African American Landmarks of South Bend Indiana Tour

The sites included in the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center African American Landmarks Tour are crucial to obtaining a better understanding of the growth and development of the county's black community from the 1830s through the middle of the 20th Century. The tour includes homes of prominent black leaders, black-owned businesses and institutions such as churches that played a significant role in the history of the area's black residents. The tour was organized by the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center in partnership with the Northern Regional Office of Indiana Landmarks. The tour is underwritten in part by grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Indiana Humanities.

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Dental Office of Dr. Bernard Streets
One of South Bend's first black dentists, Dr. Streets served African American and Polish patients from his west side office. In addition to serving the community as a dentist, Dr. Streets and his wife Odie Mae (Johnson) Streets worked to secure the civil rights of the city's black resident through their membership in the NAACP.
City Cemetery
The City Cemetery opened in 1832, or 33 years before the city of South Bend was incorporated. At that time, the cemetery's location was near the city's outskirts. However, as South Bend grew it became part of the city center and the final resting place for the town's prominent members. It is also an integrated cemetery that holds the remains of black residents such as members of the Powell family and white industrialists such as the Studebakers.
Civil Rights Heritage Center
The Civil Rights Heritage Center is a museum located in the building that housed the Engman Public Natatorium, an indoor swimming pool that opened in 1922. South Bend's black residents were excluded or granted admittance on a limited basis until 1950, when the facility was integrated. The Nat closed in 1978 and remained shuttered until diverse group of community leaders—including students and professors at Indiana University South Bend—successfully launched a campaign to renovate the structure. The renovated facility opened in 2010 as a museum that examines South Bend's civil rights history through the story of the Nat. The facility also serves as classrooms, includes a lending library, meeting place, and a cultural center committed to the principals of inclusion and diversity.
Hering House
For nearly 40 years - from 1925 until its closure in 1963, the Hering House provided recreation, arts, leadership training and a sense of belonging to generations of black youth. The building housed a church. Frank Hering, who coached Notre Dame football prior to the hiring of Knute Rockne and his wife Claribel Hering acquired the structure, moved it and then donated it to the city's black community where it served as a center of cultural activity.
Central High School
Central High School served as a high school until 1970 and a junior high school until 1976. It was an athletic powerhouse and the city's most racially integrated high school.
St. Joseph County Courthouses and Historic Marker
Two courthouses constructed in the mid and late 19th Century. The 1896 Courthouse was the ending point of the march that took place days after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King in 1968. A marker located in front of the 1855 Courthouse honors the historic role that the courthouses played in local civil rights history.
Robertson's Department Store
Many older South Bend shoppers recall this locally owned department store. It was more open to African Americans than any other.
Home of J. Chester and Elizabeth Fletcher Allen
J. Chester and Elizabeth Fletcher Allen were both lawyers and were instrumental in causes involving the fight for justice for African-American residents, including ending discrimination at the Engman Public Natatorium.
Olivet African Methodist Episcopal Church
Olivet African Methodist Episcopal Church is the city's first and oldest church founded by South Bend's black residents. The church was founded by members of the Powell family, the city's first African-American permanent residents.
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
First African Methodist Episcopal Church is the first historically black church to be located on the city's east side. It is located on what is now the corner of Eddy and Campeau streets. The neighborhood was predominantly white when the church was founded in 1907.
Chalfant Heights Neighborhood
A neighborhood on the city's east side developed by black realtor William Morris

This tour was created by Howard Dukes on 04/04/18 .

This tour has been taken 308 times within the past year.

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