What County Is Speedway Indiana In? [Fact Checked!]

While it’s not uncommon to find yourself in the middle of nowhere on a road trip, you might not expect to find yourself in a place that doesn’t even have a proper name. That’s exactly where you’ll find yourself if you happen to be driving on I-70 in the United States, if you’re not from Indiana or if you’re not familiar with the area. The town of Rensselaer does have a population of about 6,000 people and is home to the IUPUI campus. There are also a number of wineries and breweries which operate within a 10-mile radius of the town. It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that most of these facilities are closed on Mondays. After all, without the rest of the state to rely on for customers, it makes sense that these businesses would want to keep their locations and staff members close to home. Fortunately, the town of Rensselaer is a great place to stop for coffee and a snack if you’re driving through or, even better, if you’re passing through on your way to somewhere else. So, in that case, you’ll most likely end up there anyway. If you decide to stop, you’ll have to look for a place to stay and you might want to consider trying out one of these hotels near the interstate because, believe it or not, there are a lot of people who drive on I-70 each and every day and it can get pretty boring in the car. Especially if you’re traveling from Bloomington to Indianapolis, it might be nice to stop off at a place that has a little more life than the open road. That’s why you should always try to avoid a small town when traveling. The chances are you’ll end up spending more money and having less fun than you would have otherwise.

In terms of size, Rensselaer is pretty small, only having about 8,000 residents. The county that it’s in, Tippecanoe, has a population of about 120,000 people. So, even though this particular location is almost in another county, it definitely isn’t the most remote spot you’ll ever stop at on a road trip (at least not from the middle of nowhere). If you’re from Indiana or have been there before, you might know what county it’s in because Tippecanoe is where the infamous “Bloody Sunday” took place almost a century ago. On that particular Sunday in 1917, over 600 people were killed as a result of violence that broke out between protesters and law enforcement personnel during the Indianapolis mayoral race at the time. Between the Red Cross setting up hospitals, the police being called in and a few fights breaking out, it was one of the bloodiest races in American history. To this day, it’s one of the most infamous and well-known events in Indiana history. If you’ve never been there, let me give you a little background on the county: In 1881, three years after the state of Indiana was established, Tippecanoe County was one of the first 21 counties to be set up by the state. In 1883, the University of Indianapolis was established by the trustees of the Methodist Church, making it one of the first private universities in the nation. In 1886, the city of Terre Haute was founded by the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad as a company town for its workers. It was named after the 19th-century French historian and politician, Alphonse-Despine Dollard.

Does It Have A Nickname?

Yes, it does. Even though it’s not a very popular theory among locals, it’s often said that Tippecanoe County is so-named because it’s “just like the hat,” meaning it’ll catch any breeze and blow whichever way the wind is going. Another theory posits that it’s a combination of the first two letters of each of its main towns, making it TIP+CANOE. In either case, it’s pretty easy for someone from outside the area to figure out what county is Speedway when they see it on a map. Which leads me to my next point.

How Is It Spelt?

Other than the whole “Bloody Sunday” thing, which I discussed above, Tippecanoe County’s name has never been officially changed. However, sometimes the spelling can vary from place to place. For example, the city of Terre Haute usually doesn’t capitalize the “i” in Tippecanoe, but sometimes it does. So, while it’s not correct to say “Tippecanoe County,” sometimes you’ll hear people say, “Tippecanoe County,” or even “Tip-canoe County.” Which, to my admittedly pedantic ear, is still incorrect. So, for the most part, when people talk about Tippecanoe County, they mean to say “Tippecanoe.”

Does It Have A Theme Song?

Yes, it does. In fact, the whole county has a theme song. However, it’s not often performed these days so it’s not something you’d hear on the radio. Like many counties, Tippecanoe County used to have a flag, but it was taken away during the 19th century. Nevertheless, in the last century, the county has been the site of many pro-American and patriotic events, which have culminated in the formation of the American Legion post in the town of Richmond in 1923. Since then, “Tippecanoe County” has been used as the theme song for Memorial Day Parades in the city of Terre Haute, as well as the American Legion Riders in the town of Rensselaer. In 2019, the theme song was changed to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” by Robert Burns because “The Star-Spangled Banner” was deemed too similar to “Oh Say Can You See,” the fight song of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

How Is It Connected To Sports?

For over a century, Tippecanoe County has been home to numerous professional and collegiate sporting teams. Perhaps the most notable of these is the Indiana Pacers, who play in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association. The Pacers were founded in 1967 and became one of the most popular and successful teams in the NBA during the 1970s and ‘80s. The most recent NBA Champion came from this county with the Detroit Pistons in 2016. In 2007, the Pacers became the first professional sports team to have a “fan zone” outside of their home opening game, and it wasn’t long until other teams caught on and started doing the same thing. The Colts, who play in the American Football Conference, and the Fever, who play in the Women’s National Basketball Association, are among the other professional teams that call the county home. Additionally, the Indianapolis Indians of the Class A Midwest League also call Tippecanoe County their home.

Is It A Foreign Country?

No, it’s not. However, for the most part, the county is used to tourists and strangers who happen to be passing through. The area was originally settled by European Americans, so there aren’t many cultural differences between you and the locals. That being said, you’ll still hear some accents among the locals which can be a little difficult to understand at times. Nevertheless, outside of a few small towns, the area is pretty much deserted, so you’re likely to have the place to yourself. Which can also be a good thing because you can stop off at a local coffee shop or eatery and order a beer without having to worry about someone popping out from behind a counter and pouring you a shot of whiskey.

Is It Hot Or Cold?

Yes, it can be both. In the summer, temperatures in the county reach the high 90s, with 100-degree days not at all uncommon. However, during the winter months, it’s a different story. Usually, there aren’t any days above 65 degrees, with temperatures regularly dipping to the low 40s. The weather will obviously have a dramatic effect on how you’ll want to dress during your stay in Tippecanoe County. You should bring lots of warm clothing and prepare for a bit of a changeable climate. Nevertheless, with some advance planning and versatility in your wardrobe, you can still enjoy yourself during the warm summer months and look forward to the cooler temperatures during the winter.

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