Monday, January 4, 2010

Lafayette, West Lafayette and the Purdue connection!

Even though I'm an IU grad - I feel it only fair to also highlight our most worthy rival - Purdue and its hometown of West Lafayette, Indiana.

Lafayette is separated from West Lafayette by the Wabash River.  For the purpose of this blog, I'm going to treat them like one entity.

Lafayette is located 65 miles NW of Indianapolis.  It is most infamous for being the home of Purdue University but is also the home of many industrial activities such as Alcoa, Catepillar, Wabash National and AE Staley.

Together, Lafayette and West Lafayette form the core of the Lafayette, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which, as of the 2000 census, had a total population of 183,340; Lafayette is thus the 215th largest metropolitan area in the United States.

The founder of Lafayette, William Digby, established Lafayette because of it's location on the Wabash River. In 1824 he purchased the land through the government land office in Crawfordsville.  He named the new town after General Marquis de Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolution.  In 1862, county commissioners chose Lafayette as the county seat for Tippecanoe County. That same year, the steamboat arrived on the navigable Wabash and Erie Canals. By the 1850's, railroads began making an impact on the growing town.

There are 9 neighborhoods in Lafayette, et al that are included in the National Register of Historic Places. The Tippecanoe County Courthouse is an architectural gem. The Historic Five Points Fire Station has been restored and serves as a museum.  The famous site of the Battle of Tippecanoe (1911) is located in the nearby town of Battle Ground.

Points of interest and attractions include:
Wolf Park -
Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum -
Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center -
Imagination Station -
Purdue University Horticulture Gardens -
Columbian Park and Zoo -
Jerry Clegg Botanic Garden
Historic Five Points Fire Station
Fort Ouiatenon -
Purdue University Sporting events

Purdue University is a coeducational, state-assisted university founded in 1869 and named after benefactor John Purdue.  It is one of the nations leading research institutions with a reputation for excellent and affordable education.
The campus offers more than 200 undergraduate majors, 70 masters & doctoral programs and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine.
In addition, there are 18 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 850 student organizations.
Purdue has a "cradle of astronauts" reputation with 22 alumni being chosen for space travel. The only other non-military institution with more astronaut alumni is MIT.
Only one big ten university has won more conference basketball championships than Purdue (hmmm...could that be IU???)
The Purdue Musical Organizations serve as international ambassadors for the University.  The Glee Club, founded in 1893 is recognized as one of the premier all-male choral ensembles in the world.
Purdue's football team has competed in bowl games in 10 of the last 12 seasons (definitely beating out IU here!!!)

Lafayette has developed into a diverse community with manufacturing, merchandising, education and transportation.  While highways have replaced the river and railroad for transportation, the geographical location ensures it will continue as an important marketing and distribution center.   Lafayette was recently named an All-American City and is a wonderful place ot live.

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