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Friday, August 19, 2022

City View 2015

Sporting Life

Play Ball!

Sometime this spring, likely in the middle of May, the new Evansville Sports Complex will officially open for play. With eight ball diamonds that can be used for baseball and softball for both youth and adults, it is designed to be a state-of-the-art attraction.


Artifacts of the City

Each object has a story. Even the smallest of items can connect us to big events, to long lost places, or to a time fondly remembered. Here we present our own series of carefully curated things, each with its own truth about Evansville’s past. From repurposed relics to pieces of architecture (literally), we’ve scavenged the city for those items that tell us more about who we are.

Our Neighboring Towns

When the traffic on the Lloyd Expressway becomes too much, take the long way home into the country and on the way to small town America. Evansville’s neighboring map dots are more than flyover towns. Only a few miles outside of city limits, these small towns are full of rich history, fun festivals, museums — you name it. Each place and its people welcome those visiting or just passing through with a warm smile, a wave, or a friendly honk, making you feel right at home.

City Classics

As your out-of-town guests are arriving for a long weekend, they’re asking for a taste of Evansville — literally. You want to offer them top-notch customer service, to-die-for dishes, and a flair of history unique to our area. So what’ll it be? Here’s a short list of can’t- miss restaurants while you’re visiting the area or living here already and need a reminder of what this city is all about.

River City Revealed

Paint the Town

Heading west on Franklin Street between Fulton and Pigeon Creek has in recent years been a sterile mix of factories and workshops, with the odd retail or bar tossed in for good measure. But this isn’t just any street. It’s Franklin Street, a shining example of mom and pop ingenuity, where restaurants and bars thrive amidst strong grass roots support and the draw of great food and entertainment.

On Par

Known primarily for their golf courses, country clubs offer much more than fairways, greens, and the 19th hole for refreshments. Our area is home to several notable country clubs, each with a unique history and a landscape showing off the natural beauty of the golf course. Evansville Country Club, Oak Meadow Country Club, and Rolling Hills Country Club, in Newburgh, Indiana, each offer leisure pursuits for the whole family.

In The Know

Humble Beginnings

The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival started out almost 100 years ago as a simple Halloween Party. A handful of local businessmen decided in 1921 to form an organization to promote and support the city’s West Side businesses, so they held a masquerade street party on Halloween night. That first festival drew 25,000 people, according to Nut Club Historian Dick Barchet, and cost club members just $340.

Fun Never Stops

New leadership is coming to a longstanding Evansville recreation tradition. In January, new Burdette Park Director Jacob Murphy was hired to head the 170-acre recreation center, which first opened to the public in 1936. The 26-year-old Bloomington, Indiana, native replaces longtime manager Steve Craig, who retired after almost two decades as manager.

Here to Stay

 When professional ice hockey player Josh Beaulieu was traded to the Evansville IceMen in 2011, he had little idea four years later he would be calling the city his adopted home. His path from being an outsider as a Comber, Ontario, native to enrolling his oldest son in Evansville’s school system began when he was traded from the Rapid City Rush based in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Interview Evansville

Looking Ahead

When Linda Bennett first came to Evansville in 2003 to interview for the post of provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Southern Indiana, she knew virtually nothing about the school. But she fell in love with it immediately. A dozen years later, USI is far more widely known. The school is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, and Bennett, USI’s president since 2009, is enjoying promoting both USI’s past and its future.

Staying Relevant

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden is at a crossroads, and Director Amos Morris is hoping to keep it going in the right direction. It’s been more than six years since Amazonia, the zoo’s most prized exhibit, was built, and Morris hopes to embark on another soon.Morris first came to Evansville in 2009 after leaving his position as curator of mammals at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Pink Warrior

The Susan G. Komen Evansville Tri-State affiliate serves 28 counties in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. In its 17-year history, it has distributed more than $7.6 million to local agencies for breast health education, screening, treatment, and support initiatives. Each year, up to 75 percent of the Evansville Affiliate’s proceeds go to local groups and agencies, while 25 percent goes to help fund nationwide research to help treat and eventually find a cure for breast cancer. The Komen Evansville Tri-State Affiliate has donated more than $2.3 million to this fund.

Art Talk

Collaborative Creativity

Evansville Design Group is all about creativity. The goal of this group, formed in 2011, is to unite creative professionals from every corner of the design world — graphic, industrial, interior, and anything in between. EDG wants those creative minds to join in their efforts to educate and enhance the community.

What We Like

Forever Young

Imagination is a powerful thing. At the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville, children are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild — all while developing lifelong habits of creative expression, critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

What We See

Outdoor Escape

Leave the concrete, the retail, and the noise behind and disappear for a few hours at Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area. This former strip mining site open to the public covers 2,532 acres and 28 pits and lakes totaling around 600 acres of water, and offers an outdoor escape less than a half hour away from Downtown Evansville. Visitors to the natural resource area near Elberfeld, Indiana, (in Warrick County) frequent its grounds for hunting, fishing, wildlife watching opportunities, and physical activities such as running and bicycling.

Historic Preservation

Preparing for War

Evansville’s location in the heartland of the U.S. made it the perfect place to produce Landing Ship, Tanks and warplanes during World War II. Located far from both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts — but with a river that connected to the Gulf of Mexico — Evansville became one of the most important manufacturing centers during the war.

L&N Helped Build Evansville

In 1854, the first railroad to Evansville opened. The state of Indiana had seen a boom in railroad construction, and the Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad was just a small part of that. But it wasn’t until 1885 that Evansville truly started to become a railroad town. That’s when the Louisville and Nashville Railroad opened a bridge across the Ohio River that connected Evansville to the L&N’s burgeoning system in the south. From that point, until it was merged out of existence in 1982, the L&N was a major factor in Evansville’s growth.