Goshen is a city located in Elkhart County, Indiana, United States. It is the smaller of the two principal cities of the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn is part of the South Bend-Elkhart-Mishawaka Combined Statistical Area. It is the county seat of Elkhart County and located in the northern Indiana region known as Michiana. Goshen is located 10 miles south of Elkhart, 25 miles southeast of South Bend, 120 east of Chicago, and 150 miles north of Indianapolis. According to a 2008 estimate, Goshen's population is 31,800. The city is known as a center of manufacturing for recreational vehicles and accessories, the home of Goshen College, a nationally recognized liberal arts college, and home to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, the second largest county fair in the United States.
Goshen is located at . According to the United States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.7 km²), of which, 13.2 square miles (34.2 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (1.57%) is water. The Elkhart River
winds its way through the city and through a dam on the south side making the Goshen Dam Pond. Rock Run Creek also runs through town.
The city is divided north/south by Main Street and east/west by Lincoln Avenue.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 29,383 people, 10,675 households, and 7,088 families residing in the city. The population density
was 2,227.7 people per square mile (860.1/km²). There were 11,264 housing units at an average density of 854.0/sq mi (329.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.15% White
, 1.53% Black
or African American
, 0.26% Native American
, 1.10% Asian
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 12.00% from other races
, and 1.94% from two or more races. 19.33% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 10,675 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.14. In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 100.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,383, and the median income for a family was $46,877. Males had a median income of $32,159 versus $23,290 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,899. About 6.0% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
There is a distinct economic/social divide between the north and south sides of the city, the north side being regarded as the area north of the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. Many of the city's poor and disadvantaged live in this part of the city. South of Pike Street is considered the "old money" area of the city and many old houses and a brick street have been preserved. This area, including the business district and adjacent residential areas (from the railroad south to Purl Street and from the industrial canal east to Cottage Avenue) has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Goshen Historic District.
The Goshen Historic district, added in 1983 to the National Registor of Historic Places is bounded by Pike, RR, Cottage, Plymouth, Main, Purl, the Canal, and Second Sts. with the Elkhart County Courthouse at its center.
Goshen has four parks and has a few different greenways and trails winding through the city. One of which runs along the old Mill Race and hydraulic canal which was once used to power an old hydroelectric power plant
. Plans drawn up in 2005 call for the plant to be reopened and redevelopment to begin along the canal.
The Elkhart County Fairgrounds are also located in the city, where in late July, the Elkhart County Fair is held. It is the largest county fair in Indiana and the second largest in attendance in the United States.
The Goshen Air Show is also an annual event that takes place at the Goshen Municipal Airport. The next airshow will be July 5, 2008.
In 2007, Downtown Goshen, Inc., a public-private partnership formed from the merger of Face of the City and the Downtown Action Team, started a First Fridays program. Occurring year round, First Fridays happens on the first Friday of each month with stores open until 9, music and other entertainment, and other events occurring within Goshen's downtown district.
Goshen is the subject of a documentary on immigration, Fuerza. It was made by students at Goshen College
who are part of Soluz Films
Goshen is known for the invention of the sirk; which is a covering for shoes with a cloth inside and rubber outside. One simply puts their shoe inside and zips from toe-to-top to prevent shoes from getting wet. This can also be worn to cover a small portion of the bottom of the pants.
The South side Wal-Mart is rumored to be the first Wal-Mart in the United States to provide a covered stable for its frequent Amish customers. In fact, it was the Amish that built the stable with lumber and other supplies donated by Wal-Mart.
In 2005, Goshen based soccer club FC Indiana became the first North American women's team ever to win league and cup double by winning the Women's Premier Soccer League national championship and the US Open Cup national championship.
In April 2006, Goshen was the site for an immigration march. Officials estimate that about 2000 to 3000 people marched from Linway Plaza to the County Courthouse. That is a remarkable number of people given that Goshen's total population is just under 30,000.
- Film director Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 - December 16, 1977) was born in Goshen, Indiana. The director of dozens of films, his 1941 film "Sergeant York" won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Other notable films directed by Hawks include "Scarface" (1932); "Bringing Up Baby" (1938); "Only Angels Have Wings" (1939); "His Girl Friday" (1940); "To Have and To Have Not" (1944); "The Big Sleep" (1946); "Red River" (1948); "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953); and "Rio Bravo" (1959).
- Soap box racer Justin Yoder was born and lives in Goshen, Indiana. He is in a wheelchair.
- Former Notre Dame and NFL quarterback Rick Mirer is a native of Goshen. He was the quarterback of the Goshen High School Redskins and his number, 12, is now retired there. During his years quarterbacking at Notre Dame, he was often referred to as "The Rifleman" and "The Goldenboy." During his time at ND and in the NFL, Mirer had many nicknames. Among these were "The Goshen Motion." His father, Ken, coached the Goshen High School football team to a class AA state title in 1978.
- Noted children's author Olive Forgatsch resides in Goshen. Her highly-regarded books include "A World Of Wonder" "A Bear Does What In The Woods?" and "Giggles, Farts, and Other Silly Noises."
- Goshen native Andrew Stoner of Indianapolis is the author of the 2006 biography on the life of Indiana Governor Frank L. O'Bannon, "Legacy Of A Governor: The Life of Indiana's Frank O'Bannon" published by Rooftop Publishing of Bloomington, Ind. His second book, "The Notorious Ninety-Two," due for release in October 2007, looks at infamous murders in all 92 of Indiana's counties.
- Screenwriter James C. Strouse is a native of Goshen, Indiana. In 2005, his first film "Lonesome Jim" was filmed in Goshen, Indiana by actor Steve Buscemi. He is currently producing his second film, "Grace Is Gone," scheduled for release in 2007.
- Mennonite inspirational author, Helen Good Brenneman (1925-1994), was a long time Goshen resident who wrote the popular Mennonite books "Meditations for the New Mother" and "Meditations for the Expectant Mother" as well as other books and novels published by Herald Press
- World renowned herbalogist, Jackson Miller, was born in Goshen and obtained a his bachelors degree from Goshen College. In 2008 he will be heading an expedition funded by MMA with Allen Monta Le Vide in the rainforests of Brazil in hope of making many new discoveries.
- On April 11, 1965, a super outbreak of tornadoes struck the Midwest. Although the most famous pair of tornadoes devastated Dunlap, Indiana, between Goshen and Elkhart; another F4 tornado occurred on Goshen's Southeast side, killing five people.
- In 1999, officer Thomas Goodwin became Goshen's first, and to date, only police officer killed in the line of duty, at a shooting in the northwest part of town. A large playground in municipal Shanklin Park was built and dedicated in his memory.
- On December 6, 2001, Goshen was featured on national and international news networks due to a shooting at the Nu-Wood factory. While initial reports said that 35 people had been shot, the actual facts were that the gunman, Robert Wissman, killed one co-worker (plant general manager Greg Oswald), wounded 6 others, and then took his own life.
- Goshen is the setting of the 2007 movie Elsewhere, which tells of unsolved crime and mass corruption in the area.