Map: Documenting Indiana’s Underground Railroad Locations

By Erin Lattimer • February 21st, 2017

Due north of slave-owning state Kentucky, Indiana was an intuitive route for slaves seeking freedom in Canada during the 1860s. Stations were located across the state and were mainly only known by word-of-mouth.

The map below lists just a few of the Underground Railroad sites recorded in Indiana. Secrecy for protection led to little documentation of the sites, but organizations like Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service attempt to keep a running list of documented Underground Railroad sites. These services are used to create points on this map.

List of Indiana’s Underground Railroad Sites:

Alexander T Rankin House
A member of Indiana’s Antislavery Society, Alexander Rankin was the only recorded person to also participate in Ohio’s Antislavery Society.

Bethel AME Church
This church was known as the “Indianapolis Station” and founded in 1836. After a fire in 1862, it was rebuilt in 1867. In 2016 it was sold to a private firm.

Captain Samuel Barry’s Home
One of the original founders of the town, Orland, Captain Samuel Barry’s home frequently gave refuge to escaped slaves.

Daniel Low Estate
Either by hiding them on board grain boats or sneaking them on to trains heading for Michigan and Canada, Daniel Low assisted approximately 150 slaves on the Underground Railroad.

Eleutherian College Classroom and Chapel Building
Symbolically built on top of a hill to demonstrate its commitment to “individual equality, education, and equal opportunity without regard to race or gender,” Eleutherian College was a well-known stop on the Underground Railroad for fugitives traveling through Madison to Indianapolis.

Erastus Farnham House
One of the leaders of the Underground Railroad movement in Fremont, Indiana, Erastus Farnham hid fugitives in his house and kept watch for slave catchers from the cupola on his roof.

Georgetown Neighborhood
At one point populated with abolitionists and freedom seekers, most of the original homes and churches from the Underground Railroad era still stand in this neighborhood.

Levi Coffin House
Owner Levi Coffin has been termed “president” of the Underground Railroad for assisting over 2,000 slaves to freedom as well as supporting other Underground Railroad stations throughout the North.

The Lyman and Asenath Hoyt House
Between 1830 and 1856 Lyman and Asenath Hoyt along with their seven children volunteered their home and property as a station of the Underground Railroad, hiding fugitives in their barn or a cave located on their land.

Thomas Bulla House
Owner Thomas Bulla and his family used their home to aid runaway slaves. The home is located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Map: South Bend Makes List of Top 50 Cities for Swimming

By Janet Stengle • February 21st, 2017

San Jose-Santa Clara, California, edged out Ann Arbor, Michigan, to claim the title of top swim city for the first time in Speedo and USA Swimming’s annual study.

The study compared each city’s swim qualities in relation to population, including factors like new member growth, number of USA Swimming members, club excellence, and number of high-level competitors.

South Bend-Mishawaka came in at 28th. Did your city make the list?

Map: Which major cities have the most foreign-born residents?

By Cassidy McDonald • February 21st, 2017

People are on the move — now, more than ever.

In 2015, the total number of international migrants passed 240 million (the highest number yet). These migrants tend to congregate in cities.

What does that mean for 10 major cities with increasingly foreign-born populations? Explore the map to find out.


Where Do Our Immigrants Really Come From?

As the country grapples with immigration raids and travel ban battles, the time is right to dive into data about migration to the United States.

These are the top countries of origin for foreigners granted legal permanent residence status in the U.S. in 2013:

Northeastern Pennsylvania Crucial in Turning State Red for Trump, Pence

By Lucas Masin-Moyer • February 20th, 2017

For the first time since 1988, Pennsylvania donned Republican red in the 2016 election.

The state had long considered a Democratic stronghold based on its large cities and substantial working-class population. In 2016, Pennsylvania was one of the crucial states, along with Michigan and Wisconsin, in electing Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

While most regions voted more heavily Republican, the region which saw the greatest swing away from the Democratic Party toward Trump was the Northeastern region. In Lackawanna County, home to Scranton, Trump won 11 percent more of the vote than Mitt Romney did in 2012 and in Schuylkill County, just south of Lackawanna, Trump brought home 14 percent more of the vote.

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Northeastern Pennsylvania had long been home to the coal mining and steel industries. When these industries left, with increasing globalization, it created a large class of unemployed, and largely white, working class voters 一 the demographic that was key to Trump’s election.

