Main Street in downtown Hobart
Location of Hobart in Lake County, Indiana.
|Incorporated||1889 (as a town), 1921 (as a city)|
|o Mayor||Brian K. Snedecor (D)|
|o Total||26.60 sq mi (68.89 km2)|
|o Land||26.22 sq mi (67.92 km2)|
|o Water||0.38 sq mi (0.97 km2)|
|Elevation||623 ft (190 m)|
|o Estimate (2016)||28,248|
|o Density||1,077.22/sq mi (415.92/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|o Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0436256|
Hobart is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 29,059 at the 2010 census. Although it has been historically primarily residential, recent annexation has added a significant retail corridor to the city.
According to the 2010 census, Hobart has a total area of 26.705 square miles (69.17 km2), of which 26.33 square miles (68.19 km2) (or 98.6%) is land and 0.375 square miles (0.97 km2) (or 1.4%) is water.
Hobart is approximately 31 miles (50 km) southeast of Chicago.
As of the census of 2010, there were 29,059 people, 11,650 households, and 7,664 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,103.6 inhabitants per square mile (426.1/km2). There were 12,399 housing units at an average density of 470.9 per square mile (181.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.3% White, 7.0% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 4.0% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.9% of the population.
There were 11,650 households of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.2% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.06.
The median age in the city was 38 years. 23.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 14.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.
As of the census 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 per square mile (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. 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 is home to Lake George, a popular place for people to gather to walk along the city's waterfront. Musical entertainment can be found near the clock tower in Lakefront Park and at the Revelli Bandshell during the warm months. Fishing and boating are two popular activities at Lake George. At Festival Park, people are often seen to feed the plentiful ducks that live there. 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.
The city features 14 parks, 2 public 18-hole golf courses (Cressmoor Country Club closed in 2006 leaving 1), and many sports fields for basketball, football, baseball, soccer, rugby, and many other sports. The city recently bought an outdoor swimming pool.
Lake George, formed by the damming of Deep River, is a medium-sized lake that winds its way through Hobart. Once a wild and pristine environment rich with native wildlife, non-native species such as the dozens of domesticated ducks and geese and Eurasian mute swans released here by people over the years, as well as artificially high amounts of food due to feedings have produced an environment that holds far more animals than the area could ever naturally sustain. At Festival Park, the one-hundred to two-hundred or so resident birds (which include virtually-flightless domesticated birds, swans, mallards and Canada geese that cannot or do not migrate, and hybrids of all types) that live at the lake year round, as well as migrant Canada geese and mallards, have stripped the shoreline and land of most vegetation, resulting in erosion, and have turned the shallow lake below the dam into little more than a muddy broth of bacteria. The waters, however, are very fertile and as a result one-hundred pound channel catfish have been caught at Festival park. The Oak Savannah rails-to-trails route cuts through the city and offers biking and hiking. The Oak Savannah trail passes by the 90-acre (360,000 m2) Hobart Prairie Grove Unit of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
The Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Inc. owns other nature preserves in the city of Hobart, including a tallgrass prairie. The Cressmoor Prairie is a dedicated state nature preserve, and is the largest state-protected rare "black soil" or silt-loam prairie in Indiana.
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-northwest to visit casino boats on Lake Michigan and 15 minutes northeast to visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park, containing 15,000 acres (61 km2) of beaches, sand dunes, bogs, and protected wildlife.
Hobart is home to many thriving businesses in its downtown shopping district, including the historic Art Theatre.
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 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the city's downtown business district.
Hobart contains three major railroads: Norfolk Southern Railway, which runs through County Line Road to Liverpool Road, Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad, which runs through County Line Road to Wisconsin Street, and Canadian National Railway, 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-1990s and is located off Business Route 6.
Most of the city is within the School City of Hobart, although other parts of the city are within the River Forest Community School Corporation or the Merrillville Community School District. Hobart High School students are referred to as the "Brickies," in reference to the brickyards that were once located on city's northern side near Cressmore Prairie. The school mascot is named Yohan and bears a strong resemblance to "Boilermaker Pete" from Purdue University. Hobart High School at one time was considered a leader in music education; in the early twentieth century, its band won national Sousa band competitions under the direction of William Revelli, who later left to lead the University of Michigan band. The city is also home to Trinity Lutheran School, a pre-school through 8th grade parochial school and Montessori Academy in the Oaks.
The Merrillville section is served by John Wood Elementary School and the feeder schools in Merrillville.
Lake County Public Library operates the Hobart Branch at 100 North Main Street.
George Earle, an English immigrant bought land from the Potawatomi Native American tribe, who built a dam on Deep River, creating Lake George. He named the settlement that later developed into Hobart, after his brother, Frederick Hobart Earle, who never left England.