La Porte Historical Society Museum hosted its 14th Annual Car Show on July 23. Friends and families gathered outside to observe and learn about cars that are over thirty years old. The museum was also open for guests to explore.
Museum Director Danielle Adams explained that events such as this bring people that have never had a reason to come to visit the museum. The car show brings people in from all over the area to admire cars as well as the museum’s countless artifacts.
“When we have big events like this it gets those folks in and it’s fun to see all of the fancy cars outside,” Adams said. “This used to be the Door Prairie Automobile Museum back when Dr. Peter Kesling owned the building so it’s continuing on the legacy of the building as an auto museum.”
The Kesling Automobile Collection is housed on the second floor of the museum, a portion of the first floor, and a room down the stairs. This automobile collection is home to over 30 vintage automobiles.
“If you get a chance to come to the museum, come here because you never know what you'll learn. It's always an interesting time. It's never a dull moment,” Ada Hoops, a community member, said.
The museum is also home to the W.A. Jones Collection of Ancient Weapons located on the downstairs level of the museum where there are almost 850 weapons on display. Along with these two jaw-dropping collections, the museum has countless artifacts to admire including period rooms and vintage glassware.
“Sometimes the museum is slow, but then you get to a Saturday like this when there are a hundred plus people here and it’s amazing,” Adams said. “I come here every day, so I know it’s a great place to be and it’s fun to be here, so it’s really nice to see when other people come in and see all that we have in the building.”
People who attended the car show were able to admire the cars, explore the museum, and enjoy wonderful food. People were lining up to taste pierogies and polish sausage from Bryco’s Polish Deli.
“I am the owner of Bryco’s Polish Deli, it will be soon opening this winter in Portage, Indiana on Central Avenue,” Brain Michael Bryniarski said. “Right now we're doing a bunch of farmers' markets and some car shows to get the flavor out there and let everybody know what we got. It's going to be an authentic Polish Deli.”
Aside from cooking, Bryniarski was able to see people he has previously met at racetracks and catch up with them. The people attending the event were extremely welcoming and friendly to anyone who had questions or wanted to learn about the cars, and community members had a wonderful time seeing old friends.
“This is really cool because I run into a lot of people that I've actually met before at racetracks and it's really neat,” Bryniarski said. “It's more of a family than anything else.”
The atmosphere and comradery the car community creates at shows can be extremely meaningful. For Ada Hoops, attending car shows and learning about the history reminds her of spending time with her late father.
“My father who passed away in 2015 was a Mopar man. I grew up going to these car shows and I have a fondness for these different cars,” Hoops said. “I love the history and I love coming to these shows because you never know who you're gonna see, you never know what cars you're gonna see and you never know what you're going to learn.”
Being able to learn about the history of the cars along with spending time reminiscing about her father was a wonderful opportunity for Hoops.
“A lot of this is a way to reminisce about what my father told me. It gives me good memories of just sitting there listening to him, but just even just to listen to the engine takes me back to being with him,” Hoops said. “Being here makes me feel like he's still here.”
For more information about the LaPorte Historical Society Museum, please visit LaPorte County Historical Society on Facebook or laportecountyhistory.org. For more information about attractions in LaPorte County, please visit visitmichigancitylaporte.com.