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LaPorte County history museum becomes Blue Star Museum, offers free admission to service members

A photo of a soldier from the LaPorte County Historical Society Museum, which is letting service members in for free this summer.

The LaPorte County Historical Society Museum will let active-duty military members and up to five family members in for free this summer.

The historical museum at 2405 Indiana Ave., Suite 1 joined the Blue Star Museum program, which grants service members and their families free admission to more than 2,000 museums across the country. Anyone serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps or NOAA Commissioned Corps can get in to any participating Blue Star Museum after showing some form of official identification.

The LaPorte County Historical Society Museum features exhibits on the notorious serial killer Belle Guinness, the Kesling Auto Collection of more than 30 vintage automobiles, 14 different period rooms illustrating different times in history and the W. A Jones Collection of Ancient Weapons, which includes 850 weapons. It's normally $5 for adults or $4 for seniors.

It's the only museum in Northwest Indiana participating in the program, though many of the Region's museums are smaller and already free.

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Blue Star Museums in Chicago include the Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, Charnley-Persky House Museum, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago History Museum, DePaul Art Museum, Glessner House, Heritage Museum of Asian Art, International Museum of Surgical Science, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Museum of Science and Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, National Veterans Art Museum, Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Smart Museum of Art and the Swedish American Museum in Andersonville.

The Blue Star program does not include veterans, except on select days.

The collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, Department of Defense and museums across the country is billed as "an effort to improve the quality of life for active-duty military families, especially focusing on the approximately two million children who have had at least one parent deployed since 2001."

For more information, call 219-324-6767, or visit laportecountyhistory.org or arts.gov.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.