Lafayette is the county seat of Tippecanoe County, and as of 2006 had a population of just over 57,000 people. West Lafayette is the home of Purdue University, and the two combined (Lafayette and West Lafayette) make up the Lafayette, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, which as of 2006 had a total population of 184,000, making it the 215th largest Metropolitan Area in the United States.
The city was first founded as a fort by the French in 1717, well before the territory was controlled by the United States, and the fort became a center for trade and commerce between mountain men, trappers, traders, and Native Americans. The town itself was first laid out in 1825, and the city (and fort) was renamed after the Revolutionary War hero General Lafayette, who helped the Americans during the Revolution. The city continues to be a center for commerce to this day, with a dense industrial center.
Like most cities in the Midwest, Lafayette has a humid continental climate, which gives the city four distinct seasons. During the summer, temperatures typically hit a high of 85 or so, while lows can be as low as 60 degrees. During the winter months, temperatures rarely get above 45 degrees, while lows are generally below freezing and snowfall is common.
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