La Porte County Historical Society Museum
2405 Indiana Ave., Suite 1, La Porte, IN 46350 - United States
The La Porte County Historical Society Museum has become known as a unique attraction and is recognized for its beauty and appearance. With 38,000 square feet, it is much larger than most county museums and is often compared to museums in much larger cities. We make every effort to keep the presentation of artifacts and displays to a specialized standard. We are the only museum in Indiana that has received a “Gem” rating from the American Automobile Association because of its exceptional interest, quality, high profile, and national recognition.
To coincide with this year's Museum Day theme, our fall display from September to November will be "Celebrate Women Making History - La Porte County Trailblazers."
Belle Gunness was born in Selbu, Norway in 1858, and emigrated to the United States about 1886. On the morning of April 28, 1908, her criminal activities came to light. Belle Gunness was La Porte's "Lady Blue Beard" serial killer.
There are 14 “period room” displays that depict different times in history. Guests of the museum step back in time and visit an authentic pioneer log cabin, a Victorian parlor and bedroom, a 1920’s kitchen and living room and a mid-century living room. Additionally, individuals can view a general store, doctor’s office, one-room schoolhouse, music room, old-fashioned business office and dentist office that round out the displays.
Kesling Auto Collection
Consisting of more than 30 vintage automobiles collected by Dr. Peter C. Kesling and his wife Charlene. They range in age from a 1903 Winton to a 1982 DeLorean, the car made famous in the movie “Back to the Future.” The 1903 Winton was driven from California to New York City by Dr. and Mrs. Kesling in 2003, retracing the path of the first coast to coast auto journey by Dr. Horatio Jackson, one hundred years earlier. The collection includes an important grouping of Indiana-built automobiles. A 1929 Auburn Cabin Speedster with T-tops recreates an original destroyed in a disastrous fire at the 1929 Los Angeles Auto Show. A classic Auburn Boattail Speedster of 1935 joins two Cords, a 1930 L-29 and a 1937 Model 812 “coffin-nose” model on display. Rounding out the Indiana triumvirate is a 1929 Duesenberg Model J.
W.A. Jones Collection of Ancient Weapons
The majority of the downstairs level of the museum is given over to the W. A Jones Collection of Ancient Weapons. There are nearly 850 weapons on display. William A. Jones owned an iron foundry in Chicago, traveling around the world in search of items for his collection. Many of the guns you can see on display were purchased in such faraway locations as Mexico City, Paris, Dublin, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Cairo, as well as all over the United States. In addition, war uniforms from the Civil War to the present day, as well as miscellaneous items brought back to La Porte County by war veterans round out this permanent exhibit at the museum.
Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.