Evansville, Indiana

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Evansville, Indiana
City
City of Evansville, Indiana
Downtown Evansville at nightfall
Downtown Evansville at nightfall
Flag of Evansville, Indiana
Flag
Official seal of Evansville, Indiana
Seal
Nickname(s): Eville, The Ville, River City, Pocket City, Crescent City
Location in the state of Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 37°58′38″N 87°33′2″W / 37.97722°N 87.55056°W / 37.97722; -87.55056Coordinates: 37°58′38″N 87°33′2″W / 37.97722°N 87.55056°W / 37.97722; -87.55056
Country United States
State Indiana
Regions tri-state area, SW Indiana
County Vanderburgh
Townships Center, German, Knight, Perry, Pigeon
Founded 1812
Incorporated 1817
City Charter 1847
Government
 • Mayor Lloyd Winnecke (R)
Area[1]
 • City 44.62 sq mi (115.57 km2)
 • Land 44.15 sq mi (114.35 km2)
 • Water 0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
 • Metro 2,367 sq mi (6,130 km2)
Elevation 387 ft (118 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 117,429
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 120,235
 • Rank 1st in Vanderburgh County
1st in Southern Indiana
3rd in Indiana
218th in the United States
 • Density 2,659.8/sq mi (1,027.0/km2)
 • Metro 358,676
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 812, 930
Twin cities
 • Osnabrück  Germany
 • Tochigi-Shi  Japan
 • Tizimín  Mexico
FIPS code 18-22000
GNIS feature ID 0434258[4]
Demonyms Evansvillian, Vanderburger
Interstate Highways
U.S. Highways US 41
Major State Roads
Waterways Ohio River, Pigeon Creek
Airports Evansville Regional Airport
Website www.evansvillegov.org

Evansville is the commercial, medical and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. It is the third-largest city in the state of Indiana and the largest city in Southern Indiana. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 117,429 and a metropolitan population of 358,676. It is the county seat of Vanderburgh County.[5]

Situated on an oxbow in the Ohio River, the city is often referred to as "River City". As testament to the Ohio's grandeur, early French explorers named it La Belle Riviere ("The Beautiful River"). The area has been inhabited by various cultures for millennia, dating back at least 10,000 years. Angel Mounds was a permanent settlement of the Mississippian culture from 1000 AD to around 1400 AD. The city itself was founded in 1812.

The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. Four NYSE companies (ACW, BERY, LEAF, VVC) are headquartered in Evansville, along with the global operations center for NYSE company Mead Johnson. Three other companies traded on the NASDAQ (ESCA, ONB, SCVL) are located in Evansville. The city is home to public and private enterprise in many areas, as Evansville serves as the economic hub of the region.

The city has several well known educational institutions. The University of Evansville is a small private school located on the city's east side, while the University of Southern Indiana is a larger public institution located just outside of the city's westside limits. Other local educational institutions have also garnered praise and attention, including nationally ranked Signature School and the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. In 2008, Evansville was voted the best city in the country in which "to live, work, and play" by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 the 11th best.[6][7]

History[edit]

See main article: History of Evansville, Indiana.

There was a continuous human presence in the area that became Evansville from at least 8,000 BCE by 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.[8]

Following the abandonment of Angel Mounds between the years 1400 and 1450, tribes of Miami, Shawnee, Piankeshaw, Wyandot, Delaware and other Native American peoples were known to be in the area. The land encompassing Evansville was formally relinquished by the Delaware in 1805 to General William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory. French hunters and trappers were among the first Europeans to come to the area, using Vincennes as a base of operations.

Robert Morgan Evans

On March 27, 1812, Hugh McGary Jr. purchased about 441 acres and named it "McGary's Landing". In 1814, to attract more people, McGary renamed his village "Evansville" in honor of Colonel Robert Morgan Evans. Evansville incorporated in 1817 and became a county seat on January 7, 1818. The county was named for Henry Vanderburgh, a deceased chief judge of the Indiana territorial supreme court.[9][10]

Evansville soon became a thriving commercial town with an extensive river trade, and the town began to expand outside of its original footprint. The west side of Evansville was for many years cut off from the main part of the city by Pigeon Creek and the wide swath of factories that made the creek an important industrial corridor. The land comprising the former town of Lamasco was platted in 1837 and was ultimately annexed in 1870.

