Since I was a young girl in school, my first taste of history wet my appetite for even more as I grew older. Many of my papers for writing and public speaking were sprinkled with American history moments.
When I moved to Portage, I was mesmerized by all the local history I had learned from many clients and friends I had over the years because they had lived all their lives here. Memories of Willowcreek Road being just a cow path lined with willow trees and the old high school on Crisman Road. The history alone, of over 175 years in the First United Methodist church our family attends, is just chock-full of founding family names.
For 25 years, the Portage Community Historical Society has been connecting people to our past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and getting out the word about our Portage Township’s history. This weekend marks the opening of the museum for a new season starting with a new exhibit running until April 28.
The traveling exhibition named “Who do you think you are?”, is all about the different ethnic groups that have played a part in the Hoosier state’s heritage. In 1850, the five largest ethnic groups in Indiana were German, Irish, English, Canadians and French. At that time Marion County had the largest foreign-born population but today the Asian and Mexican born people rival the Germans and Lake County has the largest foreign born contingent.
The exhibit uses photos, maps, graphs and statistics drawn from the society’s collections and from other institutions around the state to examine what defines and ethnic group and how and why immigrants migrated to the US and Indiana. It shows where the different groups settled, what their home and family life, recreation and religion was like in the land.
The museum is located at Countryside Park, 5250 U.S. 6, and the hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and is available on Fridays by appointment only. Come on out and connect with your past.
This Saturday also brings and event will benefit our own Kibble Kitchen Food Pantry, that helps out our four-legged friends and the Porter County Animal Shelter. Come on out to the Rock and Blues Show featuring two high energy acts in Quentin Flagg and his 50’s and 60’s rock and roll and the Indiana Blues Brothers. The benefit is hosted by the American Legion Post 260, 5675 Mulberry Avenue.
Doors open at 4 p.m. show starts at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 per person and kids 10 and under are free. If you have the munchies, there will be concessions available for purchase at the event. For more information call Edna at (219) 762-8344.
This weekend the Portage American Legion rocks.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.