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The county is also home to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a federal park. Porter County was formed in 1836 from La Porte and Starke counties. It was named for Captain David Porter, who commanded ships on Lake Erie during the War of 1812 and later served as Secretary of the Navy under President John Quincy Adams. The original Porter County included most of what are now Lake, LaPorte and Newton counties; it extended northward to include much of what is now Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In March 1850 an act passed by Congress reduced it to its present size. According to the 2010 census, there were 170,906 people living in 81,749 households with an average household income $55k+/- per year (up from $51k/year).