Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rensselaer, IN

When I'd seen Rensselaer, Indiana in enough Google search results, I began to wonder about the place. I learned that it's half-way between Chicago and Indianapolis, about an hour and a half drive from either city. Here's how we compare:

Rensselaer, NYRensselaer, IN
Population: 7,924Population: 5,660
Land Area: 3.01 sq. mi.Land Area: 2.90 sq. miles
Median Income: $41,161Median Income: $38,188
Cost of Living: 88% of US Avg.Cost of Living: 77.5% of US Avg.
Median Home Value: $138,917Median Home Value: $108,189
Median Property Tax: $2,173Median Property Tax: $546

Rensselaer, IN was named for James Van Rensselaer, a 5th generation descendant of Patroon Kiliaen Van Rensselaer. James lived in Utica, NY, but moved to Indiana after his trading house failed in the 1820's (Van Rensselaer & Kane, which traded in grain, coffee and spices - reference: The Van Rensselaer Family).

The City of Rensselaer, IN has a fantastic homepage, with contact information for all their public services, and online access to the agendas and minutes of their city council meetings. (We need to be doing this!!) The city has a Chamber of Commerce and a Visitor's Bureau.

There's even a daily newspaper, The Rensselaer Republican (they're far from any larger cities, so there's no competition). They don't seem to have a community blogger, but if Rensselaer, NY had a city home page and a daily newspaper, neither would we!