Fremont is a town in Fremont Township, Steuben County, Indiana, United States. The population was 2,138 at the 2010 census. Settled in 1834 as Willow Prairie, it became the Village of Brockville when it was platted in 1837. In 1848, it was renamed to honor John C. Fr mont, "the Great Pathfinder", in part because there was already a Brockville in Indiana.
In 1914, the first hospital in Steuben County was opened in Fremont by Dr. Wade.
Fremont is located at , four miles east of the interchange between Interstate 69 and the Indiana Toll Road (Interstate 80/90) on State Road 120.
According to the 2010 census, the town has a total area of , of which (or 100%) is land and (or 0.45%) is water.
As an oddity, someone traveling due east from Fremont crosses into Michigan not into Ohio. This is due to the early 19th century Ohio-Michigan boundary dispute over Toledo (qv. Toledo War for details).
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,696 people, 640 households, and 455 families residing in the town. The population density was 761.9 people per square mile (293.6/km ). There were 679 housing units at an average density of 305.0 per square mile (117.6/km ). The racial makeup of the town was 98.11% White, 0.18% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.47% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.95% of the population.
Fremont, Indiana from 1876 Atlas
There were 640 households out of which 43.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the town the population was spread out with 33.1% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 83.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,462, and the median income for a family was $42,446. Males had a median income of $31,333 versus $22,260 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,067. About 5.7% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
The Erastus Farnham House, just south of Fremont, on State Road 827. Built c. 1849, it is reported to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Sites of interest
The following are National Register of Historic Places sites in or near Fremont:
- The Enos Michael House, 200 E. Toledo St, built c. 1850.
- The William L. Lords House, Clear Lake Rd., built c. 1848.
- Pokagon State Park, 4 miles west of Fremont, is known for recreational activities such as swimming in Lake James, camping and tobogganing in the winter months. In addition to the park itself, the Combination Shelter (known locally as the CCC Shelter) at the park is also on the Register.
Fremont and the surrounding area enjoys several facilities and activities throughout the year:
- Fremont hosts their annual Music Fest each July, which features a parade, live music, games and vendors. In 2011, the event will feature the Second Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament.
- City Park hosts a farmers' market on Saturday mornings during the summer months.
- Pokagon State Park sponsors a deer hunt in the autumn of most years to help control the population.
- Vistula Park is home to Fremont's little league baseball and softball diamonds. It also has basketball hoops, a pavilion and over a mile of paved walking trails in its woods.
- On Lake George, a former hotel and now a restaurant, the Lake George Retreat, serves a variety of cuisine in a historic setting.
- The Fremont Public Library, with over 51,000 titles, opened in 2003 and is one of the premier libraries in the region.
Fremont Community Schools oversees three schools in its district: Fremont High School, Fremont Middle School and Fremont Elementary School. Enrollment in each building ranges from between 350 and 400 students annually. Several extracurricular athletic programs are available at the middle and high school levels, including football, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, cross country, track and golf. FHS also fields teams for tennis, baseball and softball.
Fremont is home to several manufacturing facilities, including Cold Heading, Swager Communications, New Horizons Baking Company and Dexter Axle. Among others is Cardinal IG, which came to Fremont in March 1998. Cardinal IG, manufacturers of glass products, have been recognized as a green company, recycling virtually all of the plastic, paper and cardboard used in manufacturing processes.
In December 2010, Fremont was awarded $500,000 from the State of Indiana for its downtown revitalization project. According to the Town of Fremont website, the plan includes improvements for pedestrian traffic, new street lighting and signage options, and reverse angle parking along Toledo Street for two blocks between Tolford and Pleasant Streets. Construction is set to begin in September 2011 and finish roughly 90 days later.
- Dodge, Dick "The Dodge Report", June 13, 2006, accessed August 18, 2008.
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources, "Underground Railroad Sites: Fremont", accessed August 24, 2009.
- McClew, Maurice (1956) "The Underground Railroad in Steuben County", Harvey Morley, editor, The 1955 History, Complete County Atlas, pictorial and Biographical Album of Steuben County, Indiana, Angola, Indiana, pp. 352 354.
- Sauer, Lee "Freedom Trail: The Underground Railroad ran through northeast Indiana, KPC News.net, accessed August 18, 2008.
- Taylor, Robert M.; Stevens, Errol Wayne; Ponder, Mary Ann (1990) Indiana: A New Historical Guide, Indiana Historical Society, ISBN 978-0-87195-048-2.
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