Michigan City Public Library
Sand dune
100 E. 4th Street, Michigan City, IN 46360, phone 219 - 873 - 3044 fax 219 - 873 - 3067

      History of Michigan City and La Porte County


Major Isaac C. Elston purchased the land for Michigan City in 1830. The town was officially incorporated on February 8, 1836. In the years since its birth, it has served as a grain center, lumber and shipping port, railroad city, recreational area and tourist attraction, industrial center, and All America town. Ever ambitious, the city continually strives to live up to the vision of former mayor and influential leader Martin Krueger:Michigan City, 1916

There's a city by the lake
That is bright and wide awake!
Michigan City, Indiana!
You can travel up and down
And not find a better town
Than Michigan City, Indiana!
Michigan City
Hurrah, folks, hurray!
Strong in December
And full of pep in May
And the water's always fine
In the good old summertime
In Michigan City, Indiana!

Local History Resources

Timeline of Michigan City History - A chronology of important dates in Michigan City history. Updated regularly.

Local History Books and Materials - The Indiana Room and non-fiction collections contain many local histories, atlases, maps, city directories, memoirs, church records, military records, and more.

Michigan City Newspapers - Past issues of the Michigan City News Dispatch and earlier newspapers are available on microfilm at the library. See the library's newspaper holdings. Looking for an obituary? Try the library's obituary index.

Historic Slide Collection - The library holds a collection of over 6,000 slides containing historic photos of Michigan City. The slides are available for viewing within the library, or copies can be requested for a fee. Many of these slides have been digitized and posted to the library Facebook page. The historic slide index contains short descriptions of the slides available. Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance.

Michigan City Military Monuments & Historical Sites Tour

City Directories & Phone Books

Sanborn Maps, Atlases & Land Records

Oral History Collection - In the late 1970's, local residents were interviewed to collect their memories of life in our community as part of the History: Live From La Porte County project administered by the library. Read transcripts of the oral history tapes, containing the reminiscences and beliefs of common citizens. Audio copies of the tapes are available for a small fee.

History Databases - Indiana Memory, Indiana State Digital Archives, Indiana History Online, Hoosier State Chronicles, Chronicling America, and more.

Pamphlet Files - The library's pamphlet files contain newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other miscellanea related to the city's history. The files can be read in the Indiana Room at the library.

School Yearbooks - Yearbooks from Elston, Rogers, Michigan City High School, Marquette, and other local schools can be viewed at the library. Request titles at the Reference Desk. See the list of available yearbooks.

Other Local Historical Organizations - Contact these organizations for more local history resources.