Earlham’s hometown of Richmond, Indiana is 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
- Experience a host of new flavors at Richmond’s Food Truck Wednesdays at Elstro Plaza
- Cuddle with the dogs at Hill’s Bark Park
- Get colorful at The Predator Zone paintball course
- Go Kayaking, paddle boating, or canoeing at Middlefork reservoir
- Get lost in Today’s harvest corn maze
- Pick your own apples and take a wagon ride at Wesler’s apple orchard
- Investigate new colors at the Richmond Rose Garden
- Experience Shakespeare in the park at Jack Elstro Plaza
- Be at peace among the Elk reserve at Quiet Harmony Ranch
- Test your limits at Weir Dam’s walking bridge
- Take your shot during a round of golf at either Highland or Helps golf course
- Traverse Cardinal Greenway with a free bike rentable at the Cycling and Fitness Warehouse
- Test-Drive a classic car at the Model T Museum
- Uncover ancient creatures at the Richmond Fossil Park
- Hike the natural beauty of Beech-Maple forests at Hayes Regional Arboretum
- Strike a pose for a photo shoot at the Starr Gennett Building
- Explore the 2 Sisters Bookstore with a cone of Ullery’s Ice Cream in hand in the Richmond Depot District
- Refine your skateboarding skills or play a round of disc golf at Glen Miller Park
- Take a sack-lunch next to Thistlethwaite Falls
- Join a Softball League at Clear Creek Park
- Survive an Escape Room at the Joseph Moore Museum
- Check out the 2nd of 2 mummies in Richmond (and 3rd of 3 in Indiana) at the Wayne County Historical Museum
- View the most recent exhibition at the Richmond Art Museum
- Support Miller Farm at the Richmond Farmer’s Market—both summer and winter!
- Boogie down at The Skate roller-skating rink
- Score a turkey (three strikes in a row) at either Legends Lanes or Richmond 40 Bowl
- Munch on popcorn and a slushy while taking in a movie at AMC CLASSIC Richmond 11
- Discover hidden treasures down the Antique Ally
- Adventure into new worlds through books and movies at the Morrison-Reeves Library
- Catch the most recent play at Richmond Civic Theater
- Buy in bulk at Fountain Acre’s Amish store
- Enjoy the local night life at the E Street or Smiley’s Pub
- Grab a soft pretzel and smell new scents in Bath and Body Works at the Richmond Mall
- Bird-watch at Cope Environmental Center
- Support local artisans at Warm Glow Candle Outlet
- Widen your pallet with Wine and Beer flights at The Cordial Cork
- Get in touch with your creative side at Paint the Towne
- Find your superpower with Comic Relief comic bookstore
- Turn the tables at Block Head Records store
- Make game night a regular part of your schedule with games from Tabletop Adventures
- Savor the Chocolate Trail beginning at the Old National Road West Welcome Center