PORTAGE — Despite its youth, the city has a long history in the Region.
That history is being highlighted by a series of posters being installed on the pillars which surround Founders Square Park.
Colin Highlands, the city's redevelopment administrator and a third-generation Portage resident, headed the project aimed at remembering the city's founders and early pioneers.
"Northwest Indiana was once the frontier. We wanted to highlight the people who came here and made it work. We wanted people to experience Portage in a different way," he said.
The posters are also appropriate as the city begins to celebrate its 50th anniversary on Jan. 1, 1968.
Highlands pointed to early pioneer H.D. Scofield, who built Crisman, was a successful entrepreneur, opening a post office and early store, and the Robbins family, who were also pioneers paving the way for settlement of the area. Another interesting story highlighted in the posters is Josephus Wolfe, who went to the California gold fields, came back with money, built the Wolfe Mansion and had one of the largest farms in the Region.
Their stories, Highlands believes, can provide inspiration to today's residents.
Highlands said he worked with the Portage Historical Society on gathering the information and photographs used in the posters. He said they also hope the information will drive an interest to visit the historical society's museum at Countryside Park.
The posters, which can be rotated and will likely be displayed at the museum when not at the park, were part of the original concept of Founders Square Park, which also features a splash pad, playground and open air pavilion. Initially, he said, the thought was to have permanent brass plaques on the pillars, but the posters were less costly and could be switched out from time to time. There is also space on the pillars to place posters advertising upcoming events.
Highlands said they plan on having five to six posters on display at a time. An upcoming poster will feature sports, including photographs of the 1909 McCool Cyclone baseball team.