Munster, Indiana is known as "The Town Along the Ridge."
Munster is located at a point of the ancient shores of Lake Michigan which is today Ridge Road.
The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Potawatomi. Although a village did not exist in what was to become Munster 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, Munster's Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts, the Munster 46321 post office, the Chabad House, and the first and only "Munster General Store" are located on Ridge Road.
In the late 1600's and early 1700's what is today Munster was part of a French territory. In the 1760's the British claimed the land where the Potawatomi lived 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 America. In 1828 the American Government relocated the Potawatomi Indians the Oklahoma territory.
As the Indians began to dwindle pioneer settlers began to inhabit the area which would become Munster. Munster was a farming town and notable for railroads and the well traveled Ridge Road.
Munster, Indiana was referred to as Strathmore on early railroad maps as workers would tirelessly tie "one strath more."
When a young man from the Netherlands by the name of Jacob Munster opened Munster's General Store, complete with a U.S. Postal "station" on the back. The local farmers and settelers would use the postal station and it soon became a United States Post Office which had the name not of Strathmore Post Office, but the Munster Post Office because 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 a Town with 76 residents voting "yes" for the incorporation and 28 voting "no."
Munster soon became a booming town that attracted many peoople. Munster saw difficult times through the rough years of the Great Depression and the World Wars like many other new towns in America.
Today Munster boasts an excellent school system. All five Munster Public Schools including Munster High School are recognized Indiana Blue Ribbon schools and have been awarded five star ratings. Munster High is one of seven schools from Indiana on Newsweek's 2006 Top Schools list. Munster is home to the Community Hospital, The Centre for Visual and Performing Arts, The Northwest Indiana Times Newspaper, Pepsi Cola Inc. Lake Co., high class residential real estate, and a high quality of life that bolsters the town's reputation as one of the most desirable communities in southern Chicagoland. Also, Northwest Indiana's first college student-run summer mathematics program was founded here. Munster Math, LLC has served over 500 local area students in its three year tenure.
Munster is located at 41.551457, -87.501431),
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.7 km² (7.6 mi²). 19.5 km² (7.5 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.66%) is water.
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 1,101.5/km² (2,852.8/mi²). There were 8,339 housing units at an average density of 427.0/km² (1,105.9/mi²). 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.
Munster is also famous for Munster High School, widely regarded academically as one of the best public schools in Indiana. The Munster High Speech and Debate team was the 2004-2005 Speech and Debate Indiana State Champions. The varsity JETS (Junior Engineering Technological Society) squad placed first in the nation in 2005. Also, the Wilbur Wright Middle School Science Olympiad team consistently places well in the Regional and State level. In 2006, the Munster High School Wind Ensemble received a gold at ISSMA state finals, and placed 10th in the state. The Munster High School Concert Choir received a Gold rating at the 2006 ISSMA Organizational Contest in both singing and sight-reading. Also, both the Munster High School boys and girls tennis teams are perennial powerhouses in Indiana.
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