Skip to content


Former Porter County Sheriff's House & Jail

A cache by TeamPhoenix421 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/15/2017
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   virtual (virtual)

Join now to view geocache location details. It's free!


How Geocaching Works

Related Web Page

Please note Use of services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer.

Geocache Description:

Established in 1836 as Portersville, county seat of Porter County, it was renamed to Valparaiso (meaning "Vale of Paradise" in Old Spanish) in 1837 after Valparaíso, Chile, near which the county's namesake David Porter battled in the Battle of Valparaiso during the War of 1812. The city was once called the "City of Churches" due to the large number of churches located here at the end of the 19th Century.

We chose this place for our virtual reward because we feel this most represents Hometown Northwest Indiana. We are also placing this in conjunction with a Whereigo GC6QN97 so you may experience the rich history of the town of Valparaiso. Great care has been taken to keep the structural integrity of the original buildings and facades from the 1800's.

You are viewing the former Porter County Jail and Sheriff's House. The sheriff’s residence was built in 1860. Originally, a log stockade sat directly behind the house and served as the holding cell for prisoners. The structure is Italianate in design. It is located on East Indiana Ave, which was Mechanic Street when the house was built. The building is accessible through the Historical Society of Porter County’s Museum located in the Historic County Jail on Franklin Street. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The residence is decorated to the early 1900s. Joliet Stone is used for the voussoirs and keystone. The Joliet Stone has been rusticated at third points along each side of a window or door. Rusticated stone is also use in the quoins and foundation walls. The brackets and eave moldings are of pressed tin. The roof is a shallow hipped style. The four large chimneys were removed when steam heating was installed. The original heating was by stoves on the upper floors and small arched white marble fireplaces on first floor. The interior woodwork is unchanged except for the changes to add bathrooms and steam heat. There are four rooms on the first floor with an open stairway to the second floor. There are four large rooms on the second floor, which match those on the first. A closed stairway leads to the attic. The basement has a furnace and laundry area with a fruit cellar, and a coal bin.

Two rooms were used as an office and recreational area for the sheriff and deputy. The jail was added to the residence around 1871 for a combined cost of $26,500. Prior to its construction, prisoners were taken to LaPorte County. Designed by R. Rose using Gothic Revival styling with a showing of strength and a commanding presence in the community, Shad and Lembke were the builders. A new jail was opened in 1974 and this facility closed.

The Jail and Sheriff’s residence represent an idea about local law enforcement in the mid 1800s. The attached residence provided for the Sheriff to be on duty 24-hrs a day, and his wife would cook for the prisoners and act as the jail matron when women were there.

The historic Porter County Jail is the home of the Historical Society of Porter County. It is located at 153 South

Franklin, Valparaiso, Indiana on the southeast corner across from the courthouse square. The jail serves as the Porter County Museum of History with artifacts and displays from around the county. Included is a mastodon tusk, which was found locally. If you are able to view this virtual during the hours of the museum, you will have the added benefit of seeing a glimpse into the past. The hours of the museum are Wednesday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm. In the fall it is 10am to 5pm. The cost is free and is open to the public. Currently there is a revolving exhibit. At this time the exhibit is Selling the dream: Bartletts' Beverly Shore in which there is another virtual placed: GC7B9GH by LostSailRs You can find out what the current hours of operation and revolving exhibit at

TO GET CREDIT FOR THIS CACHE:. Please post a picture of your GPSr, phone or caching device; OR, a thumbs up, (or other some such thing you may wish to do), in front of the building. If you do not have access to a phone or device with a camera to complete this, please answer in an email the following question: On the front door, "what is the date that Porter County was founded"?

Please do not park in the Moose Lodge parking lot.

Virtual Reward - 2017/2018

This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

Reviewer notes

Use this space to describe your geocache location, container, and how it's hidden to your reviewer. If you've made changes, tell the reviewer what changes you made. The more they know, the easier it is for them to publish your geocache. This note will not be visible to the public when your geocache is published.