The City of Tyler, TX

by admin on December 16, 2009

in Churches, Fun, Schools, Tyler Businesses

The City of Tyler, TX, though not as large as the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, holds a significant place in the state of Texas. 
Tyler is the largest city in East Texas, and the county seat and hub of Smith County. It is located approximately 100 miles east of Dallas, and about the same distance west of Shreveport, Louisiana. That space allows the city to thrive in its own right. Tyler is surrounded by suburb-like towns on every side: Lindale and Mineola to the North, Chandler to the west, Bullard and Jacksonville to the south, and Chapel Hill to the East. The closest significant city is Longview, which sits 40 miles to the east.

The City of Tyler was founded in 1846 by planners who were looking for a county seat for Smith County. It was named after President John Tyler. During the Civil War, the city hosted a prison camp called “Camp Ford.” At that time, the city was home to more than 1000 people.

Today, Tyler is home to more than 100,000 residents, and is probably best known for it’s beautiful roses. The city is nicknamed “The Rose Capital of America.” It is estimated that 20% of roses grown in the US originate from Tyler. Each fall, the city celebrates its reputation as it welcomes thousands of visitors to the Rose Festival. More than 100,000 visitors enjoy the festivities, which include a coronation of the new Rose Queen, and a large parade through the city. The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, which is the largest in the entire nation, is central to the festivities.

Tyler is often referred to as a Retirement Community. According to GreatPlacesToRetire.com, Tyler is “one of the great places in the U.S” for seniors to settle down and retire. And thousands of elder Americans do just that because of factors such as the low cost of living, the moderate size, and the accessibility to a major metropolitan area. It is a great place for those who don’t like the hustle and bustle of the big city, but don’t like the isolation of the small towns either.[ad#large-blog-block]

But the city of Tyler is not just a retirement community. In fact, it hosts some of the most popular colleges in the region. Tyler Junior College is a 2-year community college with more than 12,000 students enrolling each year. TJC also offers continuing education classes to thousands of residents in Smith County.

In addition, Tyler is home to The University of Texas at Tyler. UT Tyler is a satellite campus of the University of Texas, whose main campus is in Austin. UT Tyler is a four year university with more than 6000 students.

So is Tyler a Retirement Community or a Student Community? Some say both. Perhaps it is simply a family community. The cost of real estate and overall cost of living are low, and the opportunities for families abound, especially in the area of childhood education. Tyler hosts large public schools, and seemingly limitless opportunities for families who prefer private schools. Since Tyler is a very religious community, there are many Christian Schools which offer a variety of educational choices. Bishop TK Gorman Schools are a popular choice, especially for Catholics in East Texas. All Saints Episcopal School, The Brook Hill School, Kings Academy, Christian Heritage School, Grace Community, and East Texas Christian School all serve to educate students from a Protestant Christian perspective.

And of course, churches play a huge role in the life of Tylerites. The common cliche “A church on every street corner” almost rings true for the city. There are centers of worship for every denomination, of every size and shape. Baptist and Methodist churches are especially common, but there are plenty of other as ewll. Three of the most notable Tyler churches are Green Acres Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, and Grace Community Church.

Economic opportunities are expanding in Tyler as well. The region was historically an oil rich area, but the economy is very diverse. Some of the most notable employers are Tyler Pipe, Train Heating and Air, and the Target Distribution Center. The city is also home to large retail districts. There are always jobs available in retail stores and restaurants.

So what do Tylerites do for fun? Besides going to the popular Rose Garden, the wonderful Caldwell Zoo, or the lovely and peaceful Tyler State Park, Tyler residents generally enjoy fishing and hunting, shopping, and high school football. During the fall season, local stadiums are packed as thousands of men, women and children cheer as their sons and nephews beat up on their hated rivals. Those who don’t like football so much will always enjoy going to their favorite buffet (and there are many, many buffets!) and catching a movie at one of Tyler’s three cinemas.

Overall, the city of Tyler is a wonderful place to raise a family, go to school, and settle down during your twilight years. It’s lush history, spacious lots, low cost of living, and abundant opportunities make living there an eventful–if not so fast-paced–experience.

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