Evansville's economy received a boost in the early 1830s when Indiana unveiled plans to build the longest canal in the world, a 400-mile ditch connecting the Great Lakes at Toledo, Ohio with the inland rivers at Evansville. The project was intended to open Indiana to commerce and improve transportation from New Orleans to New York. Unfortunately the project bankrupted the state and was so poorly engineered that it would not hold water. By the time the Wabash and Erie Canal was finished in 1853, Evansville's first railroad, Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad, was opened to Terre Haute.[11] Railroads had made the canal obsolete. Only two flat barges ever made the entire trip.[12] The canal basin at Fifth and Court street in downtown Evansville eventually became the site of a new courthouse in 1891.[12]

The era of Evansville's greatest growth occurred in the second half of the 19th century, following the disruptions of the Civil War. The city was a major stop for steamboats along the Ohio River, and it was the home port for a number of companies engaged in trade via the river.[13] Coal mining, manufacturing, and hardwood lumber was a major source of economic activity. By 1900 Evansville was one of the largest hardwood furniture centers in the world, with 41 factories employing approximately 2,000 workers. Eventually railroads became more important and in 1887 the L&N Railroad constructed a bridge across the Ohio River.[14] along with a major rail yard southwest of Evansville in a town, Howell, which was annexed in 1916 and completed the city's counterclockwise march around the horseshoe bend.

Throughout this period Evansville's main ethnic groups consisted of Germans fleeing Europe, Protestant Scotch-Irish from the South, Catholic Irish coming for canal or railroad work, New England businessmen, and newly freed slaves from Western Kentucky.[15] By the U.S. census of 1890 Evansville ranked as the 56th largest urban area in the United States, a rank it gradually fell from in the early 1900s.[16] As the new century began, growth in the city continued to move eastward. Manufacturing also took off, particularly in the automobile and refrigeration industries.

The city saw exponential growth in the early twentieth century with production of lumber and the manufacturing of furniture. By 1920, there were more than two dozen furniture companies in Evansville. In the decades of the 1920s and 1930s city leaders attempted to improve Evansville's transportation position and successfully lobbied to be located on the Chicago-to-Miami "Dixie Bee Highway" (U.S. Highway 41). A bridge was built across the Ohio River in 1932 and in that same decade steps were first taken to develop an airport. However in 1937 a massive flood covering 500 city blocks proved to be a major crises.[17] With steamboats less of a factor in the local economy, city and federal officials responded to the flood with about fifty years of levee construction that penned and hid the Ohio River behind a barrier of earthen berms and concrete walls.[18]

P-47 Thunderbolt

During World War II, Evansville was a major center of industrial production and, as a result, it helped wipe away the last lingering effects of the Great Depression. A huge 45 acre shipyard complex was constructed on the riverfront east of St. Joseph Avenue for the production of oceangoing LSTs (Landing Ship-Tanks). The Evansville Shipyard was the nation's largest inland producer of LSTs. The Plymouth factory was converted into a plant which turned out "bullets by the billions," and many other companies switched over to the manufacture of war material.[19] In 1942 the city acquired a factory adjacent to the airport north of the city for the manufacture of the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft, known as the P-47Ds. Evansville produced a total 6,242 P-47s, almost half of the P47s made during the war.[20]

After the war, Evansville's manufacturing base of automobiles, household appliances, and farm equipment benefited from growing post-war demand. A growing housing demand also caused residential development to leap north and east of the city. However, between 1955 and 1963 a nationwide recession hit Evansville particularly hard. Among other closures Servel (which produced refrigerators) went out of business and Chrysler terminated its local operations. The economy was saved from near total collapse by 28 businesses that moved into the area, including Whirlpool, Alcoa, and General Electric.

During the final third of the 20th century, Evansville became the commercial, medical, and service hub for the tri-state region. A 1990s economic spurt was fueled by the growth of the University of Southern Indiana. The arrival of giant Toyota and AK Steel manufacturing plants, as well as Tropicana Evansville, Indiana's first gaming boat, also contributed to the growth of jobs. As the twenty-first century began, Evansville continued in a steady pace of economic diversification and stability.

Geography and climate[edit]

Geography[edit]

The Evansville Owensboro Owensboro Metropolitan Areas. The Evansville Metropolitan Area includes Vanderburgh, Warrick, Henderson, Posey, Gibson, and Webster counties.

Evansville is located at 37°58'38" north, 87°33'2" west (37.977166, −87.550566).[21] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.62 square miles (115.57 km2), of which 44.15 square miles (114.35 km2) is land and 0.47 square miles (1.22 km2) is water.[1]

The city faces the Ohio River along its southern boundary. Most of the city lies in a shallow valley surrounded by low rolling hills. The west side of the city is built on these rolling hills and is home to Burdette Park, Mesker Amphitheatre, and Mesker Park Zoo. The eastern portion of the city developed in the valley and is protected by a series of levees that closely follow the path of I164-69. Notable landmarks on the east side are the 240-acre (1.0 km2) Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve and the Angel Mounds State Historic Site, located just southeast of Evansville, between Evansville and Newburgh.

The Evansville Metropolitan Area, the 142nd largest in the United States, includes four Indiana counties (Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick) and two Kentucky counties (Henderson, and Webster). The metropolitan area does not include Owensboro, Kentucky, which is an adjacent metropolitan area about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Evansville. This area is sometimes referred to as "Kentuckiana", although "tri-state area" and "tri-state" are more commonly used by the local media.

