Founded in 1825 as the relocated and second county seat of Lawrence County, Indiana, Bedford was incorporated as a city in 1889 with a population of 2,541. Today, population looms at around 14,000 with 46,097 residents in the county.
Mitchell was built as a railroad town in the mid-19th century, at the point where the north-south “Monon” railroad line intersection with the east-west B&O line. Mitchell is the birthplace of astronaut Gus Grissom, and is the home of the annual Persimmon Festival – a week long celebration held every year in September.
West Baden and French Lick
Once known for their sulfur springs, West Baden and French Lick were destination spots in the 1800’s and into the 20th Century. The hometown of NBA legend Larry Bird, French Lick is now home to a resort casino, while West Baden offers the West Baden Springs Hotel, a National Historic Landmark.
Bedford’s influence can be seen in many of the Nation’s most well-known and high-profile structures. The Biltmore Estate, Empire State Building, The Pentagon, National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and more than two-thirds of all state capitol buildings were constructed using limestone quarried in southern Indiana.
City of Indianapolis
General Motors has a strong presence in southern Indiana with its GM Powertrain Bedford plant. The Bedford operation is one of the world’s largest aluminum die casting facilities, and utilizes a workforce exceeding 350 hourly and salary employees and recently announced it is slated to add another 245 jobs in coming years.
Naval Support Activity Crane is a United States Navy installation located in southern Indiana. NSA Crane comprises 108 square miles primarily in Martin County but also extending into Lawrence and Greene Counties. The base, the third largest naval installation in the world, is situated adjacent to the town of Crane.
Lawrence County is home to 46,097 people with 13,768 residents within the Bedford City limits. The City of Bedford has a small town atmosphere with many conveniences of a larger city.
Blue Spring Caverns
Tour guides pilot custom tour boats along the course of a subterranean river for over a mile, pointing out native rare blind fish and crayfish in their natural setting and explaining the natural forces that are yet at work creating great chambers below the rolling hills.
Indianapolis has long enjoyed a reputation as a major crossroads for the nation, but recently Indiana’s capital has established itself as a world-class city in its own right. Downtown Indy is rich with attractions, cultural institutions, historic sites and shopping districts. One of the largest cities in the Midwest at over 800,00 residents, Indianapolis is quickly transforming into one of the nation’s most thriving metropolitan centers.
Gary is situated on the shores of Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana, and has historically been known as a steel mill town in close proximity to Chicago, Illinois. Fort Wayne, the largest city in northeastern Indiana and the state’s second largest city, is an industrial and commercial center noted for the manufacture of machinery and metal goods. Evansville is situated on the Ohio River in the southwestern corner of the state. The city serves as a regional hub for a large area that encompasses parts of Illinois and Kentucky.
As intersting as life in Indiana’s big cities can be, the true hallmark of Indiana living is found in the small towns located all over the state. Here you’ll find some of the symbols of America at its best: picturesque main streets leading to historic town squares, quiet neighborhoods lined by white picket fences and tall maple trees, high school gymnasiums filled to the rafters with basketball fans, and community events for every season.
Relatively flat farmland comprises the majority of Indiana’s terrain. The state’s fertile soil and nearly unbroken topography create the perfect setting for millions of acres of cropland. The southernmost portion of the state does contain rolling limestone hills and scenic river valleys.
Most think of Indiana’s agricultural contributions to the nation, but manufacturing is actually the single most important activity in the state in terms of economic impact. Farmland does cover some 6.1 million acres of Indiana, and corn is the leading crop grown in most years. The state also produces significant quantities of wheat and soybeans.
The various service industries employ a sizable portion of the population, in part due to the state’s role as a transportation hub. Wholesale and retail trade industries are prominent in commercial centers around the state.
Culture and Recreation
In Indianapolis, you will find the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, as well as the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is considered one of the best symphonies in the Midwest. Symphony orchestras also perform in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Terre Haute, and Evansville.
Hoosiers also have a strong affinity for sports and recreation. Outdoor activities are popular throughout the state, as are auto racing and football. No sport in Indiana surpasses basketball in popularity. High school games are major events in towns around the state. Loyalties to college teams also run deep, and at the professional level fans can root for the Indianapolis Pacers.
The first commercial quarrying in Lawrence County started in 1860,and the quarrying process involved blasting a one year supply of limestone at once, then hand sawing the stone and using horsesand oxen to haul it to the mill. In 1866 the first steam-powered saws were purchased, revolutionizing the industry. After the 1871 Chicago fire, limestone soon became the building material of choice in the city of Chicago. Its popularity spread
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