Inspecting homes in Portage is an incredible way to see how the city has continued to grow over the years, becoming the most largely-populated city in Porter County. From the general stores, railroad depots, and farmhouses emerged a growing center for industry and retail outlets which continues to boom to this day.
Many of the original settlers are still residing in the area.
The Robbins family was known for their Victorian-style home, built in 1887, which stood on Robbins Road across from Robinhurst Golf Course, unfortunately it no longer exists. We would have loved to inspect that beauty.
The Leonard Crisman Home, known as the mink farm, was moved from its original location on Willowcreek Rd. to 5970 Lexington Street.
The Jacob Lenburg House was built in 1874 and still stands on Central Avenue at the corner of Airport Rd.
The Charles Jannasch Home, which stood at the corner of Hamstrom and Portage Ave. had a three level bay window and deep pitch of the roof line which are very distinctive. This house also contained a cellar, which became a forerunner of what we now know as basements.
Here are some quick facts on some signature homes in Portage:
- The Frank Severance Home was erected in 1912 at a cost of $3, 380.00 and included sidewalks, acetylene gas lighting, and boiler hot water heat. A lot of the old boiler systems are still in good operating condition and provide an efficient means of heat in the Portage area.
- Frank and his neighbor were responsible for building these homes. A stone lodged into the peak of the roof gable testifies to the original construction date of 1890. Built by Elmer Wolfe, the house is currently owned by the Martin Marvel Family and stands at the corner of Wolf Road and 600 North.
- Elmer father, Josephus Wolfe, built the stately Victorian-style home known as Wolf Mansion on the corner of 700 N. and Wolf Road.
- The bell tower on top of McCool School would sound to notify students and parents that school was about to begin or end. Built in 1931, it is now a residence at the corner of McCool and Lenburg Road.
- The Garuton School, built in 1931, still stands on Central Avenue and is now the home to Portage Adult Education Center. The cafeteria, kitchen, and gymnasium are currently headquarters for the Portage Food Pantry.