How to Find the History of a Neighborhood

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If you've lived in the same location all your life, you may never have thought twice about the history of your neighborhood. Certain areas have rich, colorful histories that may not be immediately apparent to outsiders or even those who live there. You can find out about the history of a particular neighborhood in just a few minutes using the Internet.

  • Start by visiting the official website of the city or area you live in. For example, if you live in West Washington, Ind., you would visit the West Washington website. Look for a "History" link or anything similarly labeled, such as "Timeline." This link will provide you with a general overview of the history of that neighborhood, including when it was founded and information about its income levels, population, school districts and more.

  • Make an appointment to see the city historian in the area where you live. This person typically has an office located in city hall or one of the other main local government buildings in your city. The city historian will be able to give you access to statistical information and newspaper archives that can help you trace the growth of your neighborhood over the years.

  • Visit the main branch of your local library. Libraries often have access to decades' worth of historical information about the neighborhoods in the surrounding area. This can help you trace the growth of your neighborhood from its roots to the type of area you know it as today.

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