Selected Community Events

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Antiques & Architecture: Behind the Scenes at the Oliver Mansion

Center for History, 808 W Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601
Carved ivory, porcelain, gold, silver, oak, mahogany, and a deer head. What do these have in common? They all describe artifacts found in the 38-room Oliver Mansion. Enjoy learning about some of these furnishings and decorative arts in this specialty tour conducted by Deputy Executive Director Brandon Anderson. The tour features objects and areas not seen on standard tours, and includes up-close inspections of antiques and a look into the Butler’s Pantry silver vault. Tour is limited. Reservations required. Call 235-9664, ext. 233. $20/general; $18/members.

Marilyn Thompson, 574-235-9664,

Antique Engine and Tractor Show

Michigan Flywheelers Museum, South Haven, Michigan
Four days of old fashion family fun! See hundreds of old engines (like Model Ts), antique tractors and more during this event which is the largest show of its kind in the state. Daily parades, a huge outdoor flea market, tractor cruise, music, bingo, crafts, and - a favorite.... eat an ear or two of our delish corn on the cob cooked in a Nichols and Shepard steam traction engine. Visit Old Towne where the village blacksmith is busy hammering iron, learn about agriculture in the Farm History Building, take a picture of the old iron cell in the Old Tyme Jail, visit our newly built Peaceful Knoll Church and take a peek at how our early settlers lived when you visit our log cabin. There are also working demonstrations at the sawmill and shingle mill along with plenty of kids activities like the Sawdust Pile Hunt, peddle pull and the John Dudley Magic Show. Admission is only $6. Children 12 and under free with paid admission. Thursday is Seniors Dar and admission is only $3. Rustic camp sites are available on a first come basis. For more information, visit or Like us on Facebook

Patrick Ingalls, 269-639-2010

Sumption Prairie Cemetery Tour

Center for History, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601
This twilight tour of Sumption Prairie Cemetery features historic grave sites and grave markers, and is led by Travis Childs, Director of School Programs. Meet at the cemetery’s entrance at the northeast corner of Kern Road and Sumption Trail. $2. No pets, please. The tour will not take place if weather is inclement.

Marilyn Thompson, 574-235-9664,

Insights in History – Play Ball! The South Bend Silver Hawks

Center for History, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601
Joe Hart, President of the South Bend Silver Hawks, talks about the history of baseball in South Bend, including the idea behind the formation of the South Bend Silver Hawks, its development, and all the changes that have taken place in recent years. A guided tour of the exhibit Polished in Public, Fierce on the Field: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is offered. Admission is $3 or $1 for members. Reservations are required by August 4.

Marilyn Thompson, 574-235-9664,

The Great Depression

Dowagiac Area History Museum 201 E Division St Dowagiac, MI
Summer Video Series:
Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl, American Experience: The 1930s and Masters: Woody Guthrie in one-hour installments.
Free admission.


Evening Gown, c. 1913 and Organdy Bodice, c. 1910

Center for History, Historic Clothing Case, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601
A ladies' navy blue and white organdy bodice trimmed with Honaton lace, purple silk and black velvet ribbons, accented with green silk and silver steel beads is on view. Also featured is a ladies’ evening gown of cream satin silk with heavily embroidered cream and gold chiffon draping over the shoulder and acting as an overskirt. The back of the chiffon panel acts as a train, and a beaded rope acts a belt. This display is located in the Historic Clothing Case.

Marilyn Thompson, 574-235-9664,

Moonlight & Merlot at the Mansion – Dueling Mansions: Copshaholm vs. Ruthmere

Center for History, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601
Both the J.D. Oliver family and the Beardsley family made their home in the Michiana community. Each lived in impressive mansions, the Olivers in South Bend, at a house they called Copshaholm and the Beardsleys in Elkhart, at Ruthmere. Hear Curator of Copshaholm Kristie Erickson and Ruthmere Executive Director Bill Firstenberger share anecdotes, interesting facts, and images as they compare the heritage, homes, and history of these two regional giants. Tickets for each event of “Moonlight and Merlot at the Mansion” are $16/adults and $14/members, and features a talk, twilight tour of the historic house, and complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks as well as an assortment of cheese and fruit. Reservations required. Call (574) 235-9664, ext. 233 or go online at

Marilyn Thompson,, 574-235-9664

Polished in Public, Fierce on the Field: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Center for History, Lower Level Gallery, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was an all-female professional baseball league that was begun by Philip Wrigley in 1943 and stayed active until 1954. The women chosen to play in the new league were serious athletes on the field who were expected to be beautiful and ladylike at all other times. These special women were successful on both counts.

Marilyn Thompson, 574-235-9664,

Answering the Call: The Olivers and World War I

Center for History, Carroll Gallery, 808 W Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601
The impact of World War I on the city of South Bend is explored through the eyes of local industrialist J. D. Oliver. As the President of the Oliver Chilled Plow Works, J. D. saw the war influence not only his business but also his family, friends, and personal life. The exhibit chronicles wartime shortages and embargoes, as well as the extraordinary lengths to which the Olivers answered the call to personal service in support of the war effort.

Marilyn Thompson,, (574) 235-9664

The Beatles

Center for History, 808 W Washington St. South Bend, IN 46601
It was 50 years ago on February 9 that The Beatles performed live for the first time in the United States. They appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Rock 'n roll would never be the same. A display of photographs, records, and other memorabilia tells the story of the "Fab Four."

Marilyn Thompson
(574) 235-9664

World War I: The War to End All Wars

Center for History - 808 W. Washington South Bend, IN 46601
It was 100 years ago in 1914 that World War I began with the murder of Archduke Ferdinand. Nation after nation lined up to fight on either the side of the Entente, led by France, or the Central Powers, led by Imperial Germany. These alliances had been building for over 20 years, with each side nursing old wounds and ready for revenge against past insults. All anticipated the battles would be over by Christmas, thinking new and improved technology would provide a definitive edge. Little did they conceive of a war that would last until 1918 and encompass the entire globe. Nor did they anticipate that it would cost the lives of 10 million soldiers, severely impair another 20 million and create 10 million refugees. In the summer of 1914, the war looked like a chance to prove one’s manhood rather than--as it became--a descent into hell.

Marilyn Thompson, 574-235-9664,