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French Lick is a town in French Lick Township, Orange County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 1,807 at the 2010 census. In November 2006, the French Lick Resort Casino, the state's tenth casino in the modern legalized era, opened, drawing national attention to the small town. However, it is best known as the hometown of basketball legend Larry Bird.HistoryFrench Lick was originally a French trading post built near a spring and salt lick. A fortified ranger post was established near the springs in 1811. On Johnson's 1837 map of Indiana, the community was known as Salt Spring. The town was founded in 1857. French Lick's post office has been in operation since 1847.The sulfur springs were commercially exploited for medical benefits starting in 1840. By the later half of the 19th century, French Lick was famous in the United States as a spa town. In the early 20th century it also featured casinos attracting celebrities such as boxer Joe Louis, composer Irving Berlin and gangster Al Capone.Due to wartime travel restrictions, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox held spring training in French Lick from 1943-1944; in 1945 the Cubs stayed in town while the White Sox moved to Terre Haute - utilizing Memorial Stadium. In order to conserve rail transport during World War II, 1943 spring training was limited to an area east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River.Use our world travel planner: French Lick and all its delights await.
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