Hobart, Indiana

Hobart, Indiana

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Hobart, Indiana
settlement_type = City
nickname =

imagesize =
image_caption = The gazebo at Hobart's Lakefront Park on the shore of Lake George.



mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in the state of Indiana

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Indiana
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Lake
government_type = City
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Brian K. Snedecor (D)
area_note =
established_date = 1931
area_magnitude = 1 E7
area_total_km2 = 69.2
area_land_km2 = 67.9
area_water_km2 = 1.3
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 25363
population_density_km2 = 373.6
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
area_total_sq_mi = 26.7
area_land_sq_mi = 26.2
area_water_sq_mi = 0.5
elevation_m = 190
elevation_ft = 623
latd = 41 |latm = 31 |lats = 43 |latNS = N
longd = 87 |longm = 16 |longs = 3 |longEW = W
website = [http://www.city.hobart.in.us/ www.city.hobart.in.us]
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 46342
area_code = 219
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 18-34114GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0436256GR|3
footnotes =

Hobart is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 25,363 at the 2000 census.

The city is pronounced by locals as Ho-bert instead of Ho-bart, which is how many people not from the area mistakenly pronounce it.


Hobart is located at coor dms|41|31|43|N|87|16|3|W|city (41.528715, -87.267420)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.7 square miles (69.2 km²), of which, 26.2 square miles (67.9 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it (1.83%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 25,363 people, 9,855 households, and 6,977 families residing in the city. The population density was 967.5 people per square mile (373.6/km²). There were 10,299 housing units at an average density of 392.9/sq mi (151.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.73% White, 1.39% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.60% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.05% of the population.

There were 9,855 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,759, and the median income for a family was $35,078. Males had a median income of $43,702 versus $26,619 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,508,662. 4.8% of the population and 2.9% of families were below the poverty line. Of the total population, 5.8% of those under the age of 18 and 4.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Hobart was named by founder George Earle in honor of his brother, Frederick Hobart Earle.

After purchasing land from the Potowatomi Indians, Earle founded the city in 1846 and built the city's first business: a grist mill. Hobart’s founder, George Earle, was born in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, February 5, 1807. He was an architect and builder practicing his trade in Falmouth and later in London. He came with his wife Mary to Philadelphia in the U.S. in 1835 to fulfill a contract to build brick houses, bringing the brick with him from England. Through some friends, George became interested in the town of Liverpool in Western Indiana. One of his friends, John Chapman had earlier purchased land in the area from the U.S. Government under Andrew Jackson and the chief of the Potawatomi Indian tribe in 1836. Earle bought the town and other land, in total about convert|3000|acre|km2, in what is now Lake Station (formerly East Gary) and Hobart. He then proceeded to develop Liverpool.

Earle was involved in a three town battle for the designation of county seat. Although in 1839 Liverpool won it, the county seat was moved to Crown Point in 1840. Earle decided Liverpool would not prosper so he elected a site further up the river to develop. In 1845 he moved to a new location five miles (8 km) southeast on Deep River. He built a dam across Deep River and constructed a saw mill in 1846. He became postmaster the following year. In 1848 he laid out the plat of lots for his new town. It was signed and recorded by Earle on May 3, 1849. The name "Hobart" was chosen in memory of his brother, Frederick Hobart Earle.

Earle and his wife moved back to Philadelphia in 1872. He was in England when he became ill with a cold and returned to "Hobart" when he died, January 22, 1876, of a stroke. He and his wife Mary, who died ten years later, are both buried in the Hobart Cemetery. [ [http://www.iun.edu/~cra/cra_records/cra048.shtml IU Northwest: Calumet Regional Archives ] ]

When George had left Hobart, his son John stayed in Hobart for about fifteen years, conducting his father's business as a general broker, banker, and dealing in real estate, before he moved to Chicago and began to build houses for rent.

In January 1889, Hobart was incorporated as a town with three trustees, a clerk-treasurer, a marshall, and a president. The first gravel road in Lake County was built from Lake Michigan to the south line of Hobart Township. More roads followed and in 1900 Hobart was appointed the first rural free delivery in the Middle West. The first city government in Hobart was organized in 1921, with a mayor, clerk-treasurer, city attorney, city engineer, and seven councilmen.

