History of La Porte

Getting Our Nickname
In the 1670s, French explorers came to the area that was to later become La Porte County, from the north along the shores of Lake Michigan. This area had long been part of the Pottawatomie Nation which covered the distance from the Wabash River on the south to Lake Michigan on the north.
The French explorers and fur traders that passed this way as well as the many settlers that came after them made use of a wide Indian trail that passed through the forest to the next prairie. This opening from forest to prairie was a legendary kind of passageway or door for these early pioneers and the French called this place "La Porte" which is French for "the Door."