Climate[edit]

Evansville lies in the northern reaches of a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), and straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6b and 7a.[22] Summers are hot and humid, winters are cool to cold. Average temperatures range from 32.5 °F (0.3 °C) in January to 78.0 °F (25.6 °C) in July.[23] Annual rainfall averages 45.3 inches (1,150 mm) and seasonal snowfall averages 11.8 inches (30 cm).[23][24] Evansville winters can range from just 0.5 in (1.3 cm) of snowfall in 2011–12, up to 37.9 in (96 cm) in 1969–70.[25] Extreme temperatures range from −23 °F (−31 °C) on February 2, 1951 up to 111 °F (44 °C) on July 28, 1930.


Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 3,235
1860 11,484 255.0%
1870 21,830 90.1%
1880 29,280 34.1%
1890 50,756 73.3%
1900 59,007 16.3%
1910 69,647 18.0%
1920 85,264 22.4%
1930 102,249 19.9%
1940 97,962 −4.2%
1950 128,636 31.3%
1960 141,543 10.0%
1970 138,764 −2.0%
1980 130,496 −6.0%
1990 126,272 −3.2%
2000 121,582 −3.7%
2010 117,429 −3.4%
Est. 2012 120,235 2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[28]
2012 Estimate[29]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 117,429 people, 50,588 households, and 28,085 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,659.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,027.0 /km2). There were 57,799 housing units at an average density of 1,309.2 per square mile (505.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.0% White, 12.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.

There were 50,588 households of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.5% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 36.5 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26% were from 25 to 44; 25.8% were from 45 to 64; and 14.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.

Economy[edit]

Evansville is the regional center for a large trade area in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. The largest industry sectors by size in Evansville are health care, finance, education, and manufacturing. Other major industries by employment are energy, warehousing and distribution, and retail.

The downtown riverfront area features tiered stadium seating for special events and fireworks along the Ohio River.

Corporate headquarters located in Evansville include Accuride, Ameriqual Group, Anchor Industries, Atlas Van Lines, Berry Plastics, Evana Tool & Engineering, Karges Furniture, Koch Enterprises, Lewis Bakeries, Old National Bank, Red Spot Paint & Varnish, Shoe Carnival, Springleaf Financial, and Vectren. Major manufacturing operations near the city include Alcoa in Newburgh, AK Steel in Rockport, SABIC in Mount Vernon, and Toyota in Princeton. Other major employers with workforces of 500 or more in the area include AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Guardian Automotive/SRG Global, Industrial Contractors, Mead Johnson, Peabody Energy, PGW Pittsburgh Glass, T.J. Maxx and Tropicana Evansville.[30]

Evansville has emerged as the tri-state's major center for the health care and medical sciences industries. Deaconess Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center, along with the Deaconess Gateway and Women's Hospital located just outside of city limits, provide the anchors for a vast health care system that are also among the region's largest employers.[31]

Educational institutions such as Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana also contribute thousands of jobs to the tri-state annually.

Evansville's strategic location on the Ohio River, strong rail and highway infrastructure, and its designation as a U.S. Customs Port of Entry, make it an ideal location for the transfer of cargo, including internationally. Chemicals make up 64% of international exports from the metro area, followed by transportation equipment (18%) and food manufacturing (5%).[32]

Evansville is also known as a regional energy hub due to the headquarters of Vectren and regional energy-related facilities such as Babcock & Wilcox's Nuclear Operations Group, numerous coal mines, Global Blade Technology, several large ethanol and biofuel facilities, and a robust network of gas and oil pipelines.[33] Evansville is a partner in Project Green, a regional economic development plan focused on the energy industry.

The city of Evansville offers a pro-business tax structure for companies locating inside the Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone. Established in 1984 as one of only five enterprise zones in the State of Indiana, the 2.1-square-mile (5.4 km2) Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone offers inventory tax credits and other tax credits to eligible businesses.[34]

Cityscape[edit]

Parks[edit]

The Four Freedoms Monument along the Ohio River.

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve is a National Natural Landmark with nearly 200 acres (0.8 km2) of virgin bottomland hardwood forest. It is the largest tract of virgin forest located inside any city limits within the United States.[35] The Nature Center features exhibits, events, wildlife observation areas, meeting rooms, library, and gift shop. Adjacent to the Nature Preserve, Wesselman Park features a Par 3 golf course, basketball courts, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, softball fields, and a playground; and Roberts Park is a proposed, adjacent park on the former site of Roberts Stadium,[36] though funding for Roberts Park and an expansion to the parks system remains unresolved.[37]

Evansville has an extensive municipal park system with 65 parks and 21 special facilities encompassing more than 2,300 acres (9 km2) of land in the city of Evansville and Vanderburgh County. A growing bicycle and pedestrian trail extends into adjacent counties and ties into the American Discovery Trail. This trail system includes the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, a 42 mile trail that encircles the city. Access to the completed portions of the trail are found at Garvin Park (N. Main Street and Heidelbach Ave.) and at the downtown Riverfront. The city's parks department also operates two Par 4 18-hole public golf courses, 1 Par 3 18-hole course, one Par 4 9-hole golf course, two disc golf courses, Garvin Park, Lloyd Pool, the Goebel Soccer Complex, Swonder Ice Arena and the C.K. Newsome Community Center.

