A popular tourist destination for the region, Evansville is home to Tropicana Evansville, the state's first casino, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, one of the oldest and largest zoos in the state, and a robust sports tourism industry.
In 2008, Evansville was voted the best city in the country in which "to live, work, and play" by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 the 11th best. Following the abandonment of Angel Mounds between the years 14, tribes of Miami, Shawnee, Piankeshaw, Wyandot, Delaware and other Native American peoples were known to be in the area.
There was a continuous human presence in the area that became Evansville from at least 8,000 BC by Paleo-Indians. The land encompassing Evansville was formally relinquished by the Delaware in 1805 to General William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory.
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The land comprising the former town of Lamasco was platted in 1837 and was ultimately annexed in 1870.
Evansville's economy received a boost in the early 1830s when Indiana unveiled plans to build the longest canal in the world, a 400-mile ditch connecting the Great Lakes at Toledo, Ohio with the inland rivers at Evansville.
Archaeologists have identified several archaic and ancient sites in and near Evansville, with the most complex at Angel Mounds from about 900 A. French hunters and trappers were among the first Europeans to come to the area, using Vincennes as a base of operations. purchased about 441 acres and named it "Mc Gary's Landing".
In 1814, to attract more people, Mc Gary renamed his village "Evansville" in honor of Colonel Robert Morgan Evans.
The University of Evansville is a small private school located on the city's east side, while the University of Southern Indiana is a larger public institution located just outside the city's westside limits.