Hobart has been known for its production of brick, cotton, and pottery throughout the years. For many years Hobart’s largest industry was W.B. Owen’s Hollow Porous Clay Tile Works, which were established in 1886. At one time its kilns covered thirty-five acres and the daily capacity of the works was 70 tons of finished product. The Kulage Brick Works also represents a large industry which was established just before the turn of the century and continued to prosper for many years. Toward the end of the Civil War, W.H. Rifenburg established a lumber yard, planning mill, and contractor’s supply house at Hobart.

The brickyard industry provided Hobart High School with its unique nickname for its athletic teams: the Brickies. Under head coach Don Howell, the Hobart Brickies won the Indiana state championship for football in 1987, 1989, 1991, and 1993, as well as 19 straight sectional title wins. Hobart's brickyard was built in the area which is known as Lake Park Avenue today. When the brickyard was still in business, bricks would be transported to other areas via trains on the former Pennsylvania Railroad (The former Pennsylvania Railroad is now known as the CF&E Railroad) mostly to Valparaiso and Chicago.

Local Figures

Bob Kuechenberg, who grew up in Hobart and graduated from Hobart High School, played football at Notre Dame and for the Miami Dolphins. Kuechenberg was on the 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went undefeated (17-0).

Dale Messick, creator of the Brenda Starr comic strip, was born in South Bend in 1906 but raised in Hobart. Messick's comic was first published by the Chicago Tribune in 1940 and eventually syndicated around the world, carried by over 200 newspapers. She retired 1980 and passed away in 2005.

Thomas Kent Dettweiler, the Deep Submergence Laboratory Operations Director at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, was born and raised in Hobart. Dettweiler earned engineering degrees from Purdue University and the University of Miami and participated in the development of the deep ocean manganese mining. He served as the Science Officer on Jacques Cousteau's RV Calypso and also with Dr. Robert Ballard on expeditions including the discovery and exploration of the RMS Titanic. Later, as Executive Vice President of the Nauticos Corporation, Dettweiler led expeditions to the sunken World War II Japanese submarine I-52. He also led the discovery team that located the long-lost Israeli submarine, Dakar.

Mel Fisher, professional diver and treasure hunter, was born in Hobart in 1922. Fischer is best known for his discovery of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, a 17th century Spanish galleon that sank off the Florida Keys. Fischer led the team that discovered the wreck, which held a treasure was worth an estimated $400 million dollars.


Hobart is home to Lake George, a popular place for people to gather to walk along the city's waterfront. Couples getting married are often seen taking pictures at a gazebo near the Hobart branch of the Lake County Public Library. Musical entertainment can be found near the clock tower in Lakefront Park and at the Revelli Bandshell during the warm months. People enjoy fishing, boating, and strolling along the shores of Lake George. At Festival park, directly off of lake George, domsticated ducks and geese, as well as mallards, canada geese, and mute swans inhabit the area year round, thriving on people hand outs. The area is full of hybrid ducks and geese from so many species co-existing together, and it is rare to see more than ten or so purebred ducks at any given time. It is unknown how the domesticated fowl came to be there. Obviously, duck feeding is another fun activity.

In the past, fishermen fished at Hobart's Robinson Lake. As of October 2006, Former Mayor Linda Buzenic announced the "highest and best use" for Robinson Lake would be to put it up for sale, according to the Post-Tribune. http://www.post-trib.com/news/138327,hbcouncil.article] . The deadline for proposals for Robinson Lake is Nov. 30, 2006, according to the Post-Tribune. .

The city features 14 parks, 2 public 18-hole golf courses, and many sports fields for basketball, football, baseball, soccer, rugby, and many other sports. The city recently bought an outdoor swimming pool.

The Oak Savannah rails-to-trails route cuts through the city and offers biking and hiking. [ [http://www.indianatrails.org/Oak_Savannah_Trail.htm Oak Savannah Trail ] ] . The Oak Savannah trail passes by the 90 acre (360,000 m²) Hobart Prairie Grove Unit of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. [ [http://www.fws.gov/arsnew/regmap.cfm?arskey=19991 Accomplishment Reporting Help Display ] ] [ [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c101:H.R.3209.EH:/ Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress) ] ] .

The Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Inc. owns other nature preserves in the city of Hobart, including a tallgrass prairie. [ [http://www.heinzetrust.org/ Shirley Heinze Land Trust is in ] ] . The Cressmoor Prairie is a dedicated state nature preserve. [ [http://www.heinzetrust.org Shirley Heinze Land Trust is in ] ] The Cressmoor Prairie is the largest state-protected rare "black soil" or silt-loam prairie in Indiana. [ [http://www.state.in.us/dnr/naturepr/npdirectory/preserves/cressmoor.html Cressmoor Prairie Nature Preserve ] ] .

