New York - Paris auto race
Porter County, Indiana, because of its location at the southern end of Lake Michigan east of Chicago, is and has been crossed by countless transcontinental and even world-girdling travelers.  The Indians tromped back and forth through here.  The French explorers paddled by here.  Important roads, such as the Lincoln Highway, were built across here.  Hands Across America was here.  (There were gaps.)  The Olympic torch passed through.  (Its repeatedly going out wasn't considered a problem.)  And the great New York to Paris automobile race brought a little excitement to Porter County in 1908.  Read local perspectives of its progress in a few old newspaper articles I've transcribed and HTMLized just for you.

Wouldn't it be fun to look at pictures of the racers passing through Porter County?  Yeah, it sure would.  I'm in four Porter County historical societies but none of them have any photographs of 99% of the hundreds of exciting things which have occurred here over the last century-and-a-quarter.  If you have any old photos of important events of the past, please let me or your local historical society know about them.  No, we don't want to wrest your family treasures away from you.  (I don't anyway.)  We just would like to copy old images to share with others.  Surely someone in northwest Indiana snapped a picture of one of the racers.

For a comprehensive, insightful history of the New York-Paris Race, look elsewhere.  For some local newspaper articles, split into four web-pages, look here.  These span from 20 February, 1908, to 30 January, 1909.

For those of you unfamiliar with northwestern Indiana, here are some of the place names you will encounter in the dispatches:

The Lake Shore road refers to the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, later the New York Central, Conrail, and whatever it's called now (simply the Norfolk Southern?)  It runs through South Bend, Rolling Prairie, Burdick, Chesterton, Porter, Hammond, and Chicago.
The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railroad used to terminate in Chesterton.  It runs southwest from there through McCool and Hobart to Illinois.
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This page is at http://members.tripod.com/~Ogden_Dunes/roads/ny-paris/index.html.

Posted 16th & updated 21st August, 1999. Reposted 13th April, 2004, after being knocked off-line four years ago.