Capture your family’s imagination with a tour of the 38-room Oliver Mansion in South Bend. Young and old alike are thrilled to see a home exactly as it looked when the Oliver family lived there over 120 years ago. You’ll hear heartwarming stories of the Olivers’ four children. The beauty of the house is completely intact—all furnishings are original to the home.
While you’re at The History Museum, visit our changing exhibits and for young ones ages 8 and under, our Kidsfirst Children’s Museum is a must-see. The trip is bound to inspire memories your family will hold for a long time!
For just a few dollars more, you can add a visit to the Studebaker National Museum, adjacent to The History Museum.
Just blocks away is Four Winds Field–home of the South Bend Cubs. Within 10 minutes is both Potawatomi Zoo and the University of Notre Dame.
The Dining Room is one of the more formal rooms in the Oliver Mansion. The Oliver family dined together in this room for most of their meals, whether it was a cozy breakfast for four or a formal dinner party. The ceiling features five mahogany beams and the walls are covered by a woven tapestry. There is a bay window and the upper sashes of the windows are leaded glass.
The Den was J.D. Oliver’s personal study. The hammerbeam ceiling and plaster relief give the room a decidedly English feel, which was the architect’s intent. The fireplace is the largest in the house and can hold a five-foot log. The family’s Christmas tree was always placed in the Den. A partner’s desk, where J.D. frequently conducted business when at home, is situated in the middle of the room. A sterling silver plaque on the back of the chair reads: “Joseph D. Oliver” and is marked “Tiffany & Co.”
Originally used by J.D. and Anna Oliver, the second floor’s Master Bedroom was strategically located close to the Nursery and the other children’s bedrooms. The mantel is this room is marble, the only one of its type in the mansion. After the Olivers’ deaths, the room was used by J.D. and Anna’s younger daughter, Catherine.
One of the more interesting features of the kitchen is the 10-door refrigerator, which originated as the home’s icebox. The green linoleum was added during a 1930s’ renovation, during which a stainless steel countertop and Art Deco light fixture were also installed. The kitchen was the cook’s domain. The butler met regularly with Mrs. Oliver to discuss dinner menus and upcoming parties.