The city's Mundell Field has a quarter-mile outdoor oval track for walking.

Hobart is home to one of Indiana's largest indoor shopping malls: Westfield Southlake, located in the southern part of the city near the intersection of US 30 and Interstate 65. The area is filled with outdoor strip malls that contain over 200 stores and restaurants.

Hobart residents drive 15 minutes west to visit casino boats on Lake Michigan and 15 minutes east to visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park, containing 15 thousand acres (60 km²) of beaches, sand dunes, bogs, and protected wildlife.

Hobart is approximately convert|31|mi|km from Chicago and many residents take advantage of this proximity to enjoy the world-class offerings of The Windy City.


Hobart is home to many thriving businesses in its downtown shopping district, including the historic Art Theatre. [ [http://frankandjackie.com/art.html The Art Theater ] ]

Hobart is also home to the Westfield Southlake Shopping Mall and many surrounding retailers and restaurants, although most businesses are required to list their addresses as Merrillville. Though this area was historically an unincorporated section of Lake County prior to annexation by the City of Hobart, it is currently served by the Merrillville post office.

The nearest large airports serving Hobart are the Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) in Gary and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) and O'Hare International Airport (ORD) in nearby Chicago. The Hobart Sky Ranch Airport (3HO) is located convert|2|mi|km north of the city's downtown business district.

Hobart contains 3 major railroads: Norfolk Southern, which runs through County Line Road to Liverpool Road, CF&E Transportation, which runs through County Line Road to Wisconsin Street, and Canadian National, which runs through Colorado Street and through a portion of Hobart in the southernmost part of the area known as Ainsworth.

Hobart is also home to the Indiana Botanic Gardens, which is the nation's largest and oldest retailer of herbs. The company moved to Hobart back in the mid 1990's and is located off of Route 6.


Most of the city is within the School City of Hobart. Some of the city is within the River Forest Community School Corporation and some of the city is within the Merrillville Community School District.

The Merrillville section is served by John Wood Elementary School and the feeder schools in Merrillville. [ [http://www.mvsc.k12.in.us/images/WOOD.pdf John Wood Elementary School Attendance Boundary] . "Merrillville Community School District".]


External links

* [http://www.city.hobart.in.us/ Hobart website]
* [http://www.hobartchamber.com/ Hobart Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.hobart.k12.in.us/ School City of Hobart - Public Schools]
* [http://www.stbridgethobart.com/ St. Bridget Catholic School]
* [http://www.trinityhobart.org/pages/School.htm Trinity Lutheran School]
* [http://www.howlinmad.org/ Marine Corps League]
* [http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/588.html Encyclopedia of Chicago's Hobart Entry]
* [http://hobartcubs.org/joomla/index.php Hobart, Indiana Cub Scouts]
* [http://t69hobart.info/ Hobart, Indiana Boy Scouts Troop 69]
* [http://lass.calumet.purdue.edu/histpoly/bigott/calumetmuseumweb/BRICKIESPHOTO.htm Brickies' Football Historical Page]
* [http://www.preserveindiana.com/pixpages/nw_ind/hobarpix.htm Hobart Downtown Pictures]
* [http://www.preserveindiana.com/pixpages/nw_ind/hobhomes.htm Historic Hobart Homes]
* [http://frankandjackie.com/main.html Frank's and Jackie's Hobart Virtual Tour]
* [http://www.tomtorluemke.com/murals/murals.html Tom Torluemke's Public Commissions, including Economic History of Hobart, 1999, Hobart, IN]
* [http://www.countylineorchard.com Hobart's County Line Orchard]
* [http://www.city-data.com/city/Hobart-Indiana.html Hobart City Data]
* [http://www.comhs.org/stmary St. Mary Medical Center]
* [http://www.in.gov/isdh/regsvcs/acc/hospital/ctyfac44.htm ISDH Lake Co. Hospital List, incl. Hind Gen. Hospital]
* [http://www.hobartjc.com Hobart Jaycees]
* [http://www.cegur.com/html/hobart.html South Shore Line Hobart posters]
* [http://www.hobartdemocrats.com Hobart Democratic Precinct Org.]
* [http://www.hobartjaycee.com]

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