Local Atmosphere

Richmond, IN
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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Earlham is well known in the community, and there are some events that are fun to go to (like the Spring festival), but otherwise it's not much to look at.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The intown is charming and offers some local charm.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Richmond is a small historic town, located a couple hours from Indianapolis, known for the Amish community. Great people and safe surroundings.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There are a few nice places in town to go, but after dark it gets pretty shady, especially if you're walking around. Definitely don't go into town at night if you're alone, and you'll feel a lot better if you have a car. During the day people seem friendly enough.

1 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There is not much to do in the town of Richmond. It has a very blue collar feeling. From what I've heard, the bars are creepy. There are a few restaurants that are good, but not in walking distance. There is a movie theater, but they closed down for a period of time due to bed-bugs. There are some fast-food places, but most Earlham students eat only organic vegetarian food. North of Richmond there is a cute Amish grocery store. There is also a small mall with a few popular stores. The only place I've ever walked to off campus was Marsh, a grocery store, and professors houses.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Anna Benfield
Takoma Park, Md.
Women's Studies
View all previous student authors

Often referred to as the "Earlham bubble," the campus can feel like an oasis from the harsh world some days and an overscrowded desert island on others. When family and friends come to visit, students can be hard-pressed to find a cool hangout to take them to off campus. Richmond is truly devoid of good ethnic food and urban culture, but don't think you're totally stranded. With an open mind, you'll come to appreciate the grounding effect of a bike ride around town. Don't let the abundant conservative bumper stickers get you down. Despite the general contrast in political leanings between Earlham students and Richmond dwellers, if you walk down the sidewalk with a smile, you'll be greeted with the same. Volunteering in the community is also a great way to help bridge the Richmond-Earlham divide. With jaw-droppingly low literacy rates and increasing unemployment in the area, your efforts will not go unappreciated.

Those addicted to metropolitan culture, a happening music scene, or ethnic food should look elsewhere, or tighten their belts for the long haul. Keep in mind, Earlham is only for you if you can stand not seeing your place of residence on your favorite band's touring schedule for four years. But when it comes right down to it, Earlham wouldn't be Earlham if we were transplanted to New York City or San Francisco. Come to Earlham if you're willing to forego urban comforts in exchange for a close-knit campus community. If nothing else, commiserating about the dismal lack of atmosphere can be a point of bonding among the student body and new faculty.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Richmond was settled in 1806 by North Carolina Quakers and was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
  2. National Road (now U.S. 40) was the path for westward traveling pioneers and became the first interstate highway in the early 1800s.
  3. The Gennett Record Company of Richmond began recording jazz in 1916, and over the next 30 years, it attracted the likes of Hoagy Carmichael, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, and Jelly Roll Morton.
  4. William Jennings Bryan recorded portions of his "Cross of Gold" speech in Richmond.
  5. Labor Day weekend through October you can get lost at McMaze Indiana, a multi-acre cornfield carved into a maze in the shape of Indiana.
Notable Natives
  • Micajah Henley – inventor of the roller skate
  • Charles Francis Jenkins – inventor of the first motion-picture machine, the Phantoscope
Points of Interest
  • Cardinal Greenway
  • Cope Environmental Center
  • Glen Miller Park
  • Hayes Arboretum
  • Middlefork Reservoir
  • Whitewater Valley Gorge Park
Shopping Centers
Richmond Square Mall
Movie Theaters
Kerasotes Show Place 11
4713 National Road E.
(765) 962-8078
Major Sports Teams
  • Indiana Pacers: NBA
  • Indianapolis Colts: NFL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Cincinnati: OH: 1 hour, 25minutes
  • Dayton: OH: 50 minutes
  • Indianapolis: IN: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 14 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 14 responses

  • 7% Painfully remote.
  • 21% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 71% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 0% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 14 responses

  • 50% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 50% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 0% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 14 responses

  • 36% No way.
  • 57% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 7% Totally.


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