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“Nice combination with the Studebaker museum.”
Review of The History Museum

The History Museum
Ranked #8 of 53 things to do in South Bend
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A stately Victorian mansion with original furnishings and stunning woodwork is the highlight of this museum complex, which also includes a children's museum, a gallery of Notre Dame history and an exhibit that chronicles the history of the St. Joseph River Valley. Our museum is also physically connected to the Studebaker National Museum. You can now visit two museums in one place!
Reviewed September 30, 2012

I think that most visitors end up here because of the Studebaker museum. It's well worth the extra couple of bucks to get in. They have rotating exhibits and the one we saw was on turn of the century medical devices. Scary stuff but very interesting. Included is a tour of the Oliver House. Mr. Oliver made his fortune in farm equipment and built a huge mansion. It was lived in until 1987 when it was turned over lock stock and barrel to the museum. You can now tour it and see what an amazing home this was. We didn't see everything but what we did was well laid out and informative.

2  Thank Jeff H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 - 92 of 99 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2012

We stopped by the Center for History to see the Gizmo's and Concoctions exhibitiion which was interesting, but the highlight of our visit was the tour of the Oliver Mansion. The mansion is beautiflly maintained and fully furnished. Our tour was conducted by Patrick, a very knowledgable volunteer who conducted a one hour tour and provided a great deal on information on both the mansion and the Oliver family. If you enjoy touring historic homes and mansions don't miss this one, it is stunning.

1  Thank Jack S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

While most cities have house museums and history museums, South Bend has a combined house/history museum. The star attraction is the tour of the Oliver Mansion (known as Cop-sha-holm) which is possibly the best house museum I have ever seen. Although the house was built in the 1890's, it was lived in by the family until the 1970's, and was given to the city with all its contents at that time. They wisely decided to display the house as they got it, with items from all time periods, rather than trying to take it back to one early time period. The result is a house museum that feels like real people lived in it. It's got bits of many eras, like most our our houses. Our tour guide for the house was Ken, and he was great... enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and opinionated about the house. They take you through most of the house, unlike some stingy house tours that only hit a few rooms. Because the tour was about an hour long, most of our group bailed out on the tour of the "workers' house" that followed, but it is also worthwhile, and does not take long.
The second part of the museum is the South Bend history section, which I found very good also. It included a good video about the history of african-americans in northern Indiana and southern Michigan. We also visited an interesting temporary exhibit about patent medicines and cures.
I plan to go back to this museum. We had been at the Studebaker Museum a few years ago and didn't want to do two museums (and their entrance fees) on one day, but I wish now we had not waited so long to get back. Don't delay if you enjoy house museums or Indiana history.

3  Thank Extradish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

my kids and I always learn something new that we missed from our previous visit

Thank jreddogone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

everything was very interesting and we spent most of the day here. Went on house tour and had a fill in guide who seemed rushed.

Thank gina s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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