Click on the markers in the map below to learn more about the history of land now occupied by IU South Bend, from the South Bend Watch Company to the Stanz Cheese Company, and from Playland Park to the Parkview Detention Center.
The campus landscape has changed dramatically over time. The first people to use the land were, of course, Native Americans. Each indigenous nation has its own creation story. Some stories tell that the first people have always been here. Scientific research shows evidence of people in the area at least as early as 1000 BC. IU archaeologists, from Glenn Black in 1937 to Jay VanderVeen in 2018, have studied the prehistory and history of those who used the property before it became a university.
It was a modest start: between 1955 and 1956, just over four acres of land was given by the city or the citizenry to create the IU South Bend campus. Other additions of property were made by purchases (or condemnations) by the university. Today, the campus is the third largest in the IU system with 29 buildings on 105 acres of land. Besides the campus on the river, the university also owns or uses properties like the IU South Bend - Elkhart Center (125 East Franklin Street), the IU School of Medicine – South Bend (1234 North Notre Dame Avenue), and the Civil Rights Heritage Center at the Engman Natatorium (1040 West Washington Street).