"Dodge Girls" reminisce about the now-burned down Dodge facility

By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email

The items stored in the R.G.M Foundry building were not just old RVs and classic cars, before the building was purchased by its new owners it was the home of hundreds of employees for Dodge. The now burned-down building was put in place when Wallace Dodge founded the manufacturing company in 1878.

Wallace Dodge’s business produced wood hardware tools such as the wood-split pulley. By 1902, Dodge expanded to its sprawling 65 acre Mishawaka campus, complete with 40 buildings.

Once a month, a group of former Dodge workers meet for lunch to reminisce about the plant. They call themselves the “Dodge Girls,” and some of them started working at the company in the early 1950’s.

“It was devastating to me last building I worked in before I left there, I clerked by the railroad tracks, but um, it lost of memories wonderful place to work, especially when we first started,” said Mary Ann Bortone who worked at the original Dodge plant.

In 1967 the Reliance Electric Company purchased Dodge and closed the plant in 1999. The new owners re-opened the facility and renamed it R.G.M. Foundry shortly after buying it.

The building remained open until a major loss in business caused R.G.M. to shut down for good in 2006.

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