History told through photos

Longtime photographer Robert “Bob” Wellinski, right, was recently named the 2019 Historian of the Year by the La Porte County Historical Society. 

La PORTE — You might not know his name, but you've probably seen his photos.

And now, Robert “Bob” Wellinski, longtime area photographer, whose work has been featured in The News-Dispatch and many other La Porte County publications and websites, has been named 2019 Historian of the Year.

The award was presented at the May 21 meeting of the La Porte County Historical Society Inc.

Fern Eddy Schultz, program chair, said the rules allow one person and one organization currently involved in the preservation of La Porte County History to be honored, along with one person formerly involved in preserving county history. Wellinski was nominated by Joanne Gorecki.

His resume includes working over 30 years as a photographer at The La Porte County Herald-Argus, and as a photographic contributor to The News-Dispatch and The Beacher. His photos have also appeared on the whatsnewlaporte.com (WNLP) website and in Northwest Indiana Catholic magazine.

His “on the spot” work captured photos of many current and historical events, Schultz said, including a photographic history of the Allis-Chalmers plant during the thriving industrial years and until its closing in the 1980s.

He has also photographed many other events in county history, including graduations, proms, sporting events in schools and in the community community, historical events, La Porte County happenings such as Hoosier Star, POPS Concerts, theatre events, community awards, announcements, tragedies and more, according to Schultz.

Forms for nominations for 2020 will be available at the Sept. 17 meeting of the Historical Society, at the museum and by email from netster@csinet.net. Deadline for submission is April 1, 2020.

"It is important that we preserve the past for the future, and that we honor those who are doing this work," Schultz said. 

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