Tripti Joshi (Editor)

South Bend, Indiana

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100,886 (2013)

41.88 sq mi

Pete Buttigieg (D)

South Bend, Indiana Culture of South Bend, Indiana

Points of interest
Studebaker National Museum, Potawatomi Zoo, Notre Dame Stadium, Basilica of the Sacred Heart - Notre Dame, Morris Performing Arts Center

Colleges and Universities
Indiana University South Bend, Ivy Tech Community College-Northcentral, Mendoza College of Business, Brown Mackie College - South Bend, ITT Technical Institute-South Bend

Unemployment rate
7.1% (Feb 2015)

Map of South Bend, Indiana

South Bend is a city in and the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296. It is the fourth-largest city in Indiana, serving as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. The highly ranked University of Notre Dame is located just to the north in unincorporated Notre Dame, Indiana and is an integral contributor to the region's economy.


The area was originally settled in the early 19th century by fur traders and was established as a city in 1865. The St. Joseph River shaped South Bend's economy through the mid-20th century. River access assisted heavy industrial development such as that of the Studebaker Corporation, the Oliver Chilled Plow Company, and other large corporations.

The population of South Bend declined after 1960, when it had a peak population of 132,445. This was chiefly due to migration to suburban areas as well as the demise of Studebaker and other heavy industry. Today, the largest industries in South Bend are health care, education, small business, and tourism. Remaining large corporations include Crowe Horwath, Honeywell, and AM General.

Recently, the city population has started to grow for the first time in nearly fifty years. The old Studebaker plant and surrounding area, now called Ignition Park, is being redeveloped as a technology center to attract new industry.

The city has also been featured in national news coverage for Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has achieved recognition for his various economic development projects within the city, his position as the youngest mayor to be elected in a city of more than 100,000 residents, and his essay in which he came out as the first openly gay executive in the state of Indiana.

Visit south bend indiana

Elvis presley notre dame university south bend indiana october 20 1976

Early history

The St. Joseph Valley was long occupied by Native Americans. One of the earliest known groups to occupy what would later become northern Indiana was the Miami tribe. Later, the Potawatomi moved into the region, utilizing the rich food and natural resources found along the river. The Potawatomi occupied this region of Indiana until most of them were forcibly removed in the 1840s. The South Bend area was so popular because its portage was the shortest overland route from the St. Joseph River to the Kankakee River. This route was used for centuries, first by the Native Americans, then by French explorers, missionaries and traders. The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the first white European to set foot in what is now South Bend, used this portage between the St. Joseph River and the Kankakee River in December 1679.

First settlements

The first permanent white settlers of South Bend were fur traders who established trading posts in the area. In 1820, Pierre Frieschutz Navarre arrived, representing the American Fur Company (AFC) of John Jacob Astor. He settled near what is now downtown South Bend. Alexis Coquillard, another agent of the AFC, established a trading post known as the Big St. Joseph Station. In 1827, Lathrop Minor Taylor established a post for Samuel Hanna and Company, in whose records the name St. Joseph's, Indiana was used. By 1829, the town was growing, with Coquillard and Taylor emerging as leaders. They applied for a post office. Taylor was appointed postmaster, and the post office was designated as Southold, Allen County, Indiana. The following year, the name was changed to South Bend, probably to ease confusion, as several other communities were named Southold at the time.

In 1831, South Bend was laid out as the county seat and as one of the four original townships of St. Joseph County with 128 residents. Soon after, design began on what would become the town of South Bend. The town was formally established in 1835 and rapidly grew. In 1856, attorney Andrew Anderson founded May Oberfell Lorber, the oldest business in St. Joseph County. He compiled a complete index of South Bend's real estate records.

In 1841, Schuyler Colfax was appointed St. Joseph County deputy auditor. Colfax purchased the South Bend Free Press and then turned it into the pro-Whig newspaper, the St. Joseph Valley Register. He was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1850 where he opposed the barring of African American migration to Indiana. He joined the Republican party, like many Whigs of his day, and was elected to Congress in 1855 and became Speaker of the House in 1863 under Abraham Lincoln. In 1868, he was elected Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant. Colfax returned to South Bend after his stint in Washington and was buried in the City Cemetery.

Early business

During the late 1830s through the 1850s, much of South Bend's development centered on the industrial complex of factories located on the two races (man-made canals along the St. Joseph River in South Bend). Several dams were created, and factories were built on each side of the river. On October 4, 1851, the first steam locomotive entered South Bend. This led to a general shift of businesses from the river toward the railroad. In 1852, Henry Studebaker set up Studebaker wagon shop, later becoming the world's largest wagon builder and the only one to later succeed as an automobile manufacturer. The Singer Sewing Company and the Oliver Chilled Plow Company were among other companies that made manufacturing the driving force in the South Bend economy until the mid-20th century. Another important economic act was the dredging of the Kankakee River in 1884 to create farmland. During this time period there was a great immigration of Europeans, such as Polish, Hungarian, Irish, German, Italian, and Swedish people to South Bend because the rise of area factories.

South Bend benefited from its location on the Michigan Road, the main north–south artery of northern Indiana in the 19th century. Another significant development occurred near South Bend in 1842, when Father Edward Sorin founded the University of Notre Dame just north of the town. It became a major factor in the area's economy and culture.

Establishment and early history

On May 22, 1865, South Bend was incorporated as a city, and its first elections were held on June 5, 1865, with William G.George elected as its first mayor

Olivet AME was founded in South Bend in March 1870, making it the first African-American church in the city. Olivet AME is still an active African Methodist Episcopal Church, and celebrated its 145th anniversary in 2015.

A sergeant from South Bend fired the first American shells against Germany in World War I.

History with Ku Klux Klan

In 1923, the African-American owner of a soda fountain received a letter signed KKK threatening to kill an African-American man held in the city's jail and harm the rest of the city's African-American population. Within a few days over a thousand African-Americans fled the city.

In 1924, the Ku Klux Klan held a conference and planned a parade from its local headquarters at 230 S. Michigan St. In preparation, Klan members were posted around town to direct traffic. Notre Dame students, well aware of the anti-Catholic nature of the Klan, did not take kindly to this state of affairs, and before noon all of the Klansmen traffic directors had been "unmasked and unrobed." Notre Dame students continued the fight, with several hundred gathering outside of the Klan headquarters, throwing rocks and smashing windows in protest. Local police as well as Notre Dame officials eventually managed to convince them to return to campus. Apparently even legendary football coach Knute Rockne became involved in the struggle to calm down the students.

Later business

Other industries developed in South Bend in the early 20th century, including Birdsell Manufacturing Company, the Bendix Corporation, Honeywell, AlliedSignal, South Bend Lathe Works, the O'Brien Paint Corp., the South Bend Toy Company, South Bend Range, South Bend Bait Company, and South Bend Watch Company. Workers at the Bendix Corporation actually staged the first sit-in strike in American history in 1936. Fast development led to the creation of electric rail transportation throughout the area and, in 1925, the South Shore interurban streetcar service was established from downtown South Bend to downtown Chicago. South Bend was the first community in the United States to have an electrified trolley system (even though it was a few years before it was usable and profitable).

On June 30, 1934, the Merchants National Bank in South Bend was the last bank to be robbed by the notorious "Dillinger gang".

Recent history

In 1949, legendary percussionist Lionel Hampton was informed that his concert at South Bend's Palais du Royale would be a blacks only event; he threatened to call for a boycott of the venue, and the affair proceeded as an integrated evening, which newspapers said led to all attendees breaking out in "paroxysms of ecstasy."

By 1950, more than half of all employment was in the manufacturing sector. Due to economic difficulties, Studebaker closed its automotive manufacturing plants in South Bend in December 1963. A general decline in manufacturing soon followed as industry was being restructured nationwide. By the year 2000, manufacturing was only 16 percent of the local economy. Due to the severe loss of jobs, the city's population decreased by nearly 30,000 people during that period.

In 1984, South Bend community leaders began seeking a minor-league baseball team for the city. A stadium was constructed in 1986 and a 10-year player-development contract was signed with the Chicago White Sox. The team would be known as the South Bend White Sox. In 1994, the team's name was changed to the South Bend Silver Hawks. The Silver Hawks changed their name to The South Bend Cubs in 2015. They are a Class A minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in the Midwest League.

In 2015, the City of South Bend celebrated its 150th birthday. The celebration, lasting a year long, culminated with a celebration along the St. Joseph River with the lighting of the first River Lights. Mayor Pete Buttigieg welcomed the coming of the next 150 years of South Bend's heritage accompanied by five previous South Bend mayors: Steve Luecke, Joe Kernan, Roger Parent, Peter Nemeth and Jerry Miller.

As of 2015, the city began seeing modest population growth of 286 for the first time in nearly fifty years. The old Studebaker plant in South Bend is currently a new tech center, as the city is trying to attract the new industry. The area where the plants were abandoned is now called Ignition Park and is attracting new businesses.


South Bend is located at 41°40′21″N 86°15′19″W (41.672597, −86.255157), 5 mi (8.0 km) from the Michigan border and approximately equidistant from Illinois and Ohio. The city is 93 mi (150 km) from Chicago. The nearest shore of Lake Michigan is 20 mi (32 km) away.

According to the 2010 census, South Bend has a total area of 41.877 square miles (108.46 km2), of which 41.46 square miles (107.38 km2) (or 99%) is land and 0.417 square miles (1.08 km2) (or 1%) is water.


