Studebakers and South Bend

Studebakers & South Bend                                                                         
Friday, March 22, 2019 - $116

An Indiana neighbor, South Bend is known most notably for Notre Dame University.  Today we’ll delve into another past as we explore how South Bend transitioned from a powerful industrial center to the cosmopolitan city it is today.  A local guide will tell us how the Studebaker family helped shape this community from their days as blacksmiths to wagon manufacturers to a large corporation producing  automobiles from 1902 to 1963. A narrated tour takes us along a portion of the The Studebaker-Bendix Heritage Trail, highlighting some of South Bend’s influential titans of industry.  See the JMS building, an example of Studebaker’s investment in other business concerns and South Bend’s tallest building when it was constructed in 1909. The historic Studebaker Administration Building was one of the first poured concrete structure of its size in the United States.

See modern downtown with its plazas and parks; Four Winds Field, home to the Chicago Cubs minor league affiliate, and historic Notre Dame Stadium home of the Fighting Irish. In the West Washington Historic District, we will tour the South Bend History Museum and the elegant Oliver Mansion, a 38-room Romanesque Queen Anne house with original furnishings giving you a glimpse of how the mansion appeared during the 72 years the Oliver family lived here. The History Museum features South Bend collections of photographs, newspapers dating back to 1830, film footage and a gallery related to the University of Notre Dame history. The story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, immortalized in the film “A League of Their Own,” is told here as well.  

Our lunch today is at Tippecanoe Place, built in 1889 and once the residence of Clement Studebaker, a co-founder of the Studebaker manufacturing firm. The 40-room mansion features 20 uniquely different fireplaces, on four floors filled with amazingly carved woodwork.  The final stop is at the Studebaker National Museum, home to a priceless collection of vehicles, artwork, and artifacts spanning nearly 200 years, including the largest Presidential Carriage Collection in the world.