Some Historic and Interesting Homes


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Any website pertaining to South Bend history must include something about Pierre Navarre's cabin, the first "official" residence of what today is South Bend.

In 1820, Pierre Navarre built a cabin on the North side of the Joseph river near what is now the Michigan St. Bridge, almost 150 years after French explorer Robert Rene Cavalier Sieur de La Salle landed on the banks of the St. Joseph River, at what is now Riverview Cemetery. The cabin was moved from it's original location, in 1904, to its present location in Leeper Park. Picture is of the north and east walls of the structure.

 

 

 

Navarre cabin. This picture is of the south and east wall. The electric lines were obviously added later. The cabin remains in pretty much the same condition that it was when used by Pierre Navarre.

 

 

 

 

Schuyler Colfax, (1823-1885), was born on March 23, 1823, in New York City and in 1836 moved with his family to South Bend, Indiana, where he served in minor political offices and began a career as a journalist. In 1845 he purchased the South Bend Free Press, renamed it the St. Joseph Valley Register. Colfax helped establish the Republican Party and in 1854 was elected to the U.S. House Of Represenatives and served 7 terms, from 1855-1869. Although his service was not distinguished, he became Speaker of the House in 1863 and continued in that capacity until he left the House in 1869. He served as Vice President from 1869-1873, under Ulysses S. Grant. The party failed to renominate Colfax in 1872. Left: Taylor and Colfax Street. The former site of Schuyler Colfax's residence. Two historical markers note the location. Right: Schuyler Colfax's final resting place, City Cemetery, South Bend, Indiana.

 

Left and Right: This modest residence might have been home to a factory worker of the Oliver Chilled Plow Works. Also known as Dom Robotnika which is Polish for worker's home, it was built in the 1870s. The house was moved by J.D. Oliver in 1907, to Oliver's property, where a succession of Oliver staff lived until the mid-1980s. In 1992, this house was moved to its present site by the Northern Indiana Historical Society. It is open to visitors of the Center.

Painted white, the house reflects the subtle, clean and fresh look prominent during the early 1930s, seemingly in protest to the vivid, even gaudy, colors of the Victorian Era. The front-gabled home has a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and three bedrooms.

 

  

Horatio Chapin house. This residence is at 601 Park Avenue and was the home of one of South Bend's more prominent citizens, Horatio Chapin. Chapin, a local businessman and officer in the South Bend branch of the State Bank of Indiana. The home was built in 1856 in Gothic Revival architectural style and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

 

710 Park Avenue. This home is another that was built by the Chapin Family. This home, built in 1875 by Andrew and Mary Chapin, was built in Second Empire style.

 

 

 

 

Left: 1417 King Street. This home was built in 1888, by the Muessel Family. They built the Muessel Brewery on Elwood Avenue. This house was known as the Muessel Mansion and sat next to the brewery. When the brewery was sold to Drewrys, the house was moved to it's present location. Right: The view from the front yard of the old Muessel Mansion, looking south at the brewery

 

Left: The Frederickson House. Built in 1897 this home is a fine example of Queen Ann Style. Once situated at 233 North Lafayette Street. Photo courtsey Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County. Right: The Frederickson House, circa 2003. Now located on West Colfax Street, it is now home to The Family Learning Center. It is still an impressing building.

 

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