The St. Joseph River flows from the east end of the city turning north near the city center, giving South Bend its name at the bend in the river. South Bend is located on the North-South continental divide, and the river flows northwest into Lake Michigan. The downtown area is located in the north-central part of the city along the St. Joseph River. Notre Dame, Indiana, is directly adjacent to the north. The city extends further north on the west side, mainly with manufacturing and distribution facilities near the South Bend International Airport. Mishawaka, Indiana, is adjacent to South Bend's east side.


South Bend has a humid continental climate, with a Köppen climate classification of Dfa. Lake Michigan exerts a great influence on the climate of South Bend, including lake effect snow in winter and a tendency to moderate temperatures year round. June through August are the warmest months, with average temperatures above 69 °F (21 °C). Normally, 42 days with thunderstorms occur each year. The snowiest month is usually January, with snowfall normally recorded from October through April. On average, South Bend receives 81.8 inches (208 cm) of snow per year. Spring and fall can be mild and overcast, but also severely stormy at times with 293 partly cloudy to cloudy days each year.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 101,168 people, 39,760 households, and 23,526 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,440.1 inhabitants per square mile (942.1/km2). There were 46,324 housing units at an average density of 1,117.3 per square mile (431.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.5% White, 26.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.9% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.0% of the population.

There were 39,760 households of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.8% were non-families. 33.3% Of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.19.

The median age in the city was 33.3 years. 27.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 10% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.1% were from 25 to 44; 23.1% were from 45 to 64; and 12.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.

2000 census

As of the 2000 census, there were 107,789 people, 42,908 households, and 25,959 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,786.4 people per square mile (1,075.9/km²). There were 46,349 housing units at an average density of 1,198.1 per square mile (462.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.1% White, 24.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.9% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.5% of the population.

Major ancestry groups reported by residents: Black or African American - 25%, German - 17%, Polish - 10%, Irish - 10%, Mexican - 7%, English - 6%, "United States/American" - 4%, Hungarian - 3%, Italian - 3%, French (except Basque) - 2%.

There were 42,908 households out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. Of all households, 32.5% were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.12.

The city's population was distributed across all age groups, with 27.3% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,439, and the median income for a family was $39,046. Males had a median income of $31,958 versus $23,744 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,121. About 13.6% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.


Per the 2013 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, the following ancestries were reported: African-American - 26%, German - 14.8%, Irish - 10.4%, Polish - 8.2%, English - 5.0%, American - 3.3%, Italian - 2.6%, Hungarian - 2.4%, French - 2.0%, Dutch - 1.4%, Swedish - 1.1%, Belgian - 0.9%.


South Bend's location on the St. Joseph River led to an industrial-based economy in the late 19th century and early-to-mid-20th century. In 1923, industrialist and entrepreneur Vincent H. Bendix selected South Bend as the site of his new manufacturing plant for automotive parts. He chose South Bend primarily because it was on a rail line midway between Chicago and Detroit, the two automotive manufacturing centers of the United States at the time. Eventually, the Bendix corporation built a vast manufacturing complex on its South Bend acreage served by the major railroads, including a huge shipping and receiving building where railroad cars could enter at one end, unload, and depart at the opposite end.

By the end of World War II, manufacturing began to diminish. The Studebaker plant, which had at one time employed 45,000 citizens, closed in 1963; its engine block plant shuttered the following year. Parts of the Bendix factory complex were later acquired and subdivided between Honeywell Corporation and Bosch Corporation respectively. Honeywell Aerospace continues to manufacture aviation products at its former Bendix facility. In 2010, Bosch announced that it would cease all operations at its Bendix plant location in South Bend by the end of 2011. Bosch vacated the building entirely in October 2012. Curtis Products of South Bend moved into the building in May 2013.


Since the 1960s, education, health care, and small business have come to the forefront of South Bend's economy, though the city has never regained the level of prosperity it enjoyed before that time. Nearby University of Notre Dame is a large contributor to the local economy. The university is the largest employer in St. Joseph County, employing 5,590 people.

Health care is another major contributor to the South Bend economy. In 2012, Memorial Health System announced that it was merging with Elkhart General Hospital, located in Elkhart County, to form Beacon Health System. Beacon is the second largest employer in the city, employing 3,450 people. Other notable businesses include Honeywell, Bosch, and PEI Genesis. AM General, Crowe Horwath, Martin's Super Markets, and Schurz Communications all have corporate headquarters in South Bend.

According to the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's top employers are:


Efforts are under way to spur economic growth in South Bend. The St. Joe Valley Metronet is a 50-mile dark, fiber optic network that encircles South Bend and Mishawaka that allows for strong telecommunications connectivity. The South Bend Metronet, named Zing, is bringing more high-tech firms to the city and surrounding area. This telecommunications network has allowed for the advent of various data centers in South Bend, which serves as a hub between Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Cincinnati. The City of South Bend recently announced it will provide free wireless internet access via the Metronet in the city's downtown and East Bank areas.

