Dodge House


Street Address: 415 Lincolnway East

Year Built: 1889

City Ordinance: 3815-9428748

National Registry #: 78000052

The Wallace Dodge House, built in 1889, is a two-story, brick and wood, half timbering, Queen Anne style house. Built in the Barbee's Addition neighborhood by Lucius K. Robinson (owner and builder) it was later purchased by Mrs. Hattie Dodge in 1896, widow of Dodge Manufacturing Company founder Wallace H. Dodge.

A fine example of the Queen Anne style house, which uses a variety of wall textures to avoid a smooth surface, the house features a square tower with a flared roof located on the main façade, facing north above the wrap-around veranda. Typical of many Queen Anne houses, the Wallace Dodge House features bay windows, ornamental frieze work on the dormers and a patterned masonry chimney.

A prominent feature of the house is that many of the windows have ornate metal hoods. The gable on the west façade of the house includes a two-story bay window with a pent roof between the first and second story windows. The veranda extends across part of the front and west side of the house on top of a stone foundation. The balustrade and columns on the porch are more classical in style as opposed to the typical spindle work frieze found in many Queen Anne style porches. A two-story addition to the rear of the house was added during Hattie Dodge's occupancy. Fireplaces and other elaborate fittings such as light fixtures were also added during Mrs. Dodge's residency.

After purchasing the home, Hattie Dodge entertained prominent Mishawaka leaders and distinguished visitors from all over the Midwest. Mrs. Dodge lived an exciting life for her time, with her activities reported fairly regularly in the Mishawaka and South Bend newspapers. In 1922, the house became the family residence of the Adolph Claeys, who is attributed with preserving the structure's integrity as it was originally designed (aside from the removal of the grand central staircase, which was torn out and stored in the attic sometime in the 1920s).

The Dodge House is significant for its historic association with the growth of Mishawaka and the development of its businesses, industry, and social life. It was also the scene of controversy in 1976 when an adjacent property at 409 Lincolnway West was demolished in lieu of a parking lot for the Presbyterian Church. At this same time, a parking lot was also proposed for the Dodge House. Ultimately, the Beiger Heritage Corporation, Mishawaka's leading non-profit preservation organization, was responsible for promoting the historical significance and need to preserve the Dodge House.