Anchored by the Four Freedoms Monument and the Tropicana Evansville, Dress Plaza along the riverfront offers a brick paved walkway above, and tiered seating below provide a view of the Ohio River. Convenient driving access with parking is available along the lower plaza that is the scene for numerous summer concerts and festivals.

Located on nearly 200 acres (0.8 km2) of rolling hills in western Vanderburgh County well outside of the city limits, Burdette Park features an aquatic center with water slides, three pools, and a snack bar. It also offers a BMX racing track, batting cages, softball diamonds, miniature golf, tennis courts, and locations for fishing.

Neighborhood districts[edit]

Evansville has thirteen neighborhoods that have qualified for the National Register of Historic Places.

Cultural features[edit]

Entertainment venues[edit]

Bosse Field

Historic Bosse Field, a 7,180 seat baseball stadium located in Garvin Park, was built in 1915 and is the third-oldest ballpark still in regular use in the United States, surpassed only by Fenway Park (1912) in Boston and Wrigley Field (1914) in Chicago.

The Ford Center

The Ford Center is a multi-use indoor arena downtown with a maximum seating capacity of 11,000.[38] It officially opened in 2011 as the city's premier entertainment venue and is mainly used for basketball, ice hockey, and music concerts.

A wide variety of concerts, plays, conventions, expositions and other special events are held at the 2,500-seat auditorium and convention center at The Old National Events Plaza downtown.[39]

The Victory Theatre

The Victory Theatre is a vintage 1,950-seat venue that is home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.[40] Each year, the orchestra presents a seven-concert classics series, four double pops performances, and special event concerts, as well as numerous educational and outreach performances.[41] The theater also hosts local ballet and modern dance companies, theater companies, and touring productions.

The University of Evansville maintains a prestigious theater program – one of the top rated programs in the nation, which features four mainstage and two studio productions a year. The University of Evansville has been honored more times at The Kennedy Center than any other theatre institution. The University is the only institution, along with Yale, which has been asked to perform at the Kennedy Center without first going through competition. It also leads the nation in the top awards for its students as awarded by The Broadway Theatre Wing and other governing bodies of serious theatre.[42]

The Evansville Civic Theatre is Southern Indiana's longest running community theater, dating from the 1920s when the community theater movement swept across the country. From its humble beginnings at the old Central High School auditorium, Evansville Civic Theatre has had many homes – Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum, Bosse High School, the Rose Room of the McCurdy Hotel, the Elks Ballroom, and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1974, Evansville Civic Theatre acquired the historic Columbia Movie Theater as its permanent home.[43]

Annual festivals[edit]

The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is a street fair held in the area west of downtown Evansville. It is held on the first full week of October and draws nearly 150,000 people. The main attraction of the festival is the food, with offerings of standards like elephant ears and corn dogs to the more unusual, such as chocolate-covered crickets, brain sandwiches, and alligator stew. Paul Harvey once remarked that only Mardi Gras in New Orleans is larger than the Fall Festival.[44]

Each July the city plays host to the Evansville Freedom Festival. Frequently the United States Navy's Blue Angels have been an attraction at this event, along with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.[45] Previously, from 1979 to 2009, Evansville hosted Thunder on the Ohio as part of the Freedom Festival, which was a hydroplane boat race in the H1 Unlimited season.

The Germania Männerchor Volksfest is a three-day German heritage festival which takes place every August in the historic Germania Mannerchor building on the city's west side. The festival includes food, drink, dance and music. Many of the city's residents with German ancestry also wear historic German attire. On the last weekend of August, the popular 4,000 street rods converge on the Vanderburgh County 4-H fairgrounds north of the city for "Frog Follies."[46]

Museums[edit]

The historic Reitz Home Museum.

Angel Mounds State Historic Site is nationally recognized as one of the best preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States.[47] From 1100 to 1450 A. D., a town near this site was home to people of the Middle Mississippian culture. Several thousand people lived in this town protected by a stockade made of wattle and daub. Because Angel Mounds was a chiefdom (the home of the chief), it was the regional center of a large community.

The Children's Museum of Evansville opened its doors to the public in September 2006.[48] The museum is the result of two years of planning and was constructed in the historic Central Library downtown. The Art Deco building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum offers visitors three floors of interactive exhibits and galleries.

The Evansville African American Museum was established to continually develop a resource and cultural center to collect, preserve, and educate the public on the history and traditions of African American families, organizations, and communities. The museum is located in the last remaining building of Lincoln Gardens, the second Federal Housing Project created under the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1938.

The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science is home to one of southern Indiana's most established and significant cultural centers. It holds the Koch Planetarium, the oldest in Indiana.[49] Also on the campus is the Evansville Museum Transportation Center, which features transportation in southern Indiana from the latter part of the Nineteenth Century through the mid-Twentieth Century.

The Reitz Home Museum is Evansville's only Victorian House Museum. It is noted as one of the country's finest examples of Second French Empire architecture. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

In October 2005 the USS LST 325 moored in Evansville and was turned into a museum (USS LST Ship Memorial) in recognition of the city's war effort. During World War II, Evansville produced 167 LSTs (and 35 other craft), making it the largest inland producer of LSTs in the nation. The USS LST 325 is the last navigable tank landing ship in operation.[50]

Mesker Park Zoo[edit]

The Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden opened in 1928 and is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the state. Set in a 50-acre (200,000 m2) park, the zoo features 200 species and more than 700 animals roaming freely in natural habitats surrounded by exotic plants, wildflowers, and trees, including the Amazonia exhibit which opened in 2008. An estimated 3 million people visit the zoo between April and August every year. Mesker Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The zoo regularly hosts events such as Boo at the Zoo, Breakfast with Santa and Fun in the Forest throughout the year.

Sports[edit]

Main article: Sports in Evansville

Evansville has a long and rich history supporting athletic teams and events, with a number of notable professional athletes coming from the city. High school athletics are a frequent source of local patronage, and the University of Evansville (UE) and University of Southern Indiana (USI) regularly draw thousands of spectators to NCAA Division I and Division II sporting events, respectively. The UE Purple Aces basketball team plays at the Ford Center. USI plays on campus at the USI Physical Activities Center.

Evansville is home to several semi-professional and professional teams as well. The Evansville Otters are a semi-professional baseball team in the Frontier League and have played at historic Bosse Field since 1995. The Evansville IceMen are a minor league professional ice hockey team in the East Cost Hockey League and play at the Ford Center. The Evansville Crush is a semi-professional soccer team in the PASL. The Evansvile Enforcers are a semi-professional American football team in the Kentucky Football League League. The Evansville Coliseum is home to the WFTDA league, the Demolition City Roller Derby.

Club Sport Founded League Venue
Evansville Otters Baseball 1995 Frontier League Bosse Field
Evansville IceMen Ice hockey 2008 ECHL Ford Center
Evansville Crush Soccer 2010 Premier Arena Soccer League Metro Sports Center
Evansville Enforcers American football 2011 Kentucky Football League Reitz Bowl

From 1957 to 1975, and then again in 2002 and 2014, Evansville hosted the NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship (Elite Eight). From 1999 to 2007 Roberts Stadium hosted the Great Lakes Valley Conference basketball tournaments, and in 2013 the same event was held at the Ford Center. A number of Division I NCAA events have been hosted by the city as well. In 1983 Roberts Stadium hosted the first round of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, and in 1980 and 1983 it hosted the Midwestern City Conference men's basketball conference tournament.

Evansville used to play host to the top tier boat racing circuit of H1 Unlimited when it hosted Thunder on the Ohio along the Ohio River in downtown Evansville, which was hosted continuously from 1979 to 2009. Evansville had also previously hosted Thunder on the Ohio from 1938 to 1940. The 2 mile Evansville tri-oval was known as one of the fastest hyrdroplane courses in the world, as various world records were set on the Evansville course.

Evansville offers modern sports facilities for both soccer and ice skating events. The Goebel Soccer Complex is on 70 acres (280,000 m2) of land and features nine Olympic-size irrigated Bermuda grass fields and one Olympic-size AstroPlay turf field. Additionally, EVSC Fields provide twin soccer fields and stadium seating for high school regular season and postseason matches. Swonder Ice Arena is a double-rink facility that opened in the fall of 2002 and features a fitness center, a skate park, and party rooms. The schools of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation use Lloyd Pool for all of their swimming and diving meets in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference.

Local media[edit]

WNIN's headquarters at the Willard Carpenter House

The Evansville Courier & Press, owned by the E.W. Scripps Company, serves the Evansville Tri-State area. The newspaper also publishes the monthly magazines Evansville Business Journal & eWoman Magazine, and it owns the Henderson Gleaner in neighboring Henderson, Kentucky. Evansville Living and Evansville Business, published locally by Tucker Publishing Group, are bi-monthly local magazines showcasing the people, businesses, and community. Other media publications include Maturity Journal, a free monthly newspaper aimed at senior citizens, and News4U, a free monthly entertainment magazine.

The Evansville and Tri-State areas are primarily serviced by radio stations in Indiana and Kentucky, providing various types of content. Radio Stations providing coverage to Evansville include:[51] WABX 107.5, WDKS 106.1, WEJK 107.1, WGBF 103.1, WIKY 104.1, WJLT 105.3, WKDQ 99.5, WLFW 93.5, WNIN 88.3, WSTO 96.1, WBKR 92.5 and WUEV 91.5.

Evansville is, as of the 2010-11 rankings, the 103rd-largest television market in the United States according to Nielsen Media Research.[52] The designated market area consists of 30 counties in Southeastern Illinois, Southwestern Indiana, and Northwestern Kentucky. The 2010 population estimate of this 30-county region is nearly one million people.

Local Broadcast Television:

Station Network Affiliation Digital Channel (UHF) Virtual Channel (PSIP)
WTVW CW 28 7.1
WTVW Bounce TV 7.2
WNIN PBS 9 9.1
WNIN Create 9.2
WNIN WNIN radio simulcast 9.3
WFIE NBC 14 14.1
WFIE WFIE Weather 14.2
WFIE This TV 14.3
WEHT ABC 25 25.1
WEVV CBS 44 44.1
WEVV Fox Broadcasting Company & MyNetworkTV 45 44.2

Law and government[edit]

Evansville Police Department
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Evansville in the state of Indiana, United States
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction.
General nature
Operational structure
Agency executives
  • Mayor, Lloyd Winecke
  • Billy Bolin, Chief
Facilities
Stations 4
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Mayor of Evansville, Lloyd Winnecke, serves as the chief executive officer. A nine-member elected City Council is the legislative branch of city government. The city of Evansville is the county seat for Vanderburgh County.

Vanderburgh County's delegation to the Indiana State House of Representatives comprises three representatives: Wendy McNamara (District 76), Gail Riecken (District 77), and Holli Sullivan (District 78). Evansville and Vanderburgh County are represented by two state senators. In general, the southern third of the county and Armstrong Township are part of District 49, currently held by Jim Tomes. The county's west side is also in District 49. Most of the county is in District 50, which extends to the east, a seat held by Vaneta Becker.

The region is located in the 8th District of Indiana (map) and served by U.S. Representative Larry Bucshon.

In recent years various bi-partisan groups have advocated merging the Evansville city and Vanderburgh County governments, as was done in other surrounding cities such as Indianapolis, Louisville, and Nashville.[53] Evansville and Vanderburgh County already have a number of notable merged government functions. The school system is consolidated county wide in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and the library system is consolidated countywide in the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. Additional countywide authorities are in place for the Evansville Regional Airport and for flood control via the countywide levee authority.

Education[edit]

Higher education[edit]

UE's front oval
USI's Rice Library

Evansville is home to several institutions of higher learning. The University of Evansville (UE) is a small, private, Methodist affiliated university with approximately 3,050 students. Founded in 1854, UE features liberal arts and science degrees along with a nationally renowned theatre department. Nearly half of UE's students study abroad as part of their experience, including at a satellite campus, Harlaxton College, in Grantham, England. UE athletic teams participate in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Purple Aces. Evansville is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) is a public university located just outside of Evansville city limits. Founded in 1965, the school has an enrollment of over 10,800 students and is among the fastest growing comprehensive state universities in Indiana.[54] USI athletic teams participate in Division II of the NCAA and are known as the Screaming Eagles. USI is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

The Indiana University School of Medicine - Evansville is currently housed on USI's campus, but there are plans to locate a new interdisciplinary academic health science education and research campus downtown. Other campuses in the city include Ivy Tech Community College, ITT Technical Institute, Harrison College, and Oakland City University's School of Adult and Extended Learning.

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Also see: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Evansville .

Evansville has one unified school system with the county, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC). It consists of five public high schools, 11 middle schools, and 20 elementary schools. In addition there are two parochial, two charter, and one private school. One charter school - Signature School - attracts top tier students and is consistently ranked by a number of publications as one of the top high schools in the United States.

School Type Enrollment Mascot (I/A) Colors (I/A) Class (I/A) Athletic Conference
Benjamin
Bosse High School
Public 873 Bulldogs              AAA(A) SIAC
Central High School Public 1,754 Bears              AAAA(A) SIAC
New Tech Institute Public 95 Thunderbolts              None None
North High School Public 1,661 Huskies              AAAA(A) SIAC
Francis Joseph
Reitz High School
Public 1,495 Panthers              AAAA(A) SIAC
William Henry
Harrison High School
Public 1,414 Warriors              AAAA(A) SIAC
Southern Indiana Career
& Technical Center
*
Trade
School
788 None None None None
Signature School Charter 326 Penguins              A Independent
Reitz Memorial
High School
Catholic 791 Tigers              AAA(A) SIAC
Mater Dei High School Catholic 613 Wildcats              AA(A) SIAC
Evansville Day School ** Private 69 Eagles              A Independent

* The Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center draws students from nine school districts.[55]

** Evansville Day School offers grades JPK-12. The school's enrollment including all grades is 325. [56]

Libraries[edit]

EVPL's Central Library

Evansville is home to an award-winning library system, the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL). As a unified system serving both Evansville and the surrounding county, EVPL is one of the largest public library systems in Indiana.[57] It was rated a five star library by the Library Journal, which places it in the top 1% of public libraries in the U.S.[58] EVPL also obtained a Top Ten library ranking in the 2010 edition of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings, achieving a number eight ranking within its population category.[59]

An independent private institution, Willard Library, is also located within Evansville. Willard was formed in 1881 to serve the public, regardless of race, a very progressive mission in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The library houses a renowned trove of local archives and genealogical materials, in addition to its collection of standard publications. The building is constructed in the Gothic Revival style and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Immediate access to all major forms of transportation makes Evansville an important factor in Indiana's global economy. The city boasts an excellent road, rail, water, and air transportation system. The Evansville Regional Airport, housed in a 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) terminal, offers nearly 30 flights a day to destinations around the country.

Evansville has a growing interstate system. I-64 is eight miles north of the city and straddles the Gibson - Vanderburgh County line. This interstate routes west to St. Louis and runs east to Louisville. I-69 provides a convenient link from I-64 to the city's thriving eastside retail district and a direct route to the downtown business district via the Veterans Memorial Parkway. It was also recently extended north to Indianapolis, creating a new international trade corridor from Canada to Mexico.

Highway 41 connects the city with Henderson to the south and, to the north, the cities of Princeton, Vincennes, and Terre Haute. Other major local state roads include State Road 57, State Road 62 (Morgan Avenue / Lloyd Expressway), and State Road 66 (Lloyd Expressway / Diamond Avenue).

Public transit includes the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS) which provides bus transportation to all sections of the city. Evansville has several multi-use trails for bikes and pedestrians, and in many areas there are on-road bike paths that help cyclists get around the city by bicycle. Like most cities, Evansville was served by electric streetcars into the 20th century.

Barges, like the one seen in the photo, can often be seen traveling up and down the Ohio River.

Evansville has historically been a major center for railway traffic. The Evansville and Crawfordsville Railroad was first completed in 1853. Today, the city is served by four major freight railroads, CSX (with a major yard in the Howell area), Evansville Western Railway, the Indiana Southwestern Railway, and the Norfolk Southern Railway. The Howell Yard in Evansville sorts and makes up trains, and has intermodal facilities to handle 3,000 cargo containers and piggyback trailers per month

Three public and several private port facilities receive year-round service from five major barge lines operating on the Ohio River. The river connects Evansville with all river markets in the central United States and on the Great Lakes and with international markets through the port of New Orleans. Evansville has been a U.S. Customs Port of Entry for more than 125 years. Because of this, it is possible to have international cargo shipped to Evansville in bond. The international cargo can then clear Customs in Evansville rather than a coastal port.

Utilities[edit]

Electricity and natural gas are both provided to Evansville by Vectren. Water and sewer services are provided by the Evansville Water & Sewer Company, which provides water to more than 75,000 customers in Evansville and the surrounding area. The Ohio River provides for most of the city's source of drinking water. Water is drawn from the river and filtered at a 60 million gallon per day treatment plant.[60] There are approximately 1,000 miles of water mains in the system and includes approximately 6,000 fire hydrants.

References in popular culture[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Game scenes in the 1992 film A League of Their Own were filmed at Bosse Field. It is the third oldest baseball stadium still in use in the United States (behind Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago). The ballpark served as the homefield for the Racine Belles.

All exterior shots on the 1988-1997 sitcom Roseanne are still photographs taken in and around Evansville. The Connors' house is located at 619 South Runnymeade Avenue, and the Lobo Lounge is a pizzeria located at the corner of Edgar and Louisiana Streets. Matt Williams, one of the show's producers, is a native of Evansville and a graduate of The University of Evansville theatre program. He is a co-founder of Wind Dancer Productions and has been involved with numerous sitcoms such as 'Home Improvement', movies and dramatic plays for Broadway.

The Daily Show has featured Evansville in two episodes. The first featured a story about comedian Carrot Top's reopening the historic Victory Theatre. The second poked fun at former mayor Russel Lloyd Jr. for skipping out on a city meeting to attend Cher's Farewell Tour concert being performed on the same night at Roberts Stadium.

Evansville was also featured in Alton Brown's series Feasting on Asphalt. Alton and his crew visited the historic Greyhound Bus station for its vending machines, the YWCA tea room for lunch, and the Hilltop Inn for a brain sandwich and burgoo. Other shows have included Ghost Hunters which investigated Willard Library's "Gray Lady" ghost and Storm Stories on The Weather Channel documenting the devastating tornado that struck the city in 2005. The city was briefly featured in the 2007 Prison Break episode "Chicago" in which Sara Tancredi meets up with Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows in Evansville. In 2012, Evansville was featured on the British television program Supersize vs Superskinny as the US city with the highest proportion of obese residents (39%).[61]

Scenes from the Michael Rosenbaum movie Back in the Day feature Green River Road in Evansville.

Literary media[edit]

Evansville is featured in a section of Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel Lolita, as well as Walker Percy's 1962 novel The Moviegoer, and Robert Silverberg's 1969 science fiction novel To Live Again.

Evansville is the primary location in the historical fiction novel, Invitation to Valhalla by Mike Whicker, published in 2004. The novel is based on the records of German spy Erika Lehmann's attempt to infiltrate the LST shipyards during WWII.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Evansville has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):[62]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Snowfall and snow depth records only date to 1 January 1948.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Places: Indiana". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ "2008 Best Cities". Kiplinger. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  7. ^ "The top 25 cities according to Kiplinger.com visitors". Kiplinger. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  8. ^ http://www.angelmounds.org/about-us-2/angel-mounds/
  9. ^ Patry, R. (1996). City of the four freedoms. Robert Patry and friends of Willard Library. pp. 11–15. 
  10. ^ Morlock, J. (1956). The Evansville Story. James Morlock. 
  11. ^ Morlock.
  12. ^ a b Coures, Kelley (2012). "Remember When". Evansville Living. 
  13. ^ Roberts, Charles E. Evansville, Her Commerce and Manufacturers. Evansville: 1874.
  14. ^ Morlock, James E. "The Railroad Builders in Evansville." Was It Yesterday? Ed. James E. Morlock. Evansville: University of Evansville Press, 1980.
  15. ^ Gilbert, F.M. History of the City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County, Vol. I. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Company, 1910.
  16. ^ "Population of the 100 Largest Urban Places: 1890". U.S. Bureau of the Census. Archived from the original on 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2006-05-02. 
  17. ^ Van Keuren, Ernest C. et al. "The Evansville Flood." Evansville's Great Flood, 1937. Evansville: University of Evansville Press, 1987.
  18. ^ Husk, Kim. "River Fortress Would Protect Evansville." The Evansville Courier. 23 July 1993.
  19. ^ Chrysler Goes to War. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Lucas, John (2006-10-16). "Airplanes, especially P-47s, are city man's passion". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  21. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  22. ^ What is my arborday.org Hardiness Zone? Arbor Day Foundation.
  23. ^ a b c d "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  24. ^ "University of Evansville Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  25. ^ National Weather Service Paducah
  26. ^ "Station Name: IN EVANSVILLE REGIONAL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  27. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for EVANSVILLE/REGIONAL, IN 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  28. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  30. ^ http://www.southwestindiana.org/ss_major_employers
  31. ^ "Major Employers in Southwest Indiana". Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  32. ^ "Economic Strength Rankings 2007" (PDF). POLICOM Corporation. Archived from the original on 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  33. ^ "Project Green". Project GREEN. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  34. ^ "In the Zone: A Look at Indiana's Enterprise Zones". Indiana Business Review. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  35. ^ "Wesselman Woods". Letterboxing North America. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  36. ^ Martin, John, Public gets first look at plans for Roberts Park, CourierPress.com, retrieved February 2, 2014 
  37. ^ Martin, John, City Council deletes funding for Roberts Park from 2014 budget: Also cuts funds for zoo exhibit, trims fire chief, assistant chief's salaries, CourierPress.com, retrieved February 2, 2014 
  38. ^ "Evansville Arena Facts". Populous. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  39. ^ "The Centre". SMG Evansville. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  40. ^ "The Victory Theatre". SMG Evansville. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  41. ^ "Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra Website". Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  42. ^ "University of Evansville Department of Theatre Website". Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  43. ^ "Evansville Civic Theatre Website". Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  44. ^ Davis, Rich (2006-10-01). "Fall Festival brings years of traditions, changes to streets of Evansville's West Side". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  45. ^ "Evansville Freedom Festival Website". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  46. ^ "Frog Follies Website". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  47. ^ "Angel Mounds State Historic Site". Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  48. ^ "Koch Family Children's Museum of Evansville Website". Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  49. ^ "The Koch Planetarium". The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  50. ^ "LST 325". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  51. ^ http://www.usnpl.com/radio/inradio.php
  52. ^ "Nielsen Media 2010-2011 Local Market Estimates". Nielsen Media 2010-2011 Local Market Estimates. TVJobs.com. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  53. ^ "Evansville and Vanderburgh County Unification Study". Retrieved 2005-12-02. 
  54. ^ "University of Southern Indiana". Indiana College Network. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  55. ^ "SICTC at-A-Glance". Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  56. ^ "Evansville Day School - Info". 
  57. ^ EVPL Statistics
  58. ^ "Evansville library system earns rare five-star rating". Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  59. ^ "Hennen's American Public Library Ratings". Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  60. ^ "City of Evansville Water Department". 
  61. ^ "Fattest city designation lands Evansville on British TV program". Evansville Courier & Press. 2012-01-11. 
  62. ^ "Sister Cities International". Retrieved 2006-11-20. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lawrence M. Lipin, Producers, Proletarians, and Politicians: Workers and Party Politics in Evansville and New Albany, Indiana, 1850-87. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

External links[edit]