first established in 1832, and was incorporated into a town in 1835. Surrounded by several lakes, including Stone Lake, Clear Lake and several others, La Porte offers numerous opportunities for recreation and enjoyment. Fishing, boating, jet skiing, and hiking are just a few of the abundance of activities available to La Porte residents, as well as anyone looking to enjoy the opportunities to enjoy the great midwest outdoors.

Dripping as it is in small-town charm, the town of La Porte has already been featured in several major feature films, such as Prancer (1989), A Piece of Eden (2000), Treadmill (2006), Providence (2009) and Woman's Prison (2009). Harry Potter fans may be excited to know that their favorite author, J.K. Rowling, even has a Key to the city, which was gifted to her by Emerson Spartz, La Porte native and founder of viral media company Dose.

One of the most striking features of the town of La Porte—besides the gorgeous lakes which dot the local landscape—must be the historic La Porte County Courthouse, a stunning beauty of 19th century architecture. Designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque-style and built almost entirely of red sandstone, sourced from Lake Superior, the courthouse building strikes an imposing profile and presides proudly over La Porte’s delightful main street, which features coffee shops, antique shops, restaurants such as Bare Bones Gastropub and more. 

Already home to several large companies such as American Licorice Corp, American RENOLIT Corp, Howmet Aerospace, and many others, La Porte offers a very strong job market, with continuing growth, thanks to the tireless efforts of the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership

Known as the “Maple City,” due to the numerous maple trees which were planted along Indiana and Michigan avenues in the city by local resident Sebastian Lay in the 1850s, visitors to La Porte might notice the maple leaf outlines embedded in the sidewalks throughout the town. But La Porte is brimming not just with local civic pride, featuring as it does one of the largest 4th of July parades in the state of Indiana. 

La Porte also boasts strong ties to baseball, America’s favorite pastime, with eight state championships from the 1960s through 2000, seven of which under the leadership of head coach Ken Schreiber, who retired in 1998 with more than 1,000 victories. At least two of his players even went on to careers in the major leagues.

Visitors to La Porte can enjoy one of several local parks to get some fresh air. Green spaces such as local Kesling Park, Hastings Park, and Soldiers Memorial Park—home of the annual La Porte County Family YMCA Triathlon, which typical sees participants from all across the globe travel to the “Maple City” to compete—all offer a tremendous variety of opportunities for visitors and local residents alike to swim, run, hike, and play. 

With these features and more, it’s no surprise that the town of La Porte, Indiana is well known as a great place to live, work, and play. Interested in learning even more? Check out the town’s website at https://www.cityoflaporte.com/.