Local History

Travis Childs, The History Museum’s Director of Education, is the St. Joseph County Historian, appointed by the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau. In this three-year voluntary role, Travis serves as a liaison between statewide agencies and local organizations, joining with dozens of men and women across the state also serving in the County Historian Program. Questions? Contact Travis at The History Museum (574-235-9664, ext. 242) or

The Area's Early History

Our area of the state just prior to the arrival of Europeans.

The First Settlers

Fur trappers and traders who settled in St. Joseph County.

The Trail of Death

The mandatory removal of Native Americans from northern Indiana. 

Early South Bend

The start of an industrial Midwestern city.

St. Joseph County Facts

Quick facts and figures about our county.

South Bend Firsts

A list of the historic ‘firsts’ that took place in South Bend.

South Bend City Directories

The old city directories tell the story of South Bend.

List of South Bend Mayors

A list of South Bend Mayors since 1865.

South Bend Fire Department

The history of our community’s brave fire department

South Bend Police Department

The history of South Bend’s police department.

Local African American History

The history of African American settlement in our community.

History of Mishawaka, Indiana

The founding and history of South Bend’s neighboring city.

History of Osceola, Indiana

History of another town within the confines of St. Joseph County.

South Bend's Lost Landmarks

Historic buildings that use to stand in South Bend.

Please Note

Users may download material displayed on this site for noncommercial, educational purposes only, provided all copyright and other proprietary notices contained on the materials are retained. Unauthorized use of the Northern Indiana Historical Society d/b/a The History Museum’s logo and Web site logo is not permitted. The contents of this site may not be used for commercial purposes, without written permission of the Northern Indiana Historical Society d/b/a The History Museum. To obtain permission to reproduce information on this site, submit the specifics of your request in writing to Director of Marketing & Community Relations, The History Museum, 808 West Washington Street, South Bend, Indiana 46601 or If permission is granted, the wording “provided with permission from the The History Museum” and the date must be noted. However, permission is not required to create a link to the The History Museum’s Web site or any pages contained therein.

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Do you have a question about our local history or history about Indiana?