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Bookmobile Ever go to the St. Joseph County Public Library’s Bookmobile? Originally the South Bend Public Library, its name changed in 1990 to the St. Joseph County Public Library. With a capacity of 2,000 volumes, the Bookmobile traveled to many neighborhoods. The $7,943.91 purchase was approved in 1952 by the Board of Education, which at [...]

East Race-Stephenson

East Race-Stephenson Underwear Mills The Stephenson Underwear Mill was one of hundreds of industries that used the water of the St. Joseph River to power their machinery. This photo taken c. 1918 shows a group of people standing near the dam located by Stephenson Underwear Mill. Go Back

West Race

The West Race - Birdsell These factories once lined the St. Joseph River, on the West Race of the river. Oliver plows got their start in 1855 in a brick building. Birdsell clover hullers, invented by John C. Birdsell, were manufactured in a building starting in 1864. Singer Sewing Machine Manufacturing, Indiana & Michigan Electric [...]

Adele Studebaker

Adele Studebaker This picture of Adelle Studebaker was taken in 1924 in the waters of a Florida beach. Second from the right, Adelle born in 1874 in South Bend, the oldest child of Henry Studebaker, one of the five brothers who founded the Studebaker Corporation. Donated by Henry Chillas Go Back

Bendix Sit-Down Strike

Bendix Sit-down Strike On the morning of November 17, 1936, several employees at the Bendix Product Corporation plant in South Bend sat down at their machines, attempting to gain bargaining power for a union. Despite being ordered to evacuate the plant, more than a thousand people refused to leave. So began the first sit-down strike [...]

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart In 1936, Amelia Earhart, one of the most famous of all aviators, landed her Lockheed Electra at Bendix Field in South Bend. Only a few months later, Earhart disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean during her ill-fated attempt to fly around the world. Standing next to Earhart in this photograph is Herb [...]

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving Day Parade Perhaps following in the tradition of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, first held in New York City in 1924, South Bend had its own gathering of bands and floats—this one is 1969--to celebrate the November holiday. The marching band from Donaldson’s Ancilla Domini High School was one of several entries that year. They [...]

Potawatomi Park Pool

Potawatomi Park Pool You can almost hear the splashes of kids jumping into the water in this circa 1960 picture postcard of the pool at Potawatomi Park. Families could (and still can!) enjoy a few hours in the water, then visit the animals at the nearby Potawatomi Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in Indiana. [...]

Hering House Halloween Party

Hering House Halloween Party Shown in this picture are children who gathered at Hering House on October 31, 1957, dressed in their favorite trick-or-treat costumes. Hering House, located at 726 W. Western Avenue in South Bend, was a civic center donated to the African American community by Clarabel and Frank Hering, who was the head [...]

Mary Ann Club

Mary Ann Club With their pearls, smart frocks, and carefully coiffed hair, the six women in this 1951 photograph exemplify fashion trends of their day.  Members of the Mary Ann Club, a social group for Studebaker’s female employees, the women (l. to r.) are Clara Sicley, Shirley Armour, Virginia Mikulak, Rachel Pelissier, Mary Ann Kumincz, [...]
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