Pokagon State Park History


Find out more about the Pokagon State Park history and also some interesting facts about the park!

what formed Pokagon State Park?

Pokagon State Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Indiana. But it wasn’t always this way. Around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, the last of four glaciers to cover Indiana began to melt, leaving behind a landscape that would eventually become Pokagon State Park. This glacier, known as the “Wisconsin,” was slowly transformed by the forces of nature into the picturesque park we know today. 

Over the millennia, rivers and streams carved out valleys and canyons, while wind and rain created towering sand dunes. Today, Pokagon State Park is a beloved destination for hikers, campers, and nature lovers from all over the world. Thanks to the Wisconsin Glacier, we can enjoy this amazing place today.

Pokagon State Park is full of history. The park was created in 1927, making it one of the oldest state parks in Indiana. The land for the park was bought from the Potawatomi tribe, and it was named after their chief, Pokagon. The park is best known for its beautiful lakes. 

In fact, there are more lakes in Pokagon State Park than in any other state park in Indiana. All of the lakes in the park are natural and were formed by glaciers. The largest lake in the park is Lake James, which covers nearly 1,000 acres. Pokagon State Park is also home to a variety of plant and animal species. Over 200 different species of birds have been recorded in the park.

The unique thing about Pokagon is that it has a tremendous variety of ecosystems, including lakes, marshes, fens, swamps, deciduous woodlands, pine groves, old fields, and meadowlands.  That is why there are such a diverse set of flora and fauna.

Come check out the park and learn more about pokagon state park history and see it all for yourself.

know more about pokagon state park history

More info about Pokagon state park history – In early 1926, the Steuben County Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea to purchase nearly 600 acres of land to form a State Park.  The stars aligned and Pokagon State Park was born.  The Potawatomi Inn was built two years later.


December 1925: 580 acres of land is purchased by the citizens of Steuben County for $35,000.00 and deeded to the Department of Conservation, State of Indiana 1926: Two additional tracts of land (127 acres) are added to make a total park acreage of 707. 


1927: Colonel Richard Lieber, State Conservation Commissioner suggested the names Pokagon State Park and Potawatomi Inn.


May 1927: 20 room Potawatomi Inn hosts the Lake James Cottage Owners Association as its first guests.


June 17, 1927: Dedication ceremonies for the Inn are held.


Circa 1940: The alcove addition was completed and the sun room is enclosed.


Circa 1950: Individual restrooms are installed and the motel unit is converted.


1968: The Hoosier wing is added.


1980’s: Partial renovation of the interior of the building and installation of the elevator is done.


1982: Indoor pool area is constructed.


March 1994: Construction begins on $7.5 million expansion of Potawatomi Inn. 59 additional rooms bring the total number of overnight rooms to 137. Expansion included a full service Conference Center and additional facilities.


July 1995: Construction continues as the Conference Center is completed and offices and Front Desk are moved to a new area.


December 1, 1995: Dedication of the newly renovated Potawatomi Inn


Those are the major things, but improvments are made on a weekly basis and probably always have!