Lafayette and West Lafayette


Lafayette and West Lafayette were once wilderness with a few inhabitants of traveling Native Americans roaming through it. The area of Lafayette was settled by the Europeans in the late 1820s and was named after the French Marquis de Lafayette who helped the United States during the Revolutionary War. West Lafayette was settled in the mid 1830s, however, it was settled in a flood plain, so it did not survive.The Chauncey family moved in and purchased much of the land that is now West Lafayette. It was originally named Chauncey after the Chauncey family who owned it, but in the late 1880s, it changed it's name to West Lafayette (city of West Lafayette).


Lafayette and West Lafayette are towns right next to each other in the Midwestern state of Indiana. They are located in Tippecanoe County. They are about an hour, or 60 miles, northwest of Indianapolis, the capitol of Indiana. They have a combined population of about 100,000 (US Census). Lafayette and West Lafayette have two colleges: one is a undergraduate and graduate university, Purdue University, and the other is a community college, Ivy Tech. There is one mall in Lafayette and West Lafayette as well as a downtown area that has many shops. Buses travel throughout Lafayette and West Lafayette and Lafayette has a train depot.


Lafayette and West Lafayette have many festivals throughout the year including:

  • The River Fest; Dancing in the Streets;
  • Art on the Wabash;
  • Global Fest, which celebrates international cultures;
  • Feast of the Hunter's Moon, which is a re-creation of the gathering of the French and Native Americans which took place at Fort Ouiatenon;
  • Fiddler's Gathering, which is a folk music gathering;
  • Taste of Tippecanoe;
  • Lay Flats Arts and Musical Festival;
  • Golden Leaf Festival, which is for pagans;
  • Turn in Blue, which is a music festival geared toward promoting Barack Obama;
  • GermanFest, held by St. Bonifice church; Mosey Down Main Street, which includes music and shops;
  • Tippecanoe Latino Festival;
  • Paint-Out at the Wabash;
  • Octoberfest;
  • Dogtoberfest; and
  • Outoberfest which celebrates gay, lesbian, and transgendered people coming out.

Some of these festivals are large and last for days while some of them are small and last for only hours in a single day.


Although on the map, it looks like Lafayette and West Lafayette are a distance apart, they truly are not. They connect by roads leading over the Wabash River.

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