Valparaiso, Indiana facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
City of Valparaiso
Lincolnway in downtown Valparaiso
"Vale of Paradise"
Location in Indiana
|Incorporated||July 8, 1836|
|• Total||15.58 sq mi (40.35 km2)|
|• Land||15.53 sq mi (40.22 km2)|
|• Water||0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2) 0.32%|
|Elevation||794 ft (242 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Density||2,043.1/sq mi (788.8/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0449849|
The site of present-day Valparaiso was included in the purchase of land from the Potawatomi people by the U.S. Government in October 1832. Chiqua's town or Chipuaw was located a mile east of the current Courthouse along the Sauk Trail. Chiqua's town existed from at or before 1830 until after 1832. The location is just north of the railroad crossing on State Route 2 and County Road 400 North.
Located on the ancient Naive American trail from Rock Island to Detroit, the town had its first log cabin in 1834. Established in 1836 as Portersville, county seat of Porter County, it was renamed to Valparaiso (meaning "Vale of Paradise" in Old Spanish) in 1837 after Valparaíso, Chile, near which the county's namesake David Porter battled in the Battle of Valparaiso during the War of 1812. The city was once called the "City of Churches" due to the large number of churches located here at the end of the 19th Century.
The city also has a long history of being a transportation hub for the region. In 1858, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad reached Valparaiso, connecting the city directly to Chicago. By 1910, an interurban railway connected the city to Gary, Indiana. Today, while the city no longer has a passenger train station, it is still very much a part of the "Crossroads of America" due to its proximity to I-65, I-80, I-90, and I-94. Additionally, the Canadian National railroad still runs through the downtown area.
Until 1991, it was the terminal of Amtrak's Calumet commuter service.
The city is situated at the junctions of U.S. Route 30, State Road 2, and State Road 49.
According to the 2010 census, Valparaiso has a total area of 15.578 square miles (40.35 km2), of which 15.53 square miles (40.22 km2) (or 99.69%) is land and 0.048 square miles (0.12 km2) (or 0.31%) is water.
The city is situated on the Valparaiso Moraine.
Glaciation has left numerous features on the landscape here. Kettle lakes and knobs make up much of this hilly area of Northwest Indiana. The Pines Ski Area is the only remaining kame in the city; the other one is under the university's Chapel of the Resurrection, however, grading of land in that area makes that particular kame almost nonexistent. Many glacial erratics can be found throughout the city. The moraine has left the city with mostly clay soil.
|Climate data for Valparaiso, Porter County Regional Airport, Indiana (1981-2010 normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||66
|Average high °F (°C)||31.1
|Average low °F (°C)||16.1
|Record low °F (°C)||−26.0
|Rainfall inches (mm)||1.75
|Snowfall inches (cm)||8.8
|Source #1: NOAA 1981-2010 normals, snowfall 1971-2000|
|Source #2: The Weather Channel (records),|
|Source: US Census Bureau|
As of the census of 2010, there were 31,730 people, 12,610 households, and 7,117 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,043.1 inhabitants per square mile (788.8/km2). There were 13,506 housing units at an average density of 869.7 per square mile (335.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.9% White, 3.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.2% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.1% of the population.
There were 12,610 households of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.6% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.99.
The median age in the city was 33.4 years. 21.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 15.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.9% were from 25 to 44; 22.8% were from 45 to 64; and 13.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 27,428 people, 10,867 households, and 6,368 families residing in the city. The population density was 971.6/km² (2,515.4/mi²). There were 11,559 housing units at an average density of 409.4/km² (1,060.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.35% White, 1.60% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.34% of the population.
There were 10,867 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 17.4% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,799, and the median income for a family was $60,637. Males had a median income of $46,452 versus $26,544 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,509. About 4.8% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.
- Taltree Arboretum and Gardens
- Featured in Valparaiso, a play by Don DeLillo
- The Valparaiso Downtown Commercial District, Washington Street Historic District, and the Banta Neighborhood feature many historic homes; architectural designs include, Italianate, Arts & Crafts, and English/Cottswald.
- Chicago Street Theatre, run by the local Community Theater Guild.
- The Memorial Opera House, a musical theater venue.
- Valparaiso Theatrical Company, a non-profit community theatre group focused on providing fund-raising opportunities for other non-profit organizations through theatrical performance.
- Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University
- Indiana Aviation Museum
- Porter County Museum, also known as the Old Jail Museum.
Parks and recreation
Valparaiso has an extensive city park district. In 2005 there were currently thirteen parks with another in the planning stages.
200 East (East McCord Rd) – a community park with a playground; where many of the cities legendary athletes played football as youngsters. Football at 200 East Park is a staple for young kids growing up in the neighborhood.
Bicentennial Park (Burlington Beach Road & Campbell St) – Provides a full range of activities, including a playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, ball diamond and picnic shelters. A prairie restoration is under way in the north half of the park.
