North St. Joseph Street
Local Historic District, 1998
The North St. Joseph Street local historic district sits adjacent to the River Bend District and was established by the Common Council of South Bend in 1998. Located outside of the original plat of South Bend, this area was largely undeveloped until the early 1900's, when the real estate partnership of Leslie Whitcomb and Seth Hammond built many of the homes for South Bend's middle-class families.
This area was comprised primarily of lowland along the St. Joseph River, which required considerable landfill to raise the level of the bottomland sufficiently to allow construction and habitation. A portion of the development is located on land that was once the site of the Kankakee Mill Race, sometimes referred to as "Alexis Coquillard's Folly." A gristmill and brick drying yard were also located here.
By 1912 the area between St. Joseph Street and Marion Boulevard (now Riverside Drive) was nearly half full with 39 houses having been constructed. This predominantly middle-class neighborhood was occupied by professionals and business owners, with an unusual number employed in the construction trades. The neighborhood was located within easy walking distance to the streetcar line on Michigan Street.