The Union Station Technology Center was bought from the city in 1979 and is currently Northern Indiana's largest data center. It is also home to enFocus, a fellowship program that began in 2012 which employs local graduates who work on local projects with a focus on innovation and social entrepreneurship. There are currently plans to extend the data center into a fully operating high tech data hub in the old Studebaker "Ivy Tower" assembly plant next door, creating what will be called the Renaissance District. This project is set to break ground in 2015 and could take more than a decade to fully complete.

Innovation park and Ignition park

Innovation Park and Ignition Park, dual-certified technology parks, have already attracted technology businesses to South Bend. Located across the street from the University of Notre Dame, Innovation Park was completed in 2009 and houses innovative researchers from companies and the university. Ignition Park, located just south of the downtown area, is planned to become home to 3 million square feet of high tech space on 140 acres of land previously owned by the Studebaker Corporation. The first tenant, Data Realty, moved into the location in the fall of 2012. The second building in the new park will be used as a research and testing facility for massive turbo machinery as part of a partnership between the city, General Electric, Great Lakes Capital, Indiana Michigan Power, University of Notre Dame, and the state of Indiana. This project began construction in 2015 and is expected to have an economic impact of $15 million annually.


Redevelopment is underway for some of the abandoned industrial facilities, with the abandoned Oliver Corporation buildings being the most recent example of reclaimed property. The city also faced programs with large swaths of vacant housing after the decline of the manufacturing industry. In 2013, 1,347 homes were vacant or abandoned. However, the city created the Vacant and Abandoned Properties Initiative in February 2013, which aimed to take care of 1,000 vacant or abandoned homes in 1,000 days, either through demolition, repairing, or some other satisfactory means. As of June 2015, 828 homes have been demolished, repaired, or handed off to partners.

The Smart Street Initiative, a 20-year plan to make the city safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, began in 2013 with the conversion of one-way streets to two-way streets. The hope is to bring more businesses to the area, create shorter travel routes, and to reduce speeding. This phase of the project was expected to be completed by 2016. The other part of the initiative is the West Side Main Streets Plan, which is a revitalization plan for the Lincoln Way West and Western Avenue corridor focusing on guiding business owners, residents, and developers to improve the street front by offering a reimbursement on exterior improvements from the city and the Urban Enterprise Association.


In 2012, Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked South Bend eighth in the "Ten Best Cities for Cheapskates". South Bend was also ranked among the 40 hottest real estate markets for business by Expansion Management magazine, and Smart+Connected Communities Institute featured South Bend as one of the top ten cities worldwide that is reinventing themselves through technology.


South Bend was influenced by a large influx of Polish Catholic immigrants in the late 19th century. Dyngus Day is widely celebrated on the Monday after Easter and is the beginning of the city elections campaign season. Fat Tuesday is also celebrated in South Bend, with paczkis being a staple food product in the city for the day. The city and surrounding county have 23 Catholic churches, 11 Catholic schools and three Catholic universities (the University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College, and Saint Mary's College, all located in the adjacent city of Notre Dame).

Music festivals

The city has several annual festivals. The South Bend International Festival began ten years ago as the South Bend Reggae Festival and now features local and international musical artists who perform in African, Latino, and American cultural styles. Proceeds from the festival are given to the Pangani Foundation of South Bend, which provides medical supplies to hospitals in Malawi.

WBYT FM - B100 (Country Station) hosts an Annual All Day Country Concert, with over 37,000 free tickets in early September.

The World Pulse Festival, broadcast by LeSEA Broadcasting network, is held annually in South Bend. It is hosted by Pulse FM, a local Christian music radio station. The event is an annual Contemporary Christian music festival, attracting more than 50,000 visitors each year.

In 2013, a new annual festival began in South Bend called South by South Bend, named after the famous South By Southwest of Austin, TX. The festival is a celebration of the local music scene, with local bands and artists performing on the park grounds and other public venues around the city. The goals of the festival include strengthening the bond between the communities of South Bend and Notre Dame, supporting local artistic expression, and promoting local business. In 2015, the festival was renamed Sounds by South Bend, to avoid confusion with the Austin festival and more accurately represent the purpose of the event.

Museums, arts and entertainment

The South Bend Museum of Art is located in Century Center in downtown South Bend. The museum was opened to the public in March 1996, and features a variety of artists from South Bend and the Michiana region. Currently, over 850 works are featured in the permanent collection. The museum also offers several classes and workshops for adults and children.

The History Museum

The History Museum is the public name of the Northern Indiana Historical Society, the second-oldest historical society in Indiana, which was established in 1867 to collect and interpret the history of the northern Indiana region by St. Joseph County's leading citizens. The Oliver Mansion (also known by its original name, Copshaholm) is one of the central features of the museum. The 38-room mansion was built in 1895 and is currently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The home was built by Joseph Doty Oliver, the son of James Oliver, the founder of the Oliver Farm Equipment Company, once the largest plow manufacturer in the United States. In addition to the Oliver Mansion and the Workers Home (a 1920s Polish-American family home), and museum includes areas dedicated to the history of the St. Joseph River Valley, the University of Notre Dame, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and the Kidsfirst Children's Museum.

