A Little City With Big Ideas
You may not know our name, but we’re quite sure you’ve seen, touched,
and even eaten some of the things our citizens have made: recreational
vehicles, manufactured homes, band and musical instruments, automobiles,
pharmaceuticals, electronic components – plus food grown in our rich farmland.
With a population that barely exceeds 52,000, we boast a workforce with what
we like to think of as a strong Midwest work ethic – hardworking men and women
who take pride in their work and reflect the entrepreneurial spirit that has
grown steadily since the city’s first citizens came to this place.
By the 1800s, settlers to the area began to build homes, churches, markets and
businesses. Job opportunities were plentiful, and the railroad that still runs
through the county became one of the area’s largest employers. In addition,
Elkhart was the second city in the world to have an electric streetcar system.
As the infrastructure grew, Elkhart found itself in the enviable position of having
capabilities that surpassed other cities its size. This contributed to its manufacturing
of automobiles and eventually recreational vehicles and manufactured housing. An abundance
of quality craftsmen also led to a flourishing musical instrument market that soon
hailed the city as the “Band Instrument Capital of the World.”
Today, many of those same industries still exist, but have been joined by small tool
and die shops, an international pharmaceutical company, electronic industry components
sources – and every imaginable type of business in between! Specifically, more than:
949 widely diversified manufacturing companies
469 retail establishments
1,096 service institutions, including banks
The natural beauty of the area affords residents attractive homesites and unexcelled
recreational facilities. Add to those amenities a symphony, municipal band, concert
club, ballet company, civic theater and an art league, and you get a flavor of our
residents’ commitment to cultural endeavors.
Whether you remember us as a “little city with big ideas” or “a city with a heart,”
you won’t forget our dynamic community spirit, our people who take pride in their
accomplishments and our commitment to this place we call “home.”