South Bend 1928
South Bend, Indiana is a wonderful place to live. "South Bendís rich and colorful history began in December 1679 when French explorer Robert Rene Cavalier Sieur de La Salle landed on the banks of the St. Joseph River, at what is now Riverview Cemetery. Two years later, in the same area, under the shade of a great oak tree, La Salle held a council with Indian leaders, which led to the Miami Treaties. Council Oak stood in Highland Cemetery for years, until disease and an unfortunate lightening strike resulted in its removal in 1992. Almost 150 years later, in 1820, Pierre Navarre built a cabin on the North side of the Joseph river near what is now the Michigan St. Bridge. Three years later Alexis Coquillard founded a fur trade post a short distance from the site of La Salleís landing and the settlement that came to be known as South Bend was founded. Over the next twenty y ears South Bend grew slowly until 1842, when the Very Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C. and six Catholic brothers established one of South Bendís most famous institutions, the University of Notre Dame. Thirteen years later, the Mother House of Sisters of the Holy Cross and St. Maryís college moved to their present location, just opposite the University of Notre Dame, from Bertrand, Michigan.
In the second half of the 19th Century, South Bendís growth was marked by rapid industrial expansion. Locally owned industry included the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, the worldís largest produce of wagons; the Oliver Chilled Plow Works; the Birdsell Manufacturing Company; and the Bendix Corporations; as well as numerous smaller supporting industries. These corporations provided the foundation for South Bendís growth over the next 100 years. Railroads were built connecting South Bend to Toledo and Chicago in 1851 and street car lines were developed in 1880. By 1890 an extensive commuter line had been established, and by 1920 South Bend had grown to be Indianaís fourth largest city.
The massive industrial growth that marked the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries slowed in the years following World War II. A number of the large industries that had helped build South Bend are no longer in the area." The city has rebounded and forged ahead into the new century. The historic homes on West Washington Street are a reminder of times long since passed. (-Courtsey City of South Bend-)
Historical information, on the City and historic homes, has been obtained through many sources, including The City of South Bend , The Northern Indiana Center for History , The Oliver Inn Bed and Breakfast and the St. Joseph County Public Library .
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