Located in Northwest Indiana, the county is considered a part of the Chicago Metropolitan area. It was established in 1836 and named after Captain David Porter, Naval Officer during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. The city of Valparaiso is the County Seat, but it wasn’t always known by that name. Originally, it was known as Portersville. It took the name Valparaiso in 1837, which in Old Spanish meant, “Vale of Paradise.” The city is home to Valparaiso University and also holds a Popcorn Festival every year in honor of Orville Redenbacher, a former resident who built a popcorn factory there.