South Bend in St. Joseph County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Window To Our Past
As thousands of years passed, the river narrowed to its present boundaries. The high bank you see before you would serve as the southern boundary for the river. The northern compliment of this bank can be found at the intersection of La Salle and Eddy streets in South Bend. How did the bank get to be so high? Actually, it’s not that the south bank is so high, but rather the north bank is so low. The glacial material that was formerly present here gradually washed away until all that remained was a level plain. The
South Bend was a much different place 16,000 years ago. Northern Indiana was covered with tundra, similar to what is found in the arctic regions today. Animals associated with a northern climate, like moose, caribou, and loons, were found here. Extinct glacial animals, such as ground sloths, giant beavers, cave bears, and mastadons were present as well. We know this by the discovery of remains in our area.
Many animals, no longer seen in the city, called the river their home. About 150 years ago, beaver, muskrat, mink, otter and bald eagles all made their home along the St. Joseph River. The St. Joe, with its sandy and gravelly bottom, was an ideal breeding location for walleye, northern pike and small-mouth bass. Giant Lake Sturgeon, six feet in length, were seen by the original settlers of the city passing through the shallow water near Leeper Park en route to their breeding grounds. How could the fish be seen so easily? At the time of the city’s founding in the 1820's, the river was described as “cool, clear, and swift,” with its bottom visible from any vantage point overlooking the water.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Environment.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: South Bend IN 46617, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Original People (a few steps from this marker); St. Joseph County Vietnam Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); History of Howard Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 9/11 Memorial (about 400 feet away); COVID-19 Pandemic Memorial (about 400 feet away); Howard Park (about 500 feet away); Special Olympics Island (approx. ¼ mile away); Knute Rockne (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Bend.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 516 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 26, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.