Studebaker National Museum

The Studebaker National Museum holds a large collection of wagons and automobiles from the 150-year history of the Studebaker Corporation. The museum began as a collection of wagons and automobiles produced by Studebaker, including the presidential carriages of Lincoln, McKinley, Harrison, and Grant. The company donated the collection to the city of South Bend in 1966. The collection was housed in various locations from Century Center to its current location in downtown South Bend, adjacent to The History Museum. The two museums share one campus, and together form The Museums at Washington and Chapin. The former South Bend mansion of Clement Studebaker, named Tippecanoe Place, is now a restaurant.

Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center

The Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center is housed in the former Engman Public Natatorium. What was once the city's first indoor swimming pool excluded and then segregated against African Americans for its first twenty-eight years. In 2010, IU South Bend re-opened the building, and now offers tours and events focusing on the histories of civil rights and the experiences of African Americans, Latinxs, and LGBTQ peoples in South Bend.

Theatric buildings

The Morris Performing Arts Center, built in 1922, included the Palace Theater, a venue for vaudeville. The theatre's heyday was in 1940 with the premiere of Knute Rockne, All American, starring Ronald Reagan. A crowd estimated at 24,000 gathered outside. The theater was scheduled for demolition in 1959, when E. M. Morris purchased the facility and sold it to the city for one dollar, after which it was renamed the Morris Civic Auditorium. A total renovation was completed in 2000. The Morris Performing Arts Center also includes the Palais Royale Ballroom, on which restoration was recently completed. The center houses the Broadway Theater League and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra's Shanghai-born conductor, Tsung Yeh, was the first conductor ever to hold music directorships of both a western symphony orchestra and a major Chinese orchestra. Marian High School holds its graduation ceremony at the theater.

South Bend is also home to The South Bend Hot Patooties, a group that performs a shadowcast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The group has performed at various South Bend venues including the State Theater, Legends of Notre Dame, The Potawatomi Conservatories, and the historic Birdsell Mansion.

The South Bend Civic Theatre, founded in 1957, was for many years located at The Firehouse, 701 Portage Avenue. In 2007, a new theatre opened at 403 North Main Street, in what was formerly the Scottish Rite Building. The new facility includes a 209-seat main-stage auditorium and a 90-seat "black-box" studio theatre. The South Bend Civic Theatre produces more than a dozen plays per year, including several productions in its Family Series.


The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association, sponsor of the world's largest chamber music competition, was founded in South Bend in 1973. The annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition is held on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Schuyler Colfax, the 17th Vice President of the United States, is interred in South Bend City Cemetery.

South Bend Cubs

The city is home to the South Bend Cubs, a Class A Minor League Baseball team, which plays at Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium in downtown South Bend. In 2014, the franchise changed its name and logo to the South Bend Cubs and became affiliated with the Chicago Cubs; prior to this, it had been known as the South Bend Silver Hawks and affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2005, the franchise nearly moved to Marion, Illinois, but a group of investors, led by former Indiana Governor and South Bend Mayor Joe Kernan, bought the Silver Hawks in order to ensure the team stayed in South Bend.

Buildings and stadium

The Ballpark Synagogue is a 1901 synagogue building on the grounds of the ballpark, which serves as the team's Fan store. It is the Nation's only Ballpark Synagogue and it is available for weddings and other events. The stadium is also used for multiple community events. In 2015, the South Bend Cubs broke their previous ticket sales record, with a total of 347,678 tickets sold.

South Bend Roller Girls

The city also hosts the South Bend Roller Girls, the city's non-profit flat-track roller derby league. Founded in March 2010, the league has worked to support fundraising for local charities, such as the Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program, the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and the St. Joe County Humane Society. The South Bend Roller Girls traveling/competitive team, The Studebreakers, is named after the historic Studebaker Corporation. The team is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.

East Race Waterway

South Bend is home to the first artificial whitewater center in North America, the East Race Waterway, which is adjacent to Century Center. The East Race Waterway is one of only four operating artificial whitewater facilities in the United States, the others being Dickerson Whitewater Course (in Dickerson, Maryland), U.S. National Whitewater Center (in Charlotte, North Carolina), Adventure Sports Center International (in McHenry, Maryland), and Riversports Rapids (in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma). The East Race Waterway is one of only six such facilities to have ever been operated in the US, the others being the four aforementioned courses and the now-defunct Ocoee Whitewater Center (in Ducktown, Tennessee). Prior to the opening of Riversports Rapids, the East Race had long been the only such US facility not located in an East Coast state.

Other sports

During World War II, the South Bend Blue Sox All-American Girls Professional Baseball League team was formed in the city. The team participated in all the league's seasons from 1943 to 1954.

