Located in Northwest Indiana, along the Indiana-Illinois border, Munster is a small-town community with the convenience of being located within 30 miles of a major city.
The Potawatomi Native Americans were the first to inhabit the area, although the French claimed what is now Munster as French territory in the late 17th century. The British claimed the very same land in the 1760s, until it finally settled in American hands thanks to George Rogers Clark, who overran the British and took the land in the process. The town is named after Jacob Munster, a young Dutch man who owned the general store in the area, which also served as a post office. Like most of America, it struggled during the Great Depression, but Munster has grown in recent years on the heels of a 20-year Comprehensive Plan put forth by the Munster City Council in 2010.
The School Town of Munster operates the five public schools in town, and it is one of the most decorated school districts in the country. All five schools have been recognized as Indiana Blue Ribbon schools and have been awarded five-star ratings. Munster High School has been featured on Newsweek’s 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Top Schools List. Interstates 65, 80, 90 and 94 are all located within a 20 mile radius, making interstate transportation easy for residents. Three airports are located within 50 miles of Munster, with the closest being the Gary/Chicago International Airport. Most residents, however, take the longer trip to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, due to the abundance and variety of flights offered.
Munster is home to ten parks, three lakes, eleven miles of bike paths and a cutting-edge public art and sculpture program, as well as a Ted Nugent-designed public golf course and driving range. The newest and largest development in Munster, Centennial Park, opened in 2007 and was built on a landfill. The park has garnered a number of awards, thanks to its environmentally-conscious design features and LEED certification. One of the most notable aspects of the park is how it is powered, with methane gas from the landfill captured and converted to electricity. Centennial Park also hosts a number of popular events, including the Munster Music Festival, the Grape Escape Wine Festival, an outdoor movie series, and Fourth of July fireworks displays over the lake.