A sweet little corner of LaPorte history gives way for greener pasture

Demolition photos by Bob Wellinski, WNLP; menu photos by Mike Sitar

(Click to enlarge)

Lenick’s Dairy conjures up memories for many LaPorteans: milk, ice cream and more delivered to residents’ doors, as well as a shop that served up malts, shakes, sundaes and other delectable treats.

The modest brick building that housed Lenick’s at Brighton and Pulaski streets came down in the past few weeks (January 2018), carefully razed by Pavey Excavating. The place had stood vacant for some years. The great news is that it will be replaced by LaPorte’s second community garden to provide fresh food to citizens, especially those in need. (The first LaPorte city community garden has met with great success at the corner of Jackson and Jefferson streets.) The motivators behind this valuable community project are the nonprofit Pax Center and State Street Community Church.

Besides Bob Wellinski’s photos of the demolition, included here are two photos of a Lenick’s menu, ca. 1950s, showing its yummy offerings. The menu photos were taken by Mike Sitar.

For more information on the Pax Center and the Brighton community garden project, visit the Pax Center Facebook page and click on this WNLP story link:

http://whatsnewlaporte.com/2017/10/12/another-abandoned-laporte-lot-will-soon-grow-green/      

20 Responses to “A sweet little corner of LaPorte history gives way for greener pasture”

  1. Chris

    Jan 29. 2018

    OMG that was where my first job was.

    Reply to this comment
  2. John Milner

    Jan 29. 2018

    Lenick’s is/was a great blast from the past just like Sage’s.
    Goodbye old friend.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Rob

    Jan 29. 2018

    Can’t help but feel some sadness at seeing it torn down.
    My Grandma took me there every Saturday for a ice cream cone, it was the best ice cream around.
    I remember the home delivery they provided too.
    Times gone by to fast…

    Reply to this comment
  4. Anon

    Jan 29. 2018

    I sure hope we can tear down the rest of the historic landmarks in LaPorte soon. Parking lots and Starbucks are the way of the future!

    Reply to this comment
    • Bob

      Jan 31. 2018

      It’s not going to be a parking lot or a starbucks. It’s going to be a community resource center that will bring life to the area. This “landmark” was a building that was falling apart that people squatted and did drugs in.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Lorraine

    Jan 29. 2018

    First real job. Made all the ice cream specialties, hand-packed ice cream, coffee for the “regulars” and more. Jukebox at the tables. And of course, Mr Lenick. Great memories.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Christina

    Jan 29. 2018

    That is just around the corner from my childhood home. My mom use to love going there. This makes me sad☹☹

    Reply to this comment
  7. Jaime

    Jan 29. 2018

    This was also my mom’s first job, anyone remember her (Mary Anne) Mary Howard’s memory she shared with me, a man had drove his motorcycle right through the doors?

    Reply to this comment
  8. Deb

    Jan 29. 2018

    Sad to see gone, my dad always use to take us kids there on Sundays for a special treat….. He also got the special 1\2 gallon of ice cream every week!!!. Lots of good happy memories here… I hope the new use will make someone new happy memories.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Bob Spevak

    Jan 29. 2018

    Remember going there for mid- afternoon break from cleaning cars and the repair bays at Smith Chevrolet with Mr. Smith when he had a taste for some ice cream and a cup of coffee.

    Reply to this comment
  10. lawman

    Jan 29. 2018

    the fact that it brings back memories doesn’t make it a ”landmark” it was a dilapidated eyesore that needed to be removed. most of us would rather have a starbucks than a dump. most of us……

    Reply to this comment
    • Anon

      Jan 30. 2018

      I seem to remember a time when Lincolnway was a dilapidated eye sore. And just because something isn’t offically labeled as a “historical landmark” doesn’t make it any less historically significant. Should we tear down the court house next and put up some fancy new glass building?

      Reply to this comment
      • John Milner

        Jan 30. 2018

        Well said.
        Heck, anyone can go to a Starbucks, but there will be no memories like going to Lenick’s, Sages, and Woolworth’s just to name a few. Bortz farm store, Wonderland, Five Star, Frost Top, A&W , and Thunderbird Lanes were also some of the great memories growing up in LaPorte.
        Those were better times for sure. A simple cup of coffee in simpler times. Who needs your Starbucks venti, sugar-free latte anyways?

        Reply to this comment
        • Bob

          Feb 10. 2018

          It’s funny that you mention “memories” and Woolworths. A lot of people cried when the woolworths building was torn down. Yes, it took some time, but this past summer I saw hundreds of kids and families making memories in the splash pad of Plaza 618. Sometimes the places of old memories need to come down so that new memories can be made!

          Reply to this comment
  11. Lisa Kirkham

    Jan 30. 2018

    Alot of memories, My dad work there for over 30 yrs, bottled the milk and then made the ice cream, I remember going to visit after school and tasting the ice cream right out of machine, It was the best ice cream in town..

    Reply to this comment
  12. Sharon Goodman

    Jan 30. 2018

    I, too, worked as a fountain girl (waitress) at Lenick’s. I loved that job! I remember when Mr. Lenick sat down with me in one of the booths and told me I was getting a 5 cent raise on my 45 cents/hour paycheck. The excitement and pride took my breath away.

    Reply to this comment
  13. SCOTTIE CAVINDER

    Jan 30. 2018

    USED TO WALK DOWN THERE FOR LUNCH FROM WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. MY FATHER USED TO WORK THERE.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Theresa

    Feb 03. 2018

    Shame the building fell to such disrepair Had many memories from there over many years Glad they are putting a garden there

    Reply to this comment
  15. Barbara K.

    Feb 06. 2018

    Worked the soda fountain 1952 53 & 54. Then 1956 & 57 worked in the office. My desk faced Mr. Powells, with just a glass between us. Fred Lenick’s office to my right and Norm Lenick next . Can remember like yesterday. It has lot’s of my fondest memories. Could not of asked for nicer family ran business then the Lenicks to work for.

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