Introduction to Muncie, Indiana
The Indiana city of Muncie is located in Delaware County in the east-central part of the state. The city is home to Ball State University and is the birthplace of the Ball Corporation. Muncie is situated approximately 60 miles northeast of the State Capital of Indianapolis. The County was named for the Delaware Indians, an Eastern tribe which settled in the area during the 1770s. The city got its name from Munseetown, a tribal town established by the Delawares along the White River.
Incorporated in 1865, Muncie later became the center for both glass and steel manufacturing in the state of Indiana when the five Ball Brothers came to the city from New York to establish their glass manufacturing company. Several other establishments in Muncie (most notably, Ball Hospital and Ball State University) owe their existence, at least in part, to the efforts of the Ball family. Since 1929, Muncie has been the subject of a series of "Middletown" studies started by sociologists Robert Lynd and Helen Merrell-Lynd, earning Muncie the reputation as the "typical American city," or more fondly, "America's Hometown." Ball State University, which opened in 1918, continues to be an important part of the Muncie economy and community environment.
Local Attractions and Recreation in Muncie
Muncie is home to many unique attractions. Oakhurst Gardens includes six acres of gardens and the renovated 1895 home of George and Frances Ball. The Minnetrista Cultural Center features 40 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding a modern museum facility. The Moore-Youse Historical Museum is located in a 1850s-era house once owned by four generations of the same family. The National Model Aviation Museum contains the largest collection of model aircraft in the country. The Muncie Symphony offers first-class programs which feature nationally known artists, and the Muncie Civic Theatre features live stage performances to suit all tastes. Other local attractions include:
- Muncie Children's Museum
- Ball State University Museum of Art
- Ball State University Planetarium & Observatory
- Delaware County Athletic Hall of Fame
- E. B. & Bertha C. Ball Center
- Emily Kimbrough Museum
- Ball State University Opera Theatre
- Delaware County Fairgrounds
Fans of college sports will recognize Ball State University as home to the Ball State Cardinals, who compete in the Mid-American Conference, Division I-A of the NCAA and offer seven men's sports and twelve women's sports. In 2005, three of Ball State's football players were chosen in the NFL draft. Fans of professional sports can find plenty of action in nearby Indianapolis, about an hour away, where the following teams reside:
- Indiana Pacers: National Basketball Association
- Indianapolis Colts: National Football League
- Indianapolis Indians (Minor League Baseball Class Triple-A team affiliated with MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Indiana Ice: United States Hockey League
- Indiana Fever: Women's National Basketball Association
Speedway, Indiana (just outside of Indianapolis) is home to auto-racing's crown jewel, the Indianapolis 500, held annually over the Memorial Day weekend.