We found the luck of the Irish!

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Where I stayed
South Bend/Elkhart North KOA Granger
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Indiana
Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hello fellow travelers,

Traveling from Thompson, Ohio on the way to the Winnebago Grand National Rally (GNR) we had a stop over in South Bend, Indiana.  A neat little city with an industrial history and the home of nearby Notre Dame University.  We are having a blast visiting and learning about the complexion and history of places we have the opportunity to see. 

The area was originally settled in the early 19th century by fur traders and 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 and other large corporations.

  • In 1852, Henry Studebaker set up a wagon shop in South Bend. Studebaker became 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 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.

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

    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% of the local economy.

    Today, Notre Dame University is the largest employer with the local Medical Center coming in second.  My how things have changed.  We have a few pictures to share.

    Off to Davenport, Iowa to meet up with more friends, who will accompany us to the big doins' in Forest City.  Stay tuned. 

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