Evansville is a city in Indiana and the county seat of Vanderburgh County. The population was over 117,000 in the last census making it the state’s third-largest city and the largest city in Southern Indiana. It serves as the commercial, medical, and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. The broad economic base of the region has helped build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality.
History: The history of Evansville goes back to at least 8,000 BC to the Paleo-Indians. Archaeologists have identified several archaic and ancient sites in and near Evansville, with the most complex at Angel Mounds from about 900 A.D. to about 1600 A.D., just before the appearance of Europeans. The mounds were abandoned between the years 1400 and 1450 and the tribes of Miami, Shawnee, Piankeshaw, Wyandot, Delaware and other Native American peoples then occupied this land.
In 1805, the land encompassing Evansville, was formally relinquished by Delaware to General William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory. On March 27, 1812, Hugh McGary Jr. purchased about 441 acres and named it “McGary’s Landing”. In 1814, this area was renamed “Evansville” in honor of Colonel Robert Morgan Evans. Evansville incorporated in 1817 and became a county seat on January 7, 1818.
Economy: Evansvilles economy is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. Four NYSE companies (Accuride, Berry Plastics, Springleaf, and Vectren) are headquartered in Evansville, along with the global operations center for NYSE company Mead Johnson. Three other companies traded on the NASDAQ (Escalade, Old National Bank, and Shoe Carnival) are also headquartered in Evansville. Since Evansville serves as the economic hub of the region it is also home to many public and private enterprises. The are also has a rich tourist economy, being home to Tropicana Evansville, the state’s first casino, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, one of the oldest and largest zoos in the state, and also is host to a booming sports tourism industry.
All of these above factors contributed to Evansville being named the best city in the country in which “to live, work, and play” by the readers of Kiplinger in 2008.
Culture: There are five areas of the city that have developed their own offerings to become a distinctive cultural district. In each, you will find attractions, museums, restaurants, shops, cozy coffee spots, an urban area to take a walk, or a great place to hear live music while you visit Evansville.
Downtown has recently enjoyed a recent renaissance as it has exploded with new developments and openings announced almost every week. The DoubleTree Evansville Convention Hotel will open in late 2016 and connect via skywalks to The Old National Events Plaza with 280,000 square feet of meeting space and to The Ford Center arena with entertainment and concerts by top performers from around the country. Locally owned restaurants, bars, antique stores, and unique shops line Main Street – some are long time establishments like Angelo’s Italian Restaurant and the Peep Hole Bar. Classes are set to begin in 2018 in the new IU Medical School and Health Science Research Center which will bring in thousands of students and faculty to downtown. The Ohio River serves as the Front Door to downtown and is bordered by a lovely 6.5 mile greenway for walking and biking. Classic Victorian architecture is preserved in homes, apartment/condo structures, and churches on the surrounding streets that enhance the charm of downtown. A new $75 million investment by Tropicana Evansville expected to be complete by late 2017 will bring a new casino and attraction center to downtown Evansville. Four museums – a historic home museum, an art & history museum, a transportation museum, and a WWII warship – are also located in the Downtown district.
The University of Evansville and Neighborhoods is a 75-acre campus with open green spaces and beautiful architecture. The diverse group of students from around the country and world seek degrees in all fields of science and the arts. Aligned in this district are on-street bike paths that lead to a most unique space in Evansville, the Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. Wesselman Woods is one of the largest urban old-growth forests in the country. Fields, ponds, and nature trails wind through the forest. Inside is a spectacular observation area for bird watching.
If you are looking for where the artists live work and play you will want to visit the Haynie’s Corner Arts District. They are open for business to display and sell their art during several evening events throughout the year. Along with locally owned restaurants in historic homes and structures, night spots, and outside areas for public enjoyment, Haynie’s Corner Arts District is alive with events that encourage people to walk the tree-lined streets to enjoy the architecture of this neighborhood district. Whether you are looking for an upbeat atmosphere on Saturday night or smooth jazz on a Sunday afternoon, Haynie’s Corner is the place to look.
The West Franklin District is also known as the events district. From Mardi Gras in February to Dickens Christmas in December, you will find events and live music most weekends on this lively street. This district is also the home to what has been referred to as the 2nd largest street festival in the country – the weeklong Westside Nut Club Fall Festival! Food, music, and fun await you on West Franklin Street.
In North Main Street/ Jacobsville is set to become the transportation model for all future developments in the city. Restaurants that have been here for decades – Dilegge’s Italian Restaurant and Turoni’s Pizza & Brewery, to name two – welcome the new look that is coming with bikeways, pedlanes, along with new bars, restaurants, and retail to follow.
Iconic Bosse Field with its ivy-covered walls sits at the north end of North Main in the urban haven called Garvin Park, a neighborhood park with a lake for fishing or feeding the geese, recreational areas for play and picnics, and winding roads where an afternoon drive or walk makes the experience on North Main even more enjoyable. Events are held here throughout the year from spring through winter.
- City of Evansville
- Evansville Regional Airport
- Evansville Public Library
- Evansville Visitors Bureau
- Evansville Transit System
Things To Do In Evansville:
- Tropicana Evansville
- Mesker Park Zoo
- Angel Mounds State Historic Site
- cMOE Koch Family Childrens Museum
- Garden of the Gods
- Eastland Mall
- Ellis Park Race Track
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