About This Place
Valparaiso ( /ˌvɑːlpəreɪzoʊ/ vahl-pə-ray-zoh) is a city in Porter County, Indiana, United States, and is the southeasternmost suburb of the Chicago metropolitan area. It is the county seat of Porter County. The population was 31,730 at the 2010 census, making it the 2nd largest city in Porter County.
The site of present day Valparaiso was included in the purchase of land from the Potawatomi Indians by the U.S. Government in October 1832. Chiqua's town or Chipuaw was located a mile east of the current Courthouse along the Sauk Trail. Chiqua's town existed from at or before 1830 until after 1832. The location is just north of the railroad crossing on State Route 2 and County Road 400 North.
Located on the ancient Indian trail from Rock Island to Detroit, the town had its first log cabin in 1834. Established in 1836 as Portersville, county seat of Porter County, it was renamed to Valparaiso (meaning "Valley of Paradise" in Spanish) in 1837 after Valparaíso, Chile, near which the county's namesake David Porter battled in the War of 1812. The city was once called the "City of Churches" due to the large number of churches it was home to at the end of the 19th Century. The city also has a long history of being a travel hub for the region. In 1858 the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne, and Chicago Railroad reached Valparaiso and connected the city directly to Chicago. By 1910 an interurban railway had connected the city to Gary, Indiana. Today, while the city no longer has a passenger train station, it is still very much a part of the "Crossroads of America" due to its proximity to I-94, I-80, I-90, and I-65. Until 1991 it was the terminal of Amtrak's Calumet commuter service.