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Munster is a town located in the North Townshipmarker, Lake Countymarker, in Northwest Indianamarker in the United Statesmarker. This town lies in the Chicagomarker metropolitan area, colloquially known as Chicagolandmarker. As of 2006, the town's population was 22,346.

The town is home to the Community Hospital, The Centre for Visual and Performing Arts, The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper, a PepsiAmericas bottling and distribution facility, an Amazon.com distribution center [17271] and The Three Floyds Brewing Company.

Geography

Munster is located at (41.551457, -87.501431) , at a point on an ancient shoreline of Lake Michiganmarker (known as the Calumet Shoreline) which is today Ridge Road. This ridge runs east and west through the north part of town, hence the town's nickname "Town on the Ridge". The town's boundaries contain three small lakes, one of which, located within Centennial Park, is marshy and undeveloped. The town is bordered on the north by the Little Calumet River, a shallow river surrounded by a thin strip of wooded area; and on the west by the Illinoismarker state line. It shares municipal boundaries with Hammondmarker to the north, Highlandmarker to the east, Scherervillemarker and Dyermarker in Indiana to the south, and with Lansingmarker and Lynwoodmarker in Illinois to the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.7 km²), of which, 7.5 square miles (19.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.66%) is water.

History

The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Potawatomi. Although a village did not exist in what was to become Munster's town boundaries, a trail along the dry sandy ridge now known as Ridge Road was well traveled by the tribe. Downtown Munster, the town hall, police and fire departments, the Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts, and the Munster 46321 post office are located on Ridge Road.

In the late 1600s and early 1700s the area what is today Munster was part of French territory. In the 1760s the British claimed the land where the Potawatomi lived as part of the British Empire. Twenty years later George Rogers Clark overran the British, claiming the land for the new and independent country known as the United States of Americamarker. In 1828 the federal government relocated the Potawatomi Indians to the Oklahomamarker territory.

As the numbers of native Americans dwindled, pioneer settlers began to inhabit the area which would become Munster.

When Jacob Munster, a young man from the Netherlandsmarker who until the 1860s spelled his surname "Monster," opened an area General Store complete with a U.S. Postal station on the back, the local farmers and settlers came to rely on the postal station, which soon became a United States Post Office. The post office was named Munster, as it was located in Jacob Munster's General store.

Before long more and more people moved to the "Munster" Area, and in 1907 Munster was incorporated as a town, with 76 residents voting "yes" for the incorporation and 28 voting "no."

Munster soon became a booming town that attracted many people. Munster saw difficult times through the rough years of the Great Depression and the two World Wars, like many other new towns in America.

During the Cold War, Munster served as the site of the Nike-Zeus Missle defense base C-46. The site was closed in 1971, and is now under private ownership.

In September 2008, Munster's northern portions suffered record flooding resulting from the impact of Hurricane Ike, which caused the Little Calumet River to overflow. A main break occurred in the levee located near the intersection of Calumet Avenue and River Drive in the northwest quadrant of the town. Munster has requested the Army Corps of Engineers to elevate the levee in low lying areas.

Demographics

The relatively new "White Oak Estates" neighborhood of Munster.


As of the census of 2000, there were 21,511 people, 8,091 households, and 6,141 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,852.8 people per square mile (1,101.5/km²). There were 8,339 housing units at an average density of 1,105.9/sq mi (427.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.28% White, 1.03% African American, 0.06% Native American, 4.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.10% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.88% of the population.

There were 8,091 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 65.5% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $63,243, and the median income for a family was $74,255. Males had a median income of $53,387 versus $34,490 for females. The per capita income for the town was $30,952. About 2.8% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 2.9% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

The commercial airport closest to Munster is the Gary/Chicago International Airportmarker in Gary, but most Munster residents and visitors travel from Chicago's O'Hare International Airportmarker or the Chicago Midway International Airportmarker. Lansing Municipal Airportmarker, located immediately west of Munster in Lansing, Illinoismarker, serves the area's general aviation market.

Munster lies just south of the Borman Expressway . Calumet Avenue is a major North-South artery in the town, and becomes U.S. Route 41 just north of the Borman. Interstate 65, The Indiana Toll Road, US 12, US 20 and US 30 are within a radius.

