News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

February 22, 2011

MS. TAKES: As far as a city goes, Terre Haute is all right

TERRE HAUTE — I would never have made it to adulthood as a city girl. Terre Haute is, by far, the largest city I’ve ever lived in, and it took some adjustment.

By the time I was born — in Ottawa, Illinois — Ottawa had already been on a slide for some time. In an ill-advised decision at the time Illinois was admitted to statehood, the residents were given a choice, the site of a U.S. District Court or a land-grant university. It may have looked good at the time, but over the long haul it would have been more forward-looking to have opted for higher education.

But if Ottawa was small with small prospects for growth, Stockton, Illinois, was even smaller. We eventually returned to Ottawa until an opportunity for Dad opened in Yorkville which boasted a population of 1,000 folks IF you counted both sides of the Fox River. Technically, the north side of the river was Bristol.

What a great place to grow up. We occasionally went to Chicago, usually to go shopping or to look through the Field Museum or the Planetarium. Once we went to the Aquarium, but I was less than transported by tanks full of fish. If Dad ever went back, it was without me.

We did go to the Chicago World Fair. I have only two memories of that event, cowering on the floor of the “Sky Ride” and sitting through the seemingly interminable formalities of a Japanese tea ceremony. The traffic, the confusion and the tall buildings in Chicago made me long for the wide open spaces and farm land surrounding Yorkville.

The move to Sycamore, a town of some 9,000 souls, was a bit traumatic if only because I had to leave my friends in Yorkville and make new friends. Sycamore was within a few miles of DeKalb where there was a teachers’ college and I could commute to earn a degree.

Later there was East Prairie, Missouri, and Sikeston, ditto. East Prairie was too small (after Yorkville? Get serious!) and Sikeston, too far south — especially in the heat of summer. So, it was back to Illinois, to Geneva and St. Charles. Then, finally, the move to Terre Haute.

I like it here. It’s big enough, but not too far from open country. It has the advantage of a couple of small but impressive museums, galleries, a Community Theatre, a symphony and a lot of very nice people.

Mom always said, “Liz won’t be happy unless she is close enough to a farm to step in a cow pie.” She was right.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Liz Ciancone
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Today in History for April 18th Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010