QUESTION: From which Native American tribe was the land that now encompasses Valparaiso purchased?
A) Lenni Lenape
We talked on Friday about the Bucci Music House, as inspired by a sign advertising them in our Toy Box here at the American Treasure Tour. The Bucci was located in Valparaiso, Indiana - enough of a justification for us to honor this community in today's blog. When the United States government purchased the land from the local Native American tribe in 1832, well-used trails crossed through many sections. It started as a log cabin two years after the purchase, along an Indian trail connecting modern Rock Island and Detroit. One man who moved into the region was David Porter, after whom the growing community was initially named Porterville, before being changed to Valparaiso in honor of his military achievements during the War of 1812.
Porter was a naval commander dispatched to the Pacific coast along neutral Chile to raid British whaling ships. Trapped near the town of Valparaiso, Porter was strongly encouraged to surrender by the British, but he refused. During the ensuing attack, most of his crew were either killed or wounded, and those he left behind remain to this day in a cemetery in Valaparaiso, Chile. Regardless, admirers of his in Indiana honored his efforts with the name of the new community, which soon enough became a transportation hub due to its location southeast of Chicago. Although passenger train service ended in the 20th century, it remains important for shipping interests and for its proximity to four major Interstates: 65, 80, 90, and 94. To this day, it considers itself the "Crossroads of America." You may never have given this burg much thought before today, or even been aware of it. Hopefully, you will give it a nod the next time you're in northwestern Indiana, or maybe think about the story of your own hometown.
ANSWER: B) Potawatomi