High-school sports are also a big draw in South Bend.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish provide much of the sports action for the South Bend locale. Football Saturdays have become a major event for the city, attracting fans who come to watch the game and have tailgate parties. Notre Dame basketball games are also popular, along with other university sports. The College Football Hall of Fame was moved from Kings Mills, Ohio, to downtown South Bend in 1995, though the Hall of Fame relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 2014.

The Blackthorn Golf Course in South Bend is home to the Four Winds Invitational of the Symetra Tour.

Along with Notre Dame, South Bend was the site of the VII Special Olympics Summer World Games in 1987. Notre Dame also hosted the 1983 AAU Junior Olympics.

Parks and recreation

The Potawatomi Zoo opened in 1902 and is the oldest in the state. It was founded in Leeper Park and was moved to its current location in Potawatomi Park in 1912. It features more than 400 animals in its 23 acres (93,000 m2). The zoo is run by the South Bend Parks and Recreation Department. Along with the zoo, the South Bend Parks and Recreation department operates over 50 parks, golf courses, and recreational areas throughout the city. Notable parks include Rum Village Park, which has a disc golf course, mountain bike trails, hiking trails, and a nature center, and Potawatomi Park, which has the region's largest Universally Accessible Playground and an outdoors Performance Arts Pavilion and viewing area.

Near the Potawatomi Zoo are the Potawatomi Greenhouses and the Ella Morris and Muessel-Ellison Botanical Conservatories. The greenhouses were originally constructed in the 1920s, with the conservatories added in the 1960s. In 2007, the greenhouses and conservatories were in danger of closing due to increased operating costs, but a campaign by the Botanical Society of South Bend was able to raise funds to keep the facilities operating.

The city is home to the East Race Waterway, which is used for boating and water sports (see above).

While developing the 2006 City Plan, the city's 20-year comprehensive plan, citizens said the encouragement of bicycling as a form of alternative transportation was a top priority. In 2010, South Bend became one of 303 communities in the United States to be recognized as a "Bicycle-Friendly Community" by the League of American Bicyclists due to the city's "remarkable commitments to bicycling. The city has developed a long-term plan for building a 116-mile South Bend Bikeway network. As of late 2014, 66.8 miles of bicycle routes have been established: 17.4 miles of multipurpose paths separated from streets, 17.0 miles of striped bike lanes, and 32.4 other designated on-street routes. The area is also served by the St. Joseph County Parks Dept, which maintains eight different parks and recreation areas. The Parks department serves the metro area and is headed by a permanent staff (Director- Evie Kirkwood) and an appointed Board (Larry Catanzarite - President)

Law and government

South Bend government follows the mayor-council representative model of municipal government and, along with the St. Joseph county government, occupies the County-City Building in downtown South Bend.

The government of South Bend is led by the office of the mayor, who is elected to a four-year term and acts as chief executive for the city government. The current mayor is Pete Buttigieg.

The legislative branch of the South Bend government is the Common Council. The council is composed of nine members, each elected to a four-year term. South Bend is divided into six districts, with each district electing one council member. The final three members are elected at-large. Under Indiana law, the council may pass resolutions and ordinances.Resolutions relate to internal council procedures, while ordinances address municipal codes.

The final elected member of the South Bend government is the City Clerk, who is responsible for maintaining official city records and providing general clerical assistance to the City Council.

Michael A. Dvorak is the Prosecuting Attorney for the 60th Judicial Circuit, which consists of St. Joseph County. He was first elected in 2002.

State and national representation

South Bend is represented in the Indiana House of Representatives by B. Patrick Bauer, David L. Niezgodski, and Ryan Dvorak, and in the Indiana State Senate by John Broden. All members of the Indiana General Assembly representing South Bend are Democrats.

South Bend is part of Indiana's 2nd Congressional District, represented by Republican Jackie Walorski.


The Democratic Party is very successful in South Bend. Every South Bend mayor since 1972 has been a Democrat. As of July 2015, all but one City Council member are Democrats.

On March 26, 2012, South Bend passed the Human Rights Ordinance, outlawing discrimination in employment, housing, or other areas against citizens based on "race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation or gender identity, or familial status." It is one of only 6 cities in Indiana to offer legal protections for citizens based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The protections are enforced by the city's Human Rights Commission, which oversees investigation and legal recourse in cases of discrimination.

On June 16, 2015, incumbent Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced in a South Bend Tribune editorial that he is gay, becoming the first openly-gay executive in the state of Indiana.

Law enforcement

The police force in South Bend has undergone many changes and expansions in its history, starting in 1831 when the first constables were appointed. Law enforcement was reorganized and renamed multiple times throughout its history, until the department became officially known as the South Bend Police Department in 1903. The current Chief of Police is Scott Ruszkowski.


