Do the names Miles Davis, Billie Holliday and Count Basie ring a bell? If they do, you have Richmond, Indiana to thank for such big hit names. Richmond is known as the Cradle of Recorded Jazz because early jazz was recorded at Gennett Records in town. Gennett was a division of the Starr Piano Factory. So the next time you start getting down to some bebop or relish in the quiet moments of Some Kind of Blue, send a thank you note to Richmond’s town hall.
Richmond is fairly small by city standards, home to about 37,000 people. Would you guess that Richmond also played host to a professional opera company and symphony orchestra? In fact, Richmond is believed to be the smallest community to support a professional opera and orchestra. While the opera in town closed in 2002, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra is still going strong today. Just goes to show that New York City isn’t the only city that can have it all.
Ancient Egypt was the pinnacle of great civilization. Creators of the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, Mummies, hieroglyphics and much more—it’s hard to deny the spectacle that was Egypt. Indiana is home to some of those mummies, and two of the three are held in Richmond. One of them is held at Earlham College, one of the four Richmond Indiana Schools. We guess this will make it easier for a mystery-solving dog and his crew to hunt them down.
Can you imagine mowing your lawn before the invention of the lawn mower? It must have been annoying enough to warrant a spinning-blade, grass killer machine. Richmond must have hated the chore enough to be the center of lawn mower manufacturers. The city was once known as the lawn mower capital of the world from the late 19th century into the middle of the 20th century. Manufacturers like Davis, Motomower and Dille-McGuire offered some of the shiniest lawn mowers around; totally worth the pretty penny to cut that tall grass quickly.
While most old cities were built with one kind of architectural design in mind, Richmond is known for its wealth of different designs. A quick jaunt around town will show you the beautiful Wayne County Court House, built out of white stone and blue accents, or the Pennsylvania Railroad Station, built out of strong red brick and tall Greek columns. Five districts and several buildings in town are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record.
Going to college is a huge decision. It was a big one for your favorite yellow feathery friend. If you live in or near Richmond, the decision is even harder. Richmond is home to four separate colleges: Earlham College, Indiana University East, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and the Purdue University School of Technology. The next time you talk about Richmond Indiana schools, you’ll have to be specific. Talk about choice anxiety.