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Portage

Trip Planner USA  /  Indiana  /  Portage
(85+ reviews from 2 attractions)
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Portage is a city in Portage Township, Porter County, Indiana, United States. The population was 36,828 as of the 2010 census. It is the largest city in Porter County, and third largest in Northwest Indiana.HistoryPre-European settlementPrevious to European settlers arriving, Native American Indians lived in the area now known as Portage, Indiana. The first known group was the Mound Builders. The only known mound existed in the village of McCool. This mound was removed by the owner, Mr. J.S. Robbins in the early 1900s. Following the Mound Builders, the Wea Tribe inhabited the area. The Wea were forced south of the area by the Potawatomi Tribe.Early explorers and settlersIt is speculated that Marquette, Joliet, Hennepin or De la Croix was the first explorer, however it is unknown exactly who it was. Despite the Potawatomi being a warring tribe, Chief Pokagon encouraged diplomacy rather than war when European Settlers wanted to settle in the area. The Potawatomi tribe sold land to the settlers in 1812 known as Garyton which was one of the first communities in Portage Township.By 1833, there were many European settlers in the area. Samuel Putnam Robbins was among the first. He came from Hocking County, Ohio, and settled near modern-day Robbins Road between McCool Road and Indiana Highway 149. In 1834, Joseph Wolf, who was married to a Blake settled in the area, squatted on land currently near the modern-day community of South Haven and operated several dairy and beef farms there. Other known early settlers include Berret Door, Reuben Hurlburt, Wilford Parrott, The Spurloch brothers, William McCool, Benjamin James, his son Allen James, William Holmes and Jacob Blake. Jacob Blake came to Portage in 1833.The following family names are also among the first settlers: Blake, Palmer, Summer, Ritter, Curtis, Peck, Hurl, Lenburg, Fifield, Crisman, Krieger, Nicholson, Samuelson, Swanson, Lute, Hamstrom, McCool,and Wolfe.
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