Earlham’s hometown of Richmond, Indiana is right in the middle of somewhere.
We’re nestled in a small city that’s just a short drive away from several major metropolitan areas—including Dayton, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago.
Richmond and Earlham have a symbiotic relationship. Through research, studies, internships and volunteering, Earlhamites offer Richmond expertise and service as Richmond offers our students the chance to gain valuable, real-world experience.
What do nineteenth-century Quakers, 1920s jazz artists and two Egyptian mummies all have in common?
Richmond, Indiana, of course!
Learn more about Richmond in the information below, and explore the opportunities that abound in Earlham’s hometown.
Quick facts about Richmond
The area in which Richmond is located includes the traditional and ancestral land of the Osage, Shawnee and Miami People.
The first European settlers in the area were Quakers who arrived from North Carolina in 1806. Over the nineteenth century, a number of Quakers migrated to Richmond, forming the largest Quaker meeting in the world. These Quakers founded a boarding school in 1847 and added a collegiate department in 1859—the beginning of Earlham College.
Because of the prevalence of Quakers in the area, Richmond was a major stop for refugees on the Underground Railroad. In fact, Quakers Levi and Catharine Coffin’s home in nearby Fountain City is known as the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.”
In the 1920s, Richmond became known as the “cradle of recorded jazz.” Artists like Hoagy Carmichael, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington all recorded at Gennett Record’s studio in Richmond.
Richmond, Indiana is the county seat of Wayne County, with a population of about 35,000. As of the 2010 census, Richmond’s population was about 8.6% African American, 1.1% Asian, 4.1% Hispanic or Latino, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 83.9% White.
Richmond is located along both I-70 and National Road 40. Several large metropolitan areas are within easy driving distance, including Indianapolis, Dayton and Cincinnati. Even Chicago is just a short drive away!
There are three international airports within easy driving distance of Richmond:
- Dayton International Airport (DAY) (42 minutes by car)
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND) (1 hour 22 minutes by car)
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) (1 hour 25 minutes by car)
Around breaks, Earlham often offers shuttle service to and from Dayton International Airport.
Looking for resources to plan your trip to Richmond?
The Richmond and Wayne County, Indiana Convention and Tourism Bureau keeps up-to-date information about where to eat, sleep and explore while you’re in town.
Want to do a bit of guided exploration of the area? Try one of the Tourism Bureau’s trails to find antiques, chocolate, wine and ale, murals and more. Or, go on a fossil hunt designed in part by Earlham geology students!
Things to do in Richmond
Richmond has plenty of opportunities for you to engage in community life—whether you’re looking for outdoor pursuits, a vibrant arts scene, great food or ways to volunteer in your new hometown.
Nestled in the Midwest, there are ample opportunities for you to get outdoors in and around Richmond.
- Hike the trails or volunteer at Cope Environmental Center and learn about nature and sustainability.
- Check out the mountain biking trails at Hayes Arboretum.
- Volunteer with Richmond Parks and Recreation or visit one of the city’s many parks and green spaces.
- Enjoy one of Indiana’s top waterfalls at Thistlethwaite Falls.
- Join Earlham’s Outdoor Education program for excursions.
A quick drive through Richmond’s downtown reveals glimpses of the city’s history, often memorialized through larger-than-life murals on the city’s buildings.
- Visit the Richmond Art Museum, the second oldest art museum in Indiana. (Admission is free!) You might learn about the Richmond Group, an art colony established in Indiana in 1870.
- Check out the Wayne County Historical Museum to see one of two Egyptian mummies on permanent display in Indiana. (The other is on the Earlham campus in the Joseph Moore Museum!)
- Catch a theatre production at Richmond Civic Theatre (or try out for a role yourself!).
- Take a stroll down the Gennett Records Walk of Fame in the footsteps of jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael.
Richmond and Wayne County offer a wide variety of dining options. Some local Earlham favorites include:
Earlhamites volunteer in the local community in a variety of ways. Check out out the Playground with a Purpose at nearby Clear Creek Park—it’s a sensory playground for children with special needs that Earlham environmental sustainability majors planned and fundraised for.
Learn more about our community partners and how you can get involved in Richmond by visiting our Center for Global and Career Education.