9. Record Neighborhood Stories

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The Genealogy of Place

Living in an old city neighborhood was a deliberate and often rewarding choice.  Yes, it comes with the challenges of fixing up a 1920’s Four-Square, but cultivating a community has been an unexpected benefit.  Our particular block in Marquette Park features a myriad of ages, races, and backgrounds which contribute to a rich cultural experience for my family.  In discussing my own personal genealogy with friends and neighbors, I have come to realize the value in knowing not only one’s own history and how that shaped personal perspective, but also how this might impact the character and dynamic of a neighborhood community.

As our home approaches its 100 year birthday, I thought it fun to uncover who all had owned the property and its history.  Upon exploring this topic with neighbors, we enjoyed the coming and going of the different people and thought how interesting it might be to track this information to better tell the neighborhood story over time.  Colloquially, “The so-and-so’s used to live there. etc.”

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Much in the same vein as the “South Bend Stories” collected during the SB150 celebration, this would be a district/neighborhood scale endeavor aimed at better connecting the South Bend neighborhoods to their unique history and lineage.

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