Many people don’t realize that there are a ton of museums in Northwest Indiana – a huge cultural resource that can help you learn all about the history of the Calumet region.
Here’s a breakdown of all the interesting museums in Northwest Indiana. If I’m missing one, please feel free to share it in the comments!
Barker Mansion – Michigan City
The Barker Mansion is the house that rail cars built – it was built by John H. Barker who was a railroad industrial titan. Explore this awesome historical home that is on the National Register of Historical Places. They have regular guided tours and host seasonal function.
Located at the Indiana Welcome Center off of I-80 in Hammond (which is worth a visit in itself), the Dillinger museum is home to the biggest display of Dillinger paraphernalia around. It features an interactive tour of his life and time in the 1930’s. So, if you were inspired by the recent film Public Enemies, then this is the place to visit to find out more about the interesting man that was John Dillinger.
Brauer Museum of Art
Located on the Campus of the lovely Valparaiso University, the Brauer Museum of Art is home to a nationally recognized collection of 19th and 20th-century American art and includes works by Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand, Childe Hassam, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Ed Paschke. It has the largest collection of works by the iconic Junius R. Sloan of the Hudson River School.
The Depot of Beverly Shores
The town of Beverly Shores has a long and storied history, with its roots in the Chicago World’s Fair. At this tiny museum you can learn all about the history of Beverly Shores, where changing exhibits show the town’s development and ground-breaking architecture, past and present. You can check out historic maps and see how Frederick H. Bartlett and Robert Bartlett promoted their planned community to lure lot buyers. You’ll learn how futuristic houses displayed at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair – A Century of Progress were relocated on the lakefront in Beverly Shores where they remain today. There is also a Dunes themed gift shop where you can get local art, postcards and souvenirs.
Porter County Museum
Located in Valparaiso in the Old County Jail, the Porter County Museum feature artifacts from the rich history of Porter County. The collection was started nearly 100 years ago, so there is plenty to see. If you are in town for a while, you can also enjoy a show next door at the Memorial Opera House.
Great Lakes Museum of Military History
Located in Michigan City – the Great Lakes Museum of Military history is a great peek into our rich military past including relics from the Nuremburg Trials. It features artifacts from most of America’s wartime history. A very interesting visit.
For the gearhead, Ragtops features many restores cars from all of auto history. They have over 70,000 square feet dedicated to historical cars including the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard.