Links to the Past: Michiana History - Record Detail

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East Race

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Topic Recreation
Image Source Photo by Ann Kuntz
Image Notes This photo was taken at the head gate of the East Race of the St. Joseph River in South Bend, Indiana. Originally dug and used as a hydro power source and later hydro-electric source, it is now a recreational complex.
Time Period 20th Century
Image Date March, 2010
Keywords East Race
South Bend

Additional Information & Sources

Historical Background The original East Race was dug by South Bend Manufacturing Company, which was established to harness water power from the St. Joseph River in the early days of South Bend industry. Historically, South Bend industry grew along both the East and West Races. On the East Race were large manufacturing companies such as Singer and Stephenson Underwear Mills.

The restored East Race was opened in 1984 at a cost of 3.5 million dollars. More than a thousand cubic feet of water goes through the waterway every second when all three of the dam's gates are fully opened. The water speed is between 3 and 6 mph. This restored raceway replaced the original East Race which was dug in 1843.

Since 1984 the East Race has been used for kayaking and canoeing and was the site of the kayak Olympic trials in 2008.

For early history of the East and West Races, search keywords "West Race" in this database.

Information from the Clipping File of the Family & Local History Services department.

Also South Bend Tribune article "Navigating Obstacles: East Race Waterway Celebrates 30 Years." July 20, 2013
Books & Videos

Newspaper Articles St. Joseph County Public Library Local & Family History Services, Clipping File - Rivers - St. Joseph River - East Race

Full-Text Articles & Media Clips

Source Format Newspaper
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