The South Bend area is home to several institutions of higher learning, the most famous of which is the University of Notre Dame. Located to the north of South Bend in Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 by Father Edward Sorin, a French priest, before South Bend was incorporated as a city in 1865. It has been an intrinsic part of the South Bend area and continues to have a great effect on South Bend's culture and economy. Saint Mary's College and Holy Cross College are also located in nearby Notre Dame, IN.

Indiana University South Bend is the third-largest campus in the Indiana University system. Its total enrollment during the 2014-15 school year was 7,859 students. Other universities with campuses in South Bend include The Purdue Polytechnic Institute, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

K-12 schools

Public schools in South Bend are operated by the South Bend Community School Corporation. The corporation runs 18 primary centers (grades K-4), ten intermediate centers (grades 5-8), and six high schools (grades 9-12), serving 19,308 students during the 2014-15 school year.

South Bend is also home to Veritas Academy, Indiana's first charter school. Two other charter schools, Xavier School of Excellence and Career Academy South Bend, opened in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

There are also several private schools: namely, Trinity School at Greenlawn, recipient of four Blue Ribbon Awards from the U.S. Department of Education, and The Stanley Clark School. Additionally, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend operates eleven parochial grade schools and one high school in South Bend.

Places of worship

South Bend is home to over 100 places of worship, including mostly Christian churches, three synagogues, and one mosque.

Christian churches

Non-Christian places of worship

  • Hebrew Orthodox Congregation
  • Islamic Society of Michiana
  • Sinai Synagogue (Conservative Judaism)
  • Temple Beth-El (Reform Judaism)
  • Former places of worship

  • B'nai Israel Synagogue (Reconstructionist; formerly Orthodox), closed in 1990
  • First Presbyterian Church, congregation moved to new building
  • Newspaper

    One major daily newspaper serves the South Bend Metro area, the South Bend Tribune. It is distributed throughout the Michiana region and publishes five editions including a Metro edition, a Mishawaka edition, a Michigan edition, a Penn-Harris-Madison East edition, and a Marshall edition. The South Bend Tribune is owned by Schurz Communications, a South Bend corporation that owns and operates 42 newspaper publications nationwide.


    South Bend's radio stations' formats include public radio, classical music, religious, country, classic rock, and urban contemporary, among others. For more information, see List of radio stations in Indiana.


    As of the 2015-2016 rankings, the South Bend-Elkhart designated market area is the 96th largest market in the United States, with 310,170 homes (0.27% of the U.S. population). Most of the major television networks have affiliates in the Michiana area.

    Television stations located in South Bend include WNDU-TV 16 (NBC), WNIT-TV 34 (PBS), WHME-TV 46 (LeSEA), WBND-LD 57 (ABC), WCWW-LD 25 (CW) and WMYS-LD 69 (My Network TV). WSBT-TV 22 (CBS; Fox on DT2) is located in nearby Mishawaka. WSJV 28 (Heroes & Icons) also broadcasts in the greater South Bend region from Elkhart. MATV is the local Public Access Television station serving St. Joseph County in Indiana, and functions at the WNIT-TV (PBS) station.


    South Bend's location around the St. Joseph River has influenced the development of its streets. While city streets mainly follow a grid layout, road development also adapted to the river's path. South Bend is connected to state and national highway systems by State Roads 2, 23, and 933; U.S. Route 20 and 31; and Interstate 80 and 90, the Indiana Toll Road. Original routes of both the Lincoln Highway and the Dixie Highway also pass through South Bend. The headquarters for the Lincoln Highway Association are in South Bend.

    For transportation around the South Bend metro area, the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, constructed between 1960 and 1990, connects Benton Harbor, Michigan, to South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart, Indiana. While segments are designated as U.S. 20, U.S. 31, and State Road 331, it is simply referred to locally as "the bypass". The Indiana Toll Road (Interstates 80 and 90) passes through northern South Bend.

    Local public transportation

    Public transportation in South Bend is controlled by TRANSPO (South Bend Public Transportation Corporation). TRANSPO operates bus routes between stations located in South Bend and Mishawaka and provides services to the towns of Osceola and Roseland, from Monday through Saturday. In 2006, the TRANSPO fleet switched to biodiesel fuel. In 2015, TRANSPO added 16 new buses powered by compressed natural gas. The TRANSPO facility is also the first LEED Platinum transit facility in the country.

    Regional and national transportation

    South Bend serves as the transportation hub for Michiana. The South Bend International Airport lies off of U.S. 31 and the Indiana Toll Road in the northwest corner of South Bend. The airport connects South Bend to larger hubs including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, and St. Petersburg, Florida. In April 2014, the airport changed its name from "South Bend Regional Airport" to the current "South Bend International" after receiving International designation from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Final design plans are being approved for a Federal Inspection Station and General Aviation Facility. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.

    The South Shore Line, an electric commuter railroad, connects the South Bend International Airport to Millennium Station in downtown Chicago. Due to increased ridership since 2005 between Chicago and South Bend, more cars are being added.

    Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to South Bend Station via two trains, the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, New York City, and Boston, and the Capitol Limited to Chicago and Washington, D.C. A bus line connects Notre Dame and the South Bend airport to Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports, with several northwest Indiana stops.


    Electricity in South Bend is provided by Indiana Michigan Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power. Natural gas is supplied by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO).

    The South Bend Water Works delivers water to residents of South Bend. The water is collected from 32 deep wells and runs through 545 miles (877 km) of water main to be distributed to South Bend residents. In 2008, in order to increase the efficiency of its sewer system, South Bend began the installation of an array of intelligent sensors and valves allowing it to become the first city to migrate its sewer system management to the cloud. When a section of the system is under heavy use, this system can divert flow to other, less busy, sections. Via more efficient sewage management this system has helped to save the city an estimated 100 million dollars in new sewage pipes.

    Environmental initiatives

    South Bend has recently engaged in a partnership with the University of Notre Dame to revitalize the Bowman Creek ecosystem. Bowman Creek is a tributary of the St. Joseph River in South Bend, Indiana that has recently suffered from contamination. The Bowman Creek initiative included partners from local high schools, colleges, and business leaders focused on improvements to both the creek and the neighborhoods. The vision for the collaboration is to institute a unique water quality monitoring system, similar to South Bend's combined sewer overflow system.

    Notable people

  • Michael Alig, celebutante, co-founding member of the Club Kids, co-murderer of Andre "Angel" Melendez, ex-con
  • Elijah Anderson, sociologist and author of Code of the Street
  • Brett Banasiewicz, BMX rider
  • Ollie Bejma, baseball player
  • John Bromfield, actor
  • Frank Bykowski, NFL player
  • Brendan Bayliss, guitarist, Umphrey's McGee (a progressive rock and jam band from South Bend)
  • Schuyler Colfax, 17th Vice President of the United States
  • Nancy DeShone, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player for the South Bend Blue Sox
  • Skylar Diggins, basketball player
  • Dorothea Downs, AAGPBL player, South Bend Blue Sox
  • Dick Durock, stuntman and actor
  • Debra Elmegreen, astronomer
  • Chad Everett, actor
  • Vivica Fox, actress
  • Marcie Free, singer, King Kobra, Unruly Child, Signal
  • Josh Garrels, musician
  • Mary Lou Graham, AAGPBL player, South Bend Blue Sox
  • Jon Gruden, ESPN broadcaster and former NFL coach
  • Nathan Gunn, operatic baritone
  • Mark Hazinski, 2004 USA Olympian in table tennis
  • Phillip Hoose, Author
  • Demetrius Jackson, professional basketball player
  • Frances Janssen, AAGPBL player and Northern Indiana Historical Society researcher
  • Luther Johnson, Indy car driver
  • Kenn Kaufman, naturalist and author
  • Glenna Sue Kidd, AAGPBL player, South Bend Blue Sox
  • Bernard Kilgore, journalist, Wall Street Journal
  • Sneaky Pete Kleinow, musician
  • Marie Kruckel, AAGPBL player for the South Bend Blue Sox and a 38-year teacher at Clay High School
  • J. C. McDonald, Indy car driver
  • Steve Nemeth, American player of gridiron football
  • Ryan Newman, NASCAR Cup Series driver
  • Joseph A. Nolan Medal of Honor Recipient, Philippine Insurrection
  • Dean Norris, actor
  • James Oliver, inventor and industrialist best known for creating South Bend Iron Works, which was reincorporated as Oliver Farm Equipment Company after his death
  • Kenneth Rexroth, poet, translator of the classical Chinese poets, essayist, intellectual, anarchist.
  • George Rickey, kinetic sculptor
  • The Rivieras 60s garage rock and surf rock band
  • Mike Salay, Indy car driver
  • Paul Smith (clergy), First African American minister at historic First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, New York; multicultural consultant, civil rights activist, university administrator, teacher, author
  • Emerson Spartz, media mogul
  • Jules C. Stein, music industry executive
  • David Stremme, NASCAR driver
  • Duncan G. Stroik, architect, sacred architecture professor, and founder of Duncan G. Stroik Architect LLC
  • Studebaker Brothers, founders of Studebaker Corporation
  • Student Rick early 00s pop punk and emo band
  • Alexander Toradze, pianist
  • Betty Wagoner, AAGPBL player, South Bend Blue Sox
  • Junior Walker 60s soul singer and saxophonist signed to Motown (with the All Stars)
  • Michael Warren, actor
  • Bishop William Albert Wack, CSC, Bishop of Diocese of Pensacola–Tallahassee
  • Janet Wiley, AAGPBL player for the South Bend Blue Sox
  • Ernie Zalejski, American football player
  • Sister cities

    South Bend has three sister cities:

  • Częstochowa (Poland)
  • Arzberg (Germany)
  • Guanajuato (Mexico)
  • References

    South Bend, Indiana Wikipedia

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