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Evansville's economy received a boost in the early 1830s when Indiana unveiled plans to build the longest canal in the world, a 400-mile ditch connecting the Great Lakes at Toledo, Ohio with the inland rivers at Evansville.The project was intended to open Indiana to commerce and improve transportation from New Orleans to New York City.The city is home to public and private enterprise in many areas, as Evansville serves as the region's economic hub.A tourist destination, Evansville is home to Tropicana Evansville, the state's first casino, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, one of the state's oldest and largest zoos, and sports tourism industry. The University of Evansville is a small private school on the city's east side, while the University of Southern Indiana is a larger public institution just outside the city's westside limits.Unfortunately, the project bankrupted the state and was so poorly engineered it would not hold water.By the time the Wabash and Erie Canal was finished in 1853, Evansville's first railroad, Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad, was opened to Terre Haute.Manufacturing also took off, particularly in the automobile and refrigeration industries.The city saw exponential growth in the early twentieth century with the production of lumber and the manufacturing of furniture.

Joseph Avenue for the production of oceangoing LSTs (Landing Ship-Tanks).The county was named for Henry Vanderburgh, a deceased chief judge of the Indiana territorial supreme court.Evansville became a thriving commercial town with a river trade, and the town began to expand outside of its original footprint.In 1814, to attract more people, Mc Gary renamed his village "Evansville" in honor of Colonel Robert Morgan Evans.Evansville incorporated in 1817 and became a county seat on January 7, 1818.

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