Other Oliver Owned Businesses

Besides the Oliver Chilled Plow Company, James Oliver also built one of the best and most magnificent hotels in Indiana. The Oliver Hotel opened in 1899, boasted 136 rooms and was lauded as one of the finest hotels in the United States. The gala opening in 1899 drew over 2,000 guests. The hotel occupied the northwest corner of Main and Washington Street. Picture courtsey, "Images of America, South Bend, Indiana" by Kay Marnon Danielson.




Another exterior shot of the hotel, date unknown.







Left: Grand Opening. The Oliver Hotel opened August 1899. The elaborate lobby was all marble. Joan Dressel photo, from "South Bend Remembered" . Right: Another picture of the hotel lobby. Courtsey Northern Indiana Center For History.

The Oliver Hotel, circa 1950

Oliver Hotel site, 2002. Today the site of the former Oliver Hotel is home to the Downtown Holiday Inn and City Center Building.






Left: Northern Indiana Railroad, Bendix Line, August 18, 1938. This car is westbound on Washington Street. In the background is the former Oliver Hotel, which was once the "best place in town." Also in the background, across the street is the JMS (John M. Studebaker) Building. M.D. McCarter Photograph. Right: Same location, circa 2003. Today City Center occupies the corner.

Another building constructed by James and Joseph Oliver was the Oliver Opera House. Both enjoyed the theater and attended as often as their busy schedules permitted. At the time only two other theaters existed in South Bend and neither was considered adequate for the growing city. Construction began in March of 1884 and the Oliver Opera House opened October 28, 1885, with the performance of W.E. Sheridan in the role of Louis XI. The lavishly decorated theater provided a place for high quality entertainment at costs ranging from twenty five cents to one dollar. The Opera House sat north of the JMS (John M. Studebaker ) Building and faced Main Street. Today the former location is a parking lot. Picture courtsey, "Images of America, South Bend, Indiana" by Kay Marnon Danielson.



Former location of the Oliver Opera House. This view is looking southeast. The Opera House once occupied the area now the parking lot. The north wall of the JMS Building is pictured.





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