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terre haute indiana

terre haute indiana

terre haute indiana

terre haute indiana

terre haute indiana


The name Terre Haute is derived from the French word terre haute, which means “highland” and is pronounced [t ot]. In order to reflect the distinctive location above the Wabash River, French-Canadian explorers and fur trappers who came to the region in the early 18th century gave it that name. These highlands were regarded as the border between Canada and Louisiana at the time since the French and British both claimed the region.

The known start of a permanent European-American population was the 1811 construction of Fort Harrison. The current city is located on the orchards and meadows that were maintained by a Wea Indian settlement that was already close to the fort. The Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow lodge at Terre Haute is named for Jacco Godfroy, the final chief of the Wea community. In 1816, the village of Terre Haute, which was at the time a part of Indiana’s Knox County, was laid out.

The original courthouse for Vigo County (1818–1866)
In 1818, Terre Haute has appointed the county seat of the recently created Vigo County, which resulted in a rise in the population. The village’s estimated 1,000 residents voted to incorporate in 1832; the village was elevated to city status in 1853.

Terre Haute’s early days saw a lot of farming, milling, and pig processing. However, transportation played a significant role in the city’s pre-1960 commerce and industrial expansion. The Wabash River, the Wabash and Erie Canal, and the construction of the National Road (now US 40) all helped to connect Terre Haute to the outside world and expand its sphere of influence. Hominy plants, iron and steel mills, and late in the 19th century, distilleries, breweries, and bottle factories formed the foundation of the economy. Agriculture remained the dominating industry despite the development of coal mines and coal operating firms to serve the railroads, partly because of the use of corn in the production of alcoholic beverages and food products.

The city’s dynamic districts benefited from better fire protection, the establishment of two hospitals, dozens of churches, and a multitude of amusement options as a result of sustained growth and development in the later part of the 19th century. As other institutions of higher education were founded, Terre Haute’s reputation as a center of higher education was strengthened. The city became known for its offers in the arts and entertainment. Huge opera theaters were constructed and hundreds of operas and plays were performed there. It was added as a stop on the well-known vaudeville tour.

When the streetcar system was developed in the 1890s, locals could easily go to baseball games, picnics, river excursions, amusement parks, and horse races. Later, electric-powered trolleys were also developed during this time. The top trotters and drivers in the nation flocked to the famed Four-Cornered” Racetrack, which is now the location of Memorial Stadium when it was constructed in 1886.

Around 9:45 p.m. on Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913, a significant tornado ripped through the area, destroying more than 300 homes and leaving 250 people injured. A $1 million to $2 million damage estimate was made for nearby businesses and industries (in 1913 dollars). It was Indiana’s deadliest tornado up until that point. The Wabash River rose as a result of the tornado’s aftermath of heavy rain. By midday on Tuesday, March 25, West Terre Haute (Taylorville) was three-quarters submerged.

Changes have sparked growth downtown thanks to nonprofit organizations like Downtown Terre Haute and the expansion of Indiana State University’s campus. The “Crossroads of America” around 7th and Wabash has gained a number of new hotels and establishments, summertime outdoor gatherings and festivals draw thousands almost every weekend, and the 2010-completed Terre Haute Children’s Museum and 7th Street Arts Corridor add to the downtown area’s appeal. Over the course of several years, these changes motivated building owners in the downtown area, particularly Hulman & Company, to restore and refurbish their structures. There will be a brand-new convention center in the heart of Terre Haute that will cost $25 million and open in 2021.


Arts and Culture

Terre Haute has made an effort to revive the local economy and way of life in its central business district. The overall perception of downtown Terre Haute has significantly improved because to events, museums, restaurants, shopping, and the arrival of numerous hotels in the neighborhood. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce awarded Terre Haute Indiana’s Community of the Year in 2010 in honor of its rebuilding efforts.

In the Terre Haute Arts Corridor, which is situated on 7th Street between Wabash Avenue and Ohio Street, are the Swope Art Museum and two galleries, Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery and Gopalan Contemporary Art. Every month on the first Friday, there are art openings, musical performances, and social events in the neighborhood. [28]

Since its opening in 1942, the Swope Art Museum has been offering admission-free access to the general public. Among the American artists represented in its collection are Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Janet Scudder, Andy Warhol, Ruth Pratt Bobbs, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, and many more.

At Indiana State University, the Turman Art Gallery hosts revolving exhibitions by faculty and student artists. As part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, the university received almost 150 pictures and prints by Andy Warhol in 2007. The other Andy Warhol prints previously housed in the university’s permanent collection were to be supplemented by these new acquisitions. 3,600 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints, and photographs make up the gallery’s Permanent Art Collection and Study Collection.

Community Theatre of Terre Haute presented its first shows in 1928. A staple of the Terre Haute arts scene, Community Theatre is a volunteer theatre producing five varied main stage plays and musical productions per year.

Terre Haute also features the Crossroads Repertory Theatre, a professional theater company with over 40 years of history. Its season is mid-June through late July and performances include classic and new plays and musicals, as well as educational programs and staged reading of new plays.

There are numerous music venues and a vibrant music scene in Terre Haute. Local musicians are honored annually by the Wabash Valley Musicians Hall of Fame.

Every year on the second weekend of September, the Blues at the Crossroads Festival draws more than 15,000 blues enthusiasts to the city. Annually, Indiana State University’s Phi Mu Alpha chapter hosts a statewide high school jazz festival. Scatman Crothers, a singer, and actor, was born in Terre Haute.

The Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1926 and predates the Indianapolis Symphony by four years, is Indiana’s first professional orchestra. The Terre Haute Symphony was founded as a volunteer ensemble of musicians who entertained the town, and it has since transformed into a group of paid professionals who pass auditions to prove their talent. From September to April, a number of concerts are presented, along with a free children’s concert for around 3,000 fourth graders from the Wabash Valley.


Sports In Terre Haute

The 2010-founded Terre Haute Rex is the university’s summer baseball club. The Rex, who compete in the Prospect League, play their home games at ISU’s Sycamore Stadium’s Bob Warn Field. Their season lasts from late May through early August. Rex Coffee is roasted and packaged in downtown Terre Haute by Clabber Girl Corporation and for many years a household name throughout the Midwest is the source of the team’s name, which has a long history in the area.

The Rex is extending Terre Haute’s long tradition of professional baseball, which dates back to 1884.

Some of the most well-known figures connected to the sport are included in this, including Hall of Famers Mordecai Brown and Max Carey, Josh Devore, Negro League baseball all-star Junius Bibbs, Vic Aldridge, Art Nehf (who holds the National League record for most World Series games pitched), Paul “Dizzy” Trout, Jim “Jumbo” Elliott, Harry Taylor, and Bill Butland, as well as Hall of Famers Art Nehf and Art.



County Courthouse for Vigo
In January 2020, Duke Bennett took office as mayor of Terre Haute for the fourth time.

Three at-large members and six district-based members make up the city council.


Federal Correctional Complex of Terre Haute

The Federal Correctional Complex is located in Terre Haute two miles south of the city on Highway 63. The complex has a high-security U.S. penitentiary as well as a medium-security federal correctional facility. The prison has both the federal government’s execution chamber and the Special Confinement Unit for prisoners with federal death sentences.



One well-known tale from Terre Haute is that of Stiffy Green, a stone bulldog who reputedly once watched over the grave of florist John G. Heinl, Eugene V. Debs’s in-law and the father of journalist Robert Debs Heinl, in Highland Lawn Cemetery. The Vigo County Historical Society Museum in Terre Haute is now home to the statue.



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