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Heritage + Culture

South Bend Mishawaka has been attracting travelers for hundreds of years. Many of them have contributed to our history. Our tradition. Our culture. Our heritage is proud and determined but more than that—it’s spirited.


As the shortest portage point between the St. Joseph River and the Kankakee River, this area was well known among native Americans, fur traders and missionaries who traveled from eastern shores to the Mississippi River and beyond. Since then, notoriety has stayed with us.

Officially established in 1830, St. Joseph County was home to the Studebaker family and their iconic Studebaker Automobile Company. It was here that James Oliver developed his Chilled Plow into the most popular plow in the world. And it was a South Bend resident, Frank Herring, who first requested that a special day be set aside to honor all mothers.

Collegiate Community

We are a regional center for higher education. In addition to the University of Notre Dame, The Bend welcomes students to Bethel University, Holy Cross College, Indiana University South Bend, Ivy Tech Community College and Saint Mary’s College. Each campus brings a rich variety of visual and performing arts, sporting events and year-round cultural activities.