Central Park Plaza (Lincolnway and Lafayette St) – is the centerpiece of the Downtown Valparaiso revitalization and opened the summer of 2011. It has an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and other special events as well as a splash pad in the center of the park for kids to play.
Fairgrounds Park (Calumet & Evans Avenues) – Has the largest complex of ball diamonds and soccer fields in the city. A playground and basketball court are available. Numerous city sports leagues use Fairgrounds Park for their games and tournaments. The park is surrounded by a paved walking circuit that is well occupied on nice days.
Foundation Meadows (Campbell Street & Bullseye Lake Rd) – One of the city's newer parks.
Glenrose South (1500 Roosevelt Road) – Provides several ball diamonds and when school is out, Thomas Jefferson Middle Schools track is available for those interested in walking. Glenrose South has been the home of the Valparaiso 4 July Fireworks display and celebration since 2005.
Jessee-Pifer Park (Elmhurst & Madison Streets) – a community park with a basketball court and picnic shelter.
Kirchhoff Miller Woods, (Roosevelt Road & Institute St – a community park that provides for basketball, baseball, tennis, picnicking and a playground.
Ogden Gardens/Forest Park (Campbell Street and Harrison Blvd) – Ogden Gardens is the home of the city's botanical garden. The Campbell Street end is a formal garden with a variety of planting that bloom throughout the year. The Gazebo is a favorite place for weddings, wedding pictures and high school prom pictures. A Japanese garden is included with a 22,000-gallon Koi pond. Forest Park is to the west with an open grassy picnic area below a wooded picnic area with a shelter.
Rogers-Lakewood Park (Meridian Road (N Campbell Street)) – Provide opportunities for swimming, fishing, and hiking trails. It is connected to the north side communities of Valparaiso by the Campbell Street Bike Trail (hiking and biking).
Tower Park (Evans Ave and Franklin St.) is a community park that offers basketball, baseball, tennis, picnicking and a playground. During winter months, one of the basketball courts is turned into the community skating rink.
Valplayso/Glenrose North (Glendale Blvd and Roosevelt Rd) is the home of Valplayso, a community-designed and community-built playground. At the other end of the parking lot are several ball fields. Separated from Glenrose South by only the Middle Schools track, Glenrose North hosts over half of the community during the Fourth of July Celebration.
West Side Park (Joliet Rd) is a community park with a ball field and a playground.
Will Park (Morgan Blvd and Brown St) is a community park with a basketball court, playground, and picnic shelter.
- Valparaiso Country Club
- Forest Park
- Mink Lake
- The Course at Aberdeen
Bike trails Valparaiso is building a series of bike trails across the city. Currently, most of the identified bike routes are part of the county's system of recommended roads and streets.
Bikeways (and hikeways), separated from traffic:
Campbell Street Bikeway runs from Rogers-Lakewood Park south 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to Vale Park Road (CR 400 N). It continues south on the opposite side of Campbell St. base Valparaiso High School, ending 2 miles (3.2 km) south at Ogden Gardens (Harrison Blvd).
At Vale Park, it connects to the Vale Park trail to Valparaiso Street 1 mile (1.6 km). A new bike loop 3 miles (4.8 km) is being built that circles north along Valparaiso Street to Bullseye Lake Rd, east to Cumberland Crossing (not open to the public (2008), south to Vale Park, turning west to on Vale Park to return to the corner of Vale Park and Valparaiso Street.
At Glendale, the Campbell Street Bikeway connects to the Glendale cross town bike lane. These travel east 2 miles (3.2 km) on Glendale, ending on North Calumet at the Walgreens corner.
The city holds two major festivals every year: the Popcorn Festival and the Porter County Fair. The Popcorn Festival is held on the first Saturday after Labor Day. It honors Orville Redenbacher, a former resident who built a popcorn factory there. Redenbacher participated in most of the festival's parades until his death in 1995. The festival also features racing events and a balloon launch in addition to typical fair activities. The Porter County Fair consists of carnival attractions and hosts a variety of shows such as a demolition derby, motocross races, and live musical performances.
Buildings of Note
- Porter County Courthouse replaced an earlier brick building in 1883. The current building is 128 feet by 98 feet. It was built with a square tower rising out of the center. The tower was 168 feet tall with a clock on each side. A fire in 1934 damaged in the interior requiring the removal of the tower.
Buildings and districts on the NRHP
- Clarence H. Martin House an Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures
- Conrad and Catherine Bloch House
- Haste-Crumpacker House
- Heritage Hall
- Immanuel Lutheran Church
- Dr. David J. Loring Residence and Clinic
- William McCallum House
- Charles S. and Mary McGill House
- Porter County Jail and Sheriff's House
- Porter County Memorial Opera Hall
- David Garland Rose House
- DeForest Skinner House
- Valparaiso Downtown Commercial District
- Washington Street Historic District (Valparaiso, Indiana)
- The 502 - Hilltop Connect
Valparaiso, Indiana Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.