Introduction to Terre Haute, Indiana
The Indiana city of Terre Haute is located in Vigo County and sits in the west-central part of the state along the east bank of the Wabash River. Situated approximately 78 miles west of Indianapolis, the city is only about six miles away from the state's western border with Illinois. Conveniently located on Indiana's major east-west artery, Interstate 70, the city is also accessible to the major north-south Interstates of 57 and 65. U.S. Highways 40 and 41 also serve the city. Nearby communities include West Terre Haute, North Terre Haute, Woodridge, and Seelyville.
Incorporated as a city in 1832, Terre Haute derived its name from an expression used by early 18th century French explorers to describe the terrain of the city, which lies on a high flat plain (the English translation of "terre haute" is "high land"). Terre Haute is home to Indiana State University. Other area institutes of higher learning include Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Terre Haute Points of Interest
Residents and visitors can find plenty to do in the Terre Haute area. For arts enthusiasts, the city offers the accredited Swope Art Museum along with five art galleries. Notable cultural sites include the Children's Science and Technology Museum of Terre Haute and the CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiment Survivors) Holocaust Museum, created by holocaust survivor and Terre Haute resident Eva Mozes Kor. Other cultural attractions include the Clabber Girl Museum and General Store, the Fire-Police Museum, the Native American Museum, and the Kleptz Antique Auto Museum.
Terre Haute and Vigo County also offer a wide assortment of leisure activities, including 24 local parks. Some of the area's more popular recreational spots are the following:
- Bogey's Family Fun Center: Features go-carts, mini-golf, batting cages, and kiddie rides
- Collett Park: A 21-acre site which is the oldest park in the Terre Haute Park System
- Fairbanks Park: The Wabash River serves as a backdrop for this 145-acre park located near the downtown area
- Inland Aquatics: 40,000 gallons on display featuring saltwater fish and coral hatchery
- Terre Haute Action Track: A half-mile oval dirt track featuring sprints, midgets, modifieds, late models, and super stock race cars
- Wabash Valley Dragway
- Green Gables Equestrian Center
- Wabash Valley Fairgrounds
Collegiate athletics in Terre Haute are the specialty of the Indiana State Sycamores, whose football team participates in the NCAA's Division I-AA Gateway Conference and whose other teams belong to the Division I Missouri Valley Conference. Indiana State is best known as the alma mater of basketball legend Larry Bird and World Champion gymnast Kurt Thomas. For pro sports, the city of Indianapolis, less than 90 minutes away, is a hotbed of action and home to the following teams:
- Football: NFL's Indianapolis Colts
- Basketball: NBA's Indiana Pacers
- Minor League Baseball (International League): Indianapolis Indians (Class-AAA Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate)
- Women's Basketball: WNBA's Indiana Fever
- Hockey (United States Hockey League): USHL's Indiana Ice
Fans of auto racing recognize the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (or Indy 500) as the nation's premier auto event. It is held annually every Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis.
Terre Haute is also the former home of baseball Hall-of-Famers Max Carey and Mordecai "Three Fingers" Brown, and of former Major League pitchers Paul (Dizzy) Trout and Tommy John.