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Old 06-06-2008, 06:03 PM
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,696 posts, read 39,100,405 times
Reputation: 8122


Originally Posted by WiiZer View Post
Hello All,

This is my first post, but I visit the site often. I have just never felt the need to post until I just finished reading these threads bashing my hometown.

I have lived in Terre Haute my entire life, excluding a 4-year stint with the Marine Corps. Through work, the military, and travel, I have seen and visited many US cities. Terre Haute is not even half as bad as some posters make it out to be.

My wife is from Bloomington, and comparing TH to there is not exactly apples to apples. Bloomington relies and is built around IU much more than TH is ISU. I love visiting Btown, but it is seriously ghost town USA when school is out.

If you are from TH and can afford to live outside of downtown, the town is great. The cost of living is cheap. I am the Materials Manager for Sherwin-Williams and make about the same money as my cousin does working MIS at a bank in Indianapolis. He paid more money, but my home and yard is much larger/nicer than his and I don’t have a 40-minute commute to work and even longer when caught in rush hour. *GO GREEN!* You can live in our premium subdivisions IE Idle Creek, Lexington Farms, Richland Manner... ect And buy that home at/ or around $100 p/sf.

If you are looking for things to do other than going to bars at night... We don't have much to offer right now. There are no nice dinner theaters or even a competitive University to catch a game now and again. I personally like to spend my free time with my family at the parks or on the lake. And there are many choices for that around here. Or within a short drive.

For everyone complaining about the smell down by the paper mill; I suggest not living there. Why would one chose to live under I-70 if they could afford not to anyway? The talk about peoples "self esteem" is a joke to me. Last time I was in Indy, I didn't notice all of you homeless beggars dancing the *** in front of Have a Nice Day Cafe. So please stop with the self esteems comments. When I am walking around Downtown here I don't have to empty my pockets of change. Nor do I feel unsafe at all.

Where is all this crime people speak of? I know there are a few wanna-be gangs around here, but prostitution? Where? Not that I am looking for a date... But, I had to get strippers from Indy for my brother’s bachelor’s party. I didn't know there was a local market? There is only one strip-club here? How many is Indy supporting these days? I know it is close to the teens.

Sorry, I was so long winded. I just don't understand why people that lived here for two years, or were just students, think they learned everything there is to know from their walks to and from Campus.

Bravo!!! rep's pour vous!
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:05 AM
1 posts, read 7,148 times
Reputation: 10
Default Terrible Hole

I love the place. I went to ISU for 5 years. Smelled the "Trimethyl Amine" smell so long that it smells like home. My dad was from there and we visited granny all the time.

The town is one of a kind, never met a wino I didn't like.

Fly Larva
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Old 06-21-2008, 03:25 PM
18 posts, read 76,431 times
Reputation: 44
Terre Haute is a quirky town. It always has been. My people settled there ca 1820.

It's very hard to describe its internal workings. In a way, it has always seemed to work against itself.

Basically, it never quite emerged from the Depression. Before the Depression it was one of the major cities in Indiana... big vaudeville town, which I think is why you hear it mentioned so often in TV series. It was a major railroad stop from Chicago to Florida & the National Road going E>W went right thru town. It was for a while the Cross Roads of the US. It had a lot going for it as a center for automobile invention & early airplanes. It was a regional industrial, agricultural, educational & cultural center. ISU began life as Indiana State Normal (the main teachers college in IN.) St Mary's of the Woods was the first women's college west of the Appalachians.

However, in some ways, because of its railroad positioning it was more industrial than Bloomington or South Bend. It was hurt when trains quit using coal, because it had a major coking factory. It also had the Root Glass factory, a paper mill, the Quaker Maid food processing plant, etc... so it was a very working class, industrial city.

There was always a very wealthy group on top that tended to spend their own money & much of their time elsewhere & kept wages low in the Terre Haute area. As a consequence, the Terre Haute area produced a number of labor & social revolutionary figures... like Jimmy Hoffa, Theodore Dreiser, Eugene Debs. My folks always said that the minute a factory moved to town, everybody would strike.

So you always had a large industrial class & a very well-to-do upper class, but not much in between.

I grew up in California, but we would spend summers with my grandmother. When I was a child in the 1960s, it seemed the perfect small town, except for the stink of the paper mill. Later, by the 1970s it was changing, but IMHO not in a good way. However, because we drove, I found those changes not so different than what was happening to countless other small cities across the country. Basically the older city, Main Street, & the older parts of town (which I might add in light of the floods are actually the safest, highest parts of town) were being hollowed out due to the placement of the interstate highways.

