The State of Indiana was known as Indian territory because it was a rendezvous point for many Indian tribes. The first pioneers ventured through this area about 1670. The first settler in the area was a French-Canadian named Joseph Bailley, who in 1822 established a thriving fur post on the shore of Lake Michigan about 12 miles north of now Valparaiso. The site of the present City of Valparaiso was included in purchase of the land from the Potawatomi Indians by the U.S. government in October of 1832.
Located on a glacial moraine (now known as the Valparaiso Moraine) and the ancient Sauk Indian Trail from Rock Island, Illinois to Detroit, the town had its first log cabin in 1834. In 1836, the state general assembly separated the county from LaPorte County and named it Porter County.