LaPorte County Historical Society Museum locks up Michigan City jail door

LaPorte County Commissioner Richard Mrozinski, Museum Director Keri Teller Jakubowski and LaPorte County Historical Society Board President Bruce Johnson pose with the historic Michigan City jail door that was acquired by the LaPorte County Historical Society Museum.

LAPORTE — The LaPorte County Historical Society Museum locked up its latest acquisition: the historic jail door from the Michigan City Superior Courthouse.

The museum, at 2405 Indiana Ave., LaPorte, obtained the door to the jail cell from the 111-year-old courthouse at 300 Washington St. where prisoners were held during their daily trial proceedings. It’s actually two doors: a barred door and a steel door with a peep hole that allowed sound and light to enter the holding cell.

“LaPorte County Commissioner Richard Mrozinski was instrumental in acquiring the door on behalf of the Museum,” the LaPorte County Historical Society said in a press release.

“The jail door was in an area of the courthouse that is currently undergoing renovation. The physical transfer of the door was accomplished by Marquiss Electric, Inc. of Michigan City.”

The museum also has a jail door from the third LaPorte County Jail, which was built in 1857 next to the defunct Shafer’s Laundry that was torn down to make room for the LaPorte County Complex. Both doors are similar in design and date back to the same period between the late 1800s and the early 1990s.

“Both are intriguing complements to the police and fire department exhibits,” the LaPorte County Historical Society said in a press release.

The museum is now open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and requires visitors to wear masks during the pandemic.