I bought a house there near Highland Lawn Cemetery in the 1990s with plans to move my parents back there. However, in the meantime, I had to rent it. I had major renter problems, eviction problems & a small claims court judge that basically sided with a woman who failed to pay rent for 9 mos & allowed major damage to occur to the house. She was followed by more destructive tenants. I would probably never buy & rent out there again, unless it was a building that I was also living in.

There has always been a division in Terre Haute between locals & out of town students. In short, so many people that form today's upper middle class came from elsewhere & never settled inside of Terre Haute... They settled "around" Terre Haute in the County. So you have a poor city, surrounded by rich subdivisions. Honey Creek Square sort of killed downtown, but it was already on its way down because of ISU's expansion & because of the fire that burned one side of Wabash Ave.

I don't know what the fix would be. It's not a bad city. It's like countless others that sort of lost their way as times changed. It's tried, as they have to recreate themselves as regional shopping & medical centers, but suburbia does not actually help the city itself. Bloomington has IU, which is a world class university in some fields. South Bend has Notre Dame. Terre Haute has ISU, whose claim to fame is Larry Bird, John Wooden, & basketball (which is Indiana's great love). As far as educations go, however, it's a 2nd or 3rd tier school. Therefore, it does not attract the clique of folks who come into a town attracted by academia & the arts... & things that follow... things that help rebuild a town's center.

Still, it's not been crossed off my list as a possible retirement location.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:34 PM
Location: Terre Haute, In
308 posts, read 1,027,657 times
Reputation: 77
Does anyone remember Steve Martin's visit, I think in the 70's... shortly after he commented on some national program (Tonight Show maybe?) that Terre Haute was
"Nowhere USA". Then, in his movie, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid", as a map was burning, he sarcastically commented, "Not Terre Haute, they were about to build a library" (or something like that). It's always had a reputation for "nothing there"; I grew up there and admit was excited to get out and move to the Indianapolis area, but THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER! I'm glad I moved, but would have been fine staying. Safe place to raise a family. My parents thought about moving to an Indy suburb to be closer to the grandchildren, but the cost of living is so much better in T.H. it just didn't make sense. They have a fine life in T.H. and can afford lots of great vacations, winter in Florida etc. that they couldn't if they had moved. BTW, I've recently moved to a coastal area in a town ranked in the top 100 of American cities. The cost of living is much higher so I anticipate needing to work many hours to pay for the area (that, other than the beach, doesn't have as much to do as T.H. or Indy), and will likely not get to enjoy the variety of family vacations I would if I lived in T.H. Just trying to provide a new perspective
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:07 PM
Location: Plainfield
6 posts, read 51,926 times
Reputation: 18
Default Terrible Haute

Ahh the Haute. People here are known as Hautians. We make national news each presidential election because it has been forever since this county voted for the losing candidate. Big Blue Collar town, locally, they're dems, but nationally, they seem to go with whoever.

The smell:
Terre Haute's smell has gone down very little since the paper mill closed. It still stinks sometimes.

The University:
You'd think Terre Haute would wake up and cater to all the universities and get those college student's spending money... but they don't. There is ISU, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, St. Mary's of the Woods, and an Ivy Tech. Terre Haute pretty much acts like they don't exist. I think they need to take lessons from Bloomington (a once upon a time farm town that is now like the East Coast haven of the Midwest)

The average income here in the Haute is like 28K/yr. Target won't even build here because the avg income is so low.

ISU, the areas largest employer next to maybe the hospital, pays people with doctorate degrees around 40 - 60K/yr. The people that keep ISU running get paid on average 18K/yr. Each is VERY low.

I have to say that the people here are genuine. Everyone is really nice, but there are those bad apples. Meth is a real issue. A couple years back, police here busted like 600 meth labs! That same year ( 2004-05) New York State had a total of like 35??? (Source: Undercover Cop during a presentation at ISU). I know they're working on turning that around.

We did just get a Hilton Garden Inn. Why? I've heard rumors that Casinos are coming in. Just what a town with an avg. income of 28k/yr really needs! I wonder if it will ever happen.

Housing is cheap and there are some great homes...the only problem is, they're in Terre Haute! I suggest moving to a suburb of Indianapolis (pref. North or West Side). Terre Haute is becoming the land that time forgot, and will keep forgetting. As soon as I get my masters degree, I'm NEVER coming back to this place.

