Maxwell Implements Company


06-15-2008: A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a woman who wanted to know if I had any information on an old building that was still standing at Lafayette and Stull Streets. At the time I had to admit that I knew nothing about this building. Wendy had commented that she had passed this building, at 1202 South Lafayette almost everyday and was interested in knowing its historical heritage. So, one Sunday, I went out and took some photos of the building.

In this photo you are looking at the west and north walls. I was standing on the northwest corner of the Lafayette - Stull Street intersection.




Left: In this view I was standing in a parking lot, looking southwest. The north wall and east wall can be seen. Right: Here i am looking south along the old Vandalia Railroad right of way. Note former loading dock on the east side of the building. Sandborn Fire Maps show a siding to this dock.


Left: Close up look at the former loading dock. Right: South wall of the building. Look closely at the wall and you can see where some signs have bled through the paint.

Close up shot of the old signs. Click on the thumbnail to see the full size photo. Several words jump right out at you. If you have an image viewer that allows you to turn the image into a negative, the words are easier to see. A little trick I learned from watching too much CSI on television. It was obvious this was some sort of farm equipment, or implements dealer at one time. My memories of this building were it being called the Brass Rail Billiards Parlor. Off to the Library I went.




My research of the old South Bend City Directories came up with information that this building originally housed the South Bend, Indiana International Harvester dealership. According to the 1902 directory, 1202 was occupied as a residence. The 1914 Directory listed the property as International Harvester Equipment dealer. During the late 1930's and 1940's the building was listed as the Radio Equipment Company, Inc. The 1999 listing was the one I remember, Brass Rail Billiards. I them researched International Harvester dealerships and uncovered the name of the Maxwell Equipment Company. Finding no other listing, it is a proper assumption that this building was once Maxwell.

Inside the Maxwell Equipment Company building, circa 1920's. -Wisconsin Historical Society Collection-






The story on this building does not end here. I contacted a friend at the City Of South Bend to ask about future plans for this building. There is damage to the structure inside the building which unfortunately means it will be scheduled for demolition. I did not ask if any date or timetable has been established yet. If you are curious, better drop by and take photos or get a look soon. Like many other buildings around that area, it may be here today and gone tomorrow.


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