LaPorte Wood Mfg. Co. aka LaPorte Carriage Co. - 1880s-1920s - LaPorte, Indiana


J.J. Parkhurst, president. 506 Indiana Ave 1880s-1911?

The buildings of the LaPorte Carriage Company stood at the northwest corner of Indiana Avenue and State Street. Central Fire Station No. 1 can be seen in the lower left corner, and the sheriffs residence in the lower right corner. After making carriages and buggies for years, the company switched to making automobile bodies for several auto manufacturers, including the Haynes Automobile Co. and Apperson Bros. in Kokomo, Chalmers in Detroit, and the Great Southern Automobile Co. in Alabama.


C. H. Vorhes, (born 1852, Detroit, Michigan) superintendent and draftsman with the La Porte (Indiana) Carriage Co., was born near Detroit, Michigan, in 1852. He became an apprentice December 7, 1871, and remained nine years. Instead of going West, as was then the custom among young men, he went to New York, and was engaged by Brewster & Co., and later on by Charles S. Caffrey Co., Camden, New Jersey.

He also was employed by Holcomb Bros. and Henry Killam & Co., New Haven, Connecticut. From 1883 to 1886 he held the position of draftsman and superintendent in the establishment of L. Glesenkamp, Sons & Co., Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He also worked for the Kalamazoo Buggy Co. and for C. R. & J. C. Wilson, Detroit, Michigan. In September, 1896, he was engaged with the La Porte Carriage Co. as superintendent and draftsman, and is still there.


La Porte Wood Manufacturing Co. 506 Indiana Ave - Parkhurst & Wilkinson of Chicago proprietors, . A. C. Loomis resident manager, mfrs of carriages, sleighs, road wagon, bodies, seats, gears, tops, cushions, &c, complete or in parts (in 1890 LaPorte Directory - no LaPorte Carriage Co listed). Parkhurst & Wilkinson were a large carriage supply house located in Chicago.

506 Indiana is approximately where the corner of Indiana Ave and State St is, the same building where LaPorte Carriage Co was located.


Other LaPorte builders were (in 1890)

Eagle Carriage Works - 712,714,716 Madison (John C. Croft, C. J. Lundquist, props.)

Pitner, William C. & Son - 801 to 809 Monroe - mfrs road wagons, carriages, sleighs, &c.

Swanson, C. J. & Son 810 Monroe - wagon and carriage works


LaPorte is also the home of the Door Prairie Auto Museum



For more information please read:

Fern Eddy Schultz - La Porte Indiana and its Environs - Arcadia pub

La Porte County Historical Society & Museum at the LaPorte County Complex - 809 State Street - LaPorte, Indiana

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Raymond A. Katzell - The Splendid Stutz

Marc Ralston - Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - There Is No Mistaking a Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Thomas E. Bonsall - The Lincoln Motorcar: Sixty Years of Excellence

Fred Roe - Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection

Arthur W. Soutter - The American Rolls-Royce

John Webb De Campi - Rolls-Royce in America

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Hugo Pfau - The Coachbult Packard

Griffith Borgeson - Cord: His Empire His Motor Cars

Don Butler - Auburn Cord Duesenberg

George H. Dammann - 90 Years of Ford

George H. Dammann & James K. Wagner - The Cars of Lincoln-Mercury

Thomas A. MacPherson - The Dodge Story

F. Donald Butler - Plymouth-Desoto Story

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Chrysler

Walter M.P. McCall - 80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle

Maurice D. Hendry - Cadillac, Standard of the World: The complete seventy-year history

George H. Dammann & James A. Wren - Packard

Dennis Casteele - The Cars of Oldsmobile

Terry B. Dunham & Lawrence R. Gustin - Buick: A Complete History

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Buick

George H. Dammann - 75 Years of Chevrolet

John Gunnell - Seventy-Five Years of Pontiac-Oakland


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