Major Isaac C. Elston purchased the land for Michigan City in 1830. The town was officially incorporated on February 8, 1836. In the years since its birth, it has served as a grain center, lumber and shipping port, railroad city, recreational area and tourist attraction, industrial center, arts and cultural center, and All America town.

Local History Resources
Michigan City By Mueller Book Cover

Local History Books & Materials

The Indiana Room and non-fiction collections contain many local histories, atlases, maps, city directories, memoirs, church records, military records, and more.

Our Heritage Bicentennial Editions Cover

Our Heritage (1976)

The Michigan City News-Dispatch published Our Heritage in installments between June 29, 1976 and July 3, 1976. It is reproduced here with their permission.

Portable La Porte County Cover

The Portable LaPorte County (c.1978)

The Portable LaPorte County introduces the reader to the history of LaPorte County. It was written around 1978 as part of a larger LaPorte County History Project.

Postcard Of Indiana Days Parade

Historical Slide Collection

The library holds a collection of over 6,000 slides containing historical photos of Michigan City.

Tape Recorder

Oral History Collection

In the late 1970’s, local residents were interviewed to collect their memories of life in our community. Read transcripts of the oral history tapes, containing the reminiscences and beliefs of common citizens.

Abraham Lincoln Funeral Train At Station.

Timeline of Michigan City History

A chronology of important dates in Michigan City history. Updated regularly.

World War I Monument With Doughboy Statue

Military Monuments & Historic Sites Tour

Take a self-guided tour of Michigan City’s military & historic sites with this guide to their history and location.


City Directories

Michigan City and LaPorte city directories are available for use within the library. Click here to see the editions held by the library.

Old Evening Dispatch And Evening News

Michigan City Newspapers

Past issues of the Michigan City News Dispatch and earlier newspapers are available on microfilm at the library. Click here to learn more about our collection. Looking for an obituary? Try the library’s obituary index.

Sanborn Map Of Michigan City

Land Records, Atlases & Maps

Information on Sanborn maps, property records, local atlases, and more.


Pamphlet Files

The library’s pamphlet files contain newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other miscellanea related to the city’s history. The files can be read in the Indiana Room at the library.

Elstonian Yearbook


Yearbooks from Elston, Rogers, Marquette, Michigan City, and more schools can be used within the library. Click here to find a complete list of yearbooks held by the library.

Indiana Memory

Local History Websites

Indiana Memory, Indiana State Digital Archives, Indiana History Online, Hoosier State Chronicles, Chronicling America, and more.

Michigan City Old Lighthouse Museum

Other Local Historical Organizations

Additional local resources for information about the history of Michigan City.