Education

The School Town of Munster, the town's public school system, is noted for its overall excellence. All five schools in the system are recognized as Indiana Blue Ribbon schools and have been awarded five star ratings. Munster High School is one of several schools from Indiana on Newsweek's 2006 and 2008 Top Schools list.

List of schools - School Town of Munster:
  • Munster High School
  • Wilbur Wright Middle School
  • Ernest R. Elliott Elementary School
  • James B. Eads Elementary School
  • Frank H. Hammond Elementary School


In 1875, the school board (which at the time was not official referred to as the School Town), had one, three-room school school house located on the corner of Calumet Ave and Ridge Rd. Enrollment numbers were small. According to local records, there were as little as 50 students at any given year before 1920. However in 1913, due to increasing enrollment, the school board decided to add a second school. The new Munster school was dedicated in 1915. by the 1940's the school had grown to twelve classrooms, a new gymnasium, and a 60 seat basement auditorium. The school was renamed Lanier School in 1950.

But even these new additions weren't enough to accommodate Munster's fast growing population. By 1948 James B. Eads elementary School was built on Harrison Ave, for kids west of Calumet. And in 1952 Earnest R. Elliot Elementary School was built on White Oak Ave.

A new modern facility was planned for the junior high students in the late 1950's. Wilbur Wright Junior High opened in 1960, causing Lanier to downsize to an elementary school. Several additions of classrooms and a resource center were made in the following years.

With all the expanding in the school system, the board decided to seriously consider building a High School. A large building designed for 1200 students included a pool, and a large athletic facility was planned. The cost, (more than 6.2 million dollars) did not appeal to the public though. So a watered down design was submitted, and construction began in June of 1965. The doors to the new high school opened to students in September 1966.

In 1969, a new elementary school was added. Frank H.Hammond boasted an impressive 25 classrooms, with an auditorium, and a learning center.As the outdated Lanier school's enrollment dipped in the late 1970's, so the board came to a decision to close it down in 1980.

Munster also has two private elementary schools. St. Thomas More Parish added a school in 1949. They are recognized for their individuals who have made it to the highest level of the Reader's Digest Vocabulary Contest, and the Scripps National Spelling Bee, as well as having one of the best elementary school bands in the region.St. Paul's Lutheran school is located on 8601 Harrison Ave, and was formed in Hammond, IN in 1886. The Parish and school moved to Munster in 1981.

Recreation

Munster has ten parks and two recreational points of interest. Centennial Park, the newest and largest of these facilities, opened in 2008 and incorporates several environmentally friendly design elements conformant to the LEED Silver guidelines.

Additionally, the town is renowned for its youth baseball programs. Munster's Babe Ruth All Star teams have won six state championships since 1985. Most recently, its 13-year-old all star teams won the state championships in 2007 and 2008 and its 14 year old all star team won the state championship in 2008. The Munster High School baseball team won the Indiana State Championship in 2002.

List of parks & recreational facilities - Munster Parks & Recreation:
  • Beech Park
  • Bieker Woods Nature Area
  • Bluebird Park
  • Briar Creek Park
  • Burlwood Park
  • Centennial Park
  • Cobblestones Park
  • Community Park
  • Circle Park
  • Evergreen Park
  • Frank H. Hammond Park
  • Grove Park
  • Heritage Park & Kaske House Museum
  • Munster Pool
  • Rotary Park
  • Sommerset Park
  • Stewart Park
  • Sunnyside Park
  • Twin Creek Park
  • White Oak Park
  • The Veterans War Memorial


Police Department - Fallen Officers

In the history of the Munster Police Department, two officers have been killed in the line of duty.

Officer Date of death Age Tenure Cause of death
Town Marshal Charles W. Chapman January 30, 1947 29 3 years Gunfire (Accidental)
Corporal Robert S. Grove September 6, 1983 37 10 years Motorcycle accident


Notable residents



See also



References

  1. Hmurovic, Edward, _Munster, Indiana_ (part of the "Images of America" series), Arcadia Publishing, 2003, p. 13
  2. http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/6540/northwest.html
  3. Munster Police Department Special Recognition


Further reading

  • Hmurovic, Edward N. Munster, Indiana. 2003 (ISBN 0738523364)


External links




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