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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Oliver Tractor Factory To Be Demolished

    The Oliver Tractor factory in South Bend, Indiana is finally going to be demolished this year. Work has already begun. All that will be saved is the historic smokestack, boilerhouse and a forge building.

    Oliver started here as the Oliver chilled plow factory in the mid 1800's. It was known as WHITE FARM EQUIPMENT when it closed in 1988. White was a truck company and apparently didn't want to produce farm machinery any more, so they closed it and left it sit empty. The roofs rotted and so did most of the buildings.

    South Bend is famous for Oliver and Studebaker. Unfortunately, it is also famous for waiting too long to get over the past. Like the Oliver plant which closed in 1988, most of the Studebaker plant, which closed in the mid 1960s, is still here, empty and falling apart. There are several hundred acres of abandoned buildings. Some are used for storage, but most are rotten and unsafe.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.centerforhistory.org/oliver_chilled_main.htm>Here is a link </A> to the history of the Oliver Chilled Plow and company. There are lots of links, pictures and stuff, presented by the Northern Indian Center for History. It is very interesting. I hope you enjoy it.

  2. #2
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
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    SW Michigan
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    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Oliver Tractor Factory To Be Demolished

    Thanks for the links Dave! A pleasant stroll down memory lane.

    On a semi-related note, I had the opportunity to listen to George W. this afternoon at the airport. Very cool and quite the event. One of the earlier speakers was South Bend mayor Luecke and he mentioned the dark Studebaker days versus the relatively prosperous days we're enjoying in town now.

    I also drove by your ballpark on the way back to work. Very impressive [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Default Re: Oliver Tractor Factory To Be Demolished

    Moss,
    Who owns the land and buildings for these old factorys/Oliver and Studebaker?

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Oliver Tractor Factory To Be Demolished

    I believe most of it is owned by the city, but some is private. For instance, right after Studebaker closed a company called Newman Altman bought up all of the parts inventory for Studebaker and one of the buildings. Back around 1998 he sold it to <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.stude.com/sasco.html>http://www.stude.com/sasco.html</A> and they moved it across the street to another old Studebaker building. The original was torn down to build a wonderful county monument to people that make bad choices(county jail).

    The Oliver site will be leveled and then put up for industrial usage. Hope we get some takers.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2001
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    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
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    Kubota L4630, with cab and loader, 1951 Ferguson TO-20, 1986 Ford 5610 with loader

    Default Re: Oliver Tractor Factory To Be Demolished

    What a shame those buildings couldn't be saved and used for something else. I hate to see neat old buildings demolished. Especially the plant that my beloved Oliver was born in!

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