Terre Haute, the so-called “Crossroads of America” for its location on the National Road (US40) and the major north-US 41, has a typically Midwestern mix of agriculture and industry with an added college-town influence. The city is home to Indiana State University, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and the historic Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College.
The downtown is somewhat typical for the region but the 800 historic buildings in an 80-block area reflect earlier prosperity. Overall cost of living is low and the median home price is often lowest in the state and one of the lowest in the country. The economy, once more tied to manufacturing and coal mining, continues to lag behind other parts of Indiana. There isn’t much to do locally, but Indianapolis (80 miles northeast) and Bloomington (60 miles southeast) help compensate for what’s missing.
The Wabash Valley is broad and flat at this location. To the west lies the mainly flat, agricultural prairies of Illinois. Terrain is gently rolling to the east. The climate is continental, with four distinct seasons, including warm, humid summers and variably cold winters. There is little in the local terrain to block the advance of storms and air masses from the north, west, or south. Weather changes are frequent, with wide temperature fluctuations and wet periods. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year with frequent spring and summer thunderstorms, some heavy. Collisions of southerly moisture and northerly cold air can produce periods of winter wind and snow. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.