Introduction to Lafayette, Indiana
Lafayette is located in Tippecanoe County. Purdue University, located in nearby West Lafayette is a primary factor in the economy for the region due to its academic as well as industrial activities. Alcoa, the Caterpillar Large Engine Division, Wabash National, Eli Lilly and Company (Tippecanoe Laboratories) are some of the major corporations located in Lafayette.
The original inhabitants were Quiatenon Indians. In 1717 the French constructed Fort Quiatenon. The fort was utilized for trading by fur trappers, merchants as well as Indians. The city was platted by William Digby in 1825. The town was named in tribute to General Lafayette who fought for the American Army during the American Revolutionary War. The shipping center along the Wabash River was thriving during this era and the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal during the 1840's added to the city's importance. The railroads reaching Lafayette during the 1850's which also added to its prominence.
- Jerry E. Clegg Botanic Garden contains oak savanna and prairie restorations
- Purdue University Horticulture Gardens is a popular attraction and features a large number of unique trees
- Lafayette Farmer's Market is often filled with residents and tourists
- Wolf Park is utilized for research and features wolf packs and foxes
- The Brown Street Overlook provides excellent views of the Wabash River and the city
- Sporting events at nearby Purdue University
There are nine neighborhoods in the combined area of Lafayette and nearby West Lafayette that are included in the National Register of Historic Places. The Ninth Street Historic District and downtown Lafayette are major locations for enjoying historic architecture. The Tippecanoe County Courthouse situated downtown is an architectural gem. The Historic Five Points Fire Station has been restored and serves as a museum. Prophetstown is a large acreage which is devoted to the preservation of Native American Heritage, agriculture and the environment. It features an old farmstead, a prairie and an Indian Village. Visitors can take a horse-drawn ride in the prairie. The attractive Moses Fowler House features English Gothic architecture. The Tippecanoe Battlefield is nearby.
Amtrak provides rail transportation and City Bus offers bus services.
Purdue University is located in neighboring West Lafayette. Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana Business College are located in the city.