Near South Bend in St. Joseph County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
From a Letter of The Rev. Edward Sorin, CSC
to the Very Reverend Basil Moreau, CSC
Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross
December, 5, 1842
When we least dreamed of it, we were offered an excellent piece of property, about 640 acres in extent. This land is located in the county of St. Joseph on the banks of the St. Joseph River, not far from the city of St. Joseph (Michigan). It is a delightfully quiet place, about twenty minutes from South Bend. This attractive spot has taken from the lake which surrounds it the beautiful name of Notre Dame du Lac.... It is from here that I write you now.
Everything was frozen over. Yet it all seemed so beautiful. The lake, especially with its broad carpet of dazzling white snow, quite naturally reminded us of the spotless purity of our august Lady whose name it bears, and also of the purity of soul that should mark the new inhabitants of this chosen spot.... We were in a hurry to enjoy all the scenery along the lakeshore of which we had heard so much. Though it was quite cold, we went to the very end of the lake, and like children, came back fascinated with the marvelous beauties of our new home.... Once more we felt that Providence had been good to us and we blessed
Will you permit me, dear Father, to share with you a preoccupation which gives me no rest? Briefly, it is this: Notre Dame du Lac was given to us by the bishop only on condition that we establish here a college at the earliest opportunity. As there is no other school within more than a hundred miles, this college cannot fail to succeed.... Before long, it will develop on a large scale.... It will be one of the most powerful means for good in this country.
Finally, dear Father, you cannot help see that this new branch of your family is destined to grow under the protection of Our Lady of the Lake and of St. Joseph. At least, this is my deep conviction. Time will tell if I am wrong.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1788.
Location. 41° 42.111′ N, 86° 14.516′ W. Marker is near South Bend, Indiana, in St. Joseph County. Marker can be reached from Holy Cross Dr, on the right when traveling east. Marker faces North. It is east of Old College and south of St. Mary's Lake. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: South Bend IN 46637, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old College (within shouting distance of this marker); Chaplain Corby of Gettysburg (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct Thomas A. Dooley, M.D. '48 (about 600 feet away); Notre Dame Fieldhouse (approx. ¼ mile away); Clarke Peace Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Vetville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Knute Rockne (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lou Holtz (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Bend.
Regarding From a Letter of The Rev. Edward Sorin, CSC. The letter references one lake because they arrived in the winter and the lakes were frozen over. It wasn't until the thaw that they realized that were actually two lakes: St Mary's Lake and St. Joseph's Lake.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2010, by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,115 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 16, 2010, by Kathy Walker of Stafford, Virginia. 3. submitted on July 10, 2022, by Trevor L Whited of Kokomo, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.