What was South Bend’s Hering House?

Photo courtesy of the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—The Hering House served as South Bend’s center of learning and cultural activities for the African American Community in the early 1900s.

Modeled after Chicago’s Hull House, the Hering House was created in 1924 by University of Notre Dame professor Frank Hering and his wife Claribel.

The couple purchased a twenty-year-old church on Division Street.

Original founding documents show that only two of the seven people on the Board of Directors were to be persons of color. This remained in effect until 1951.

As the city of South Bend integrated in the early 1950s, other entities began duplicating activities at Hering House, ultimately leading to the closing of Hering House in 1963.

South Bend's Civil Rights Heritage Center curates a African American Landmark Tour, both in person and digitally, that walks through South Bend's landmarks such as Hering House. 

Share this article: