Hobart, Indiana is a small city with a big history. Located in Lake County, it has been around since the mid-19th century and has a rich cultural heritage. Brick manufacturing was the city's most important industry in the 19th century, and small shipyards appeared in the 1850s. Joseph Nash established the first large brick factory in 1863, and in 1886, the W.
B. Owen brick factory began producing terracotta tiles. Today, Hobart is a great place to visit on foot. Downtown Hobart is bordered by Lakefront Park, where you can take a walk along the waterfront after exploring the shops and grabbing a bite to eat.
In summer, Festival Park regularly hosts outdoor gatherings such as farmers markets, live music, and outdoor movies. Lakefront Park is also home to the downtown public library and a small pier with a gazebo and benches. At the north end of downtown Hobart is a covered bridge that leads to Festival Park. This picturesque park is the scene of many of Hobart's outdoor events throughout the summer.
It features a boat dock, canoe boat, covered bridge on the dam, lakeside fishing spots, several picnic areas, a children's playground, and a community center. On the southwest shore of Lake George is Indiana Dunes National Park, which covers 15,350 acres on or near the shore of Lake Michigan. Just across the dam from downtown Hobart is Hobart Prairie Forest, an isolated area of 300 acres with a biodiversity of forested ravines and 70% silt and clay soil. You can tour Hobart Prairie Grove on a 1.1-mile trail or take the Oak Savannah Trail from downtown Hobart without a car. An annual tradition for more than a decade is the waterfront farmers' market in Festival Park.
From June to August on Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m., you can find vendors selling everything from apples to sunflowers to pumpkins. There are also bee yurts where you can look directly at the hive. The auditorium at Festival Park has capacity for 400 people and features state-of-the-art sound system for bands and artists from the hard rock and metal scenes. Hobart is also home to many thriving businesses in its downtown business district including the historic Art Theatre. On the south side of town you'll find many retailers and restaurants in Merrillville. Finally, every Sunday from May to October you can watch the Grinders play their home games at Deep River County Park against teams like Elkhart Railroaders and Dayton Clodbusters. Grinder Field usually has more than 200 spectators who come for the sportsmanship and spirit of the game. Hobart has its origins in three related families: The Siglers, Mundells, and Hursts who arrived in 1847 when Earle moved the post office to Liverpool and engraved his plan for the new city named after his brother Frederick Hobart Earle of Falmouth England. The Cressmoor Prairie is a dedicated state nature reserve and is Indiana's largest grassland of rare black soil or silty loam protected by the state.
In 1920s when nearby Gary flourished and new roads bypassed Hobart, it lost its function as a commercial and transportation hub. Hobart Light & Water Company was established in 1898 as one of few municipally owned utility companies in Indiana. Hobart is an old city with plenty of history that makes it special today. From its brick manufacturing past to its thriving businesses today, there's something for everyone in this small city.