A friend of mine, who is a health nut/Physical Trainer, knows 8 people in Terre Haute, all prior acquaintances that have Colon Cancer... he explained that he shouldn't ever know more than one, on a national average. So...don't drink the water here! (Higher Chlorine content anyhow)

Water: When I first came here in 1999, I got a bad sore throat. I thought it was strep and saw a doctor. Nothing was wrong with me. Then they asked if I drink from the water fountains. I told them I did every chance I got. They told me to stop. Since I'm new, I'm not used to the higher Chlorine content! WHAT??? Apparently the chemical was burning my throat! No joke.

btw, Check out Daily Show's Rip of Terre Haute's News Weather services...it's awesome!

Last edited by ilflyya; 06-29-2008 at 09:14 PM.. Reason: added personal water story
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:10 PM
1 posts, read 6,569 times
Reputation: 14
Default TH is getting much better

I have been in TH for 2 years. I took a job at ISU after completing training in denver. Overall, I have seen very significant improvement over these two years. For example, downtown is coming to life. In the last two years two new hotels and a 4-story childrens museum have been installed. Moreover, the ISU campus is a stones throw from downtown and will be moving its campus bookstore off campus to a downtown location. This will put a barnes and noble in downtown, bring more money, people, and development downtown. Moreover, the paper mill is being torn down which has made the TH smell disappear. I work downtown, and live in the south part of town and never smell anything gross. More benefits? My commute is about 10 minutes with virtually no traffic. downtown is cute and the ISU campus is also pleasing to the eye. Other good things include a very low cost of living and good schools.

some downsides include poor planning. This is most obvious in the way the southern part of town has developed along a highway. This part of town has been allowed to develop into a typical midwestern stripmall, fastfood, and gas station type of area.

Overall, I am pretty upbeat about the city and think that TH is on the right track. The city is just starting in such a hole that it takes a while to buff up the shine.

Will I stay here long term? Probably not since I miss the western rivers and mountains. But, as a location to start and raise a family, and to start a career in academia, it really is pretty good.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:57 PM
26 posts, read 45,866 times
Reputation: 25
Default We are looking to relocate to there. What smell??

Originally Posted by pastorgirl View Post
Terre Haute's a decent place to live. Like anywhere, it's what you make of it. My husband's from there and we lived there for the last two years, until I had a job transfer. However, the area does suffer from severe low self-esteem. I think it's the comparisons to places like Bloomington, Fort Wayne, etc. It used to be "sin city" before there was Las Vegas, but in trying to clean up the town, they've lost their identity, and are trying to find a new one. The president of ISU has big plans for the university, but a financial numbers aren't there, nor are the students to make it into the research and "big" school he envisions. But there are some new industries coming into town and some positive things on the horizon.
* my husband hopes to receive and offer at the University. The town is going through a change? Would they be welcome to someone coming in and energizing the renovation? being a part of the change - making sure it isn't done too rapidly, resulting in not reaching the goal desired? ... someone who would be sincere! ... that would do 'for the community' and not themselves. I would love to be a part of it! My interest in moving to Terre Haute would be mostly for the history! ` preserve it and bring it alive!!
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:41 PM
1 posts, read 5,044 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by davidLi View Post
They used to call Terre Haute the Tuna Fish Capitol of the world because when you drove into the town you were hit by the smell of a local factory that produced something that smelled alot like dead fish.
Like anything else you can make any place a home. I am sure the people are friendly
Well my experience here in 2 yrs is the people are anything but friendly, they are some of the rudest, fakest,people i have ever seen in a community!!!! I really want as far from here as i can be!!!
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:15 AM
Location: Terre Haute
8 posts, read 19,841 times
Reputation: 20
I was born in Terre Haute, and own a grave plot here. However, I spent 12 years driving a tractor-trailer over-the-road, long haul. I've driven in all 50 states, all the Providences of Canada, and a couple illegal trips into Mexico. I have over 1 million accident free (and citation free) miles, I've seen a lot of towns. When my truck days were over, I sold out, and returned to Terre Haute. Every city has it unique characteristic, it it is also what you make it. The cost of living here is reasonable, there is great opportunity for education, with ISU, St.Mary of the Wood, IVY Tech State College, Harrison College, and the #1 Engineering School in the Nation, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
I was able to purchase a new home in the north-east part of Terre Haute. 14 years ago, and watched my community grow from there. Terre Haute is an good town if you want it to be.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:12 AM
Location: Fort Loudon,PA
14 posts, read 40,136 times
Reputation: 17
Thank Goodness, I was really getting a bit depressed as all i have read i liked till I started reading some posts,nothing wrong with citing problem areas, but seems the people who really just pass thru or stayed a short while were super negative. I am glad some of the folks who are native have nicer things to say.
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