These voters had long voted Democratic 一  based on strong union ties 一 but Trump’s economic populist message, based on the idea that “horrible” trade deals, such as NAFTA, were taking away industrial jobs, swayed many of these voters to switch their party allegiance.

Trump’s success in Pennsylvania spilled over into other elections, most notably the senate race where Pat Toomey was narrowly reelected over Katie McGinty, a former environmental advisor to President Bill Clinton and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency.

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Data: Indiana Food Insecurity Rates Higher Than National Average

By Caelin Miltko • February 20th, 2017

Indiana’s food insecurity rates from 2013 to 2015 were higher than the national average, according to an analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture Data.

The USDA rated 14.8 percent of Indiana households as having low or very low food security, in comparison to 13.7 percent nationally.

6.1 percent of Indiana households were classified as having very low food security, in comparison to 5.4 percent nationally.

The USDA defines low food security as “reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.” Very low food security is defined as “reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.”

Since 2014, when Indianapolis was rated worst in the nation for food deserts, various efforts have begun to decrease food insecurity in the state. A 2016 state bill was proposed to counteract food deserts specifically.

Food insecurity rates vary widely across the country. North Dakota has the lowest food insecurity rate at 8.5 percent, while Missouri has the highest at 20.8 percent (with 7.9 percent ranked as very low food security).


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Maps: Best Bets for Coffee in South Bend? We Have You Covered

By Molly Seidel and Marie Fazio • February 20th, 2017

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Forget ‘Bucks, SB-based Zen is the way to go (Source; ZenRoasters)

There’s certainly no shortage of coffee on the Notre Dame campus. Between overpriced Starbucks lattes and the brown java sludge brewing at ABP it’s never been more convenient to grab a caffeine kick between classes.

However, these spots lack the cozy atmosphere of a great coffee shop, or the community buzz of a local diner. Likewise, sometimes you want a really great bagel or plate of pancakes to go with that hot drink.

South Bend has seen a huge resurgence in local eateries over the past few years, and today there are more places to grab great coffee and food than ever. These cafes are based in the community and feature many local products such as Zen coffee (roasted right in South Bend) or organic produce from Michiana farms.

And the food options, ranging from loaded breakfast sandwiches at the General to steaming bagels at Stude’s, provide the perfect complement to a delicious cup of java.

While many students may be hesitant to travel beyond the security of the Notre Dame bubble, South Bend offers far more opportunities for coffee/brunching bliss than campus does. If you’re looking to break out of your coffee rut then this interactive map will lead you straight to your new favorite hangout. — Molly Seidel


Another point of view …

Of all the things that come to mind when one thinks of South Bend – Notre Dame football, its minor role in Indian removal, the Studebaker factory, etc. – great coffee isn’t normally one of them.

That, however, should change.

The South Bend area is full of delicious cafes and cozy coffee shops, great for studying, socializing, hearing live acoustic music, or just enjoying a strong cup of freshly brewed coffee. Forget Starbucks, Einstein’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts, these coffee shops brew the good stuff locally, and offer an unbeatable atmosphere to go along with it.

After extensive research using cafe reviews on Yelp and in-person testing performed by several coffee enthusiasts who may or may not be suffering from an addiction to caffeine, we have compiled a list of the best places to get coffee in the South Bend area. The cafes were judged on the quality of the coffee, the price-which is important to struggling college students, and overall vibe of the establishment – friendliness, localness, etc. — Marie Fazio

Rebranding, Four Winds Field Changes Boost South Bend Cubs’ Attendance

By Erin McAuliffe • February 19th, 2017

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The South Bend Cubs were known as the South Bend Silver Hawks until 2014, and the rebranding efforts to align the team with the Chicago Cubs, its major league affiliate, have apparently paid off, according to an analysis of the team’s attendance data.

Beyond the parent club’s World Series victory, South Bend owner Andrew Berlin, who bought the team in 2011,  has spent $8 million since 2011 to renovate Four Winds Field. He upgraded seating and added a new team store, along with family-friendly stadium additions like a playground, waterpark and Kid’s Fun Zone.

The efforts have paid off — stadium attendance has more than tripled since 2011. The ticket sales in 2015, seen in the chart, set franchise records for the best single-season attendance. Also, a record amount of Indiana state sales tax was collected via the concessions and merchandise sold in the stadium in 2015, money that was retained to benefit the City of South Bend. The team was even named Ballpark Digest’s Team of the Year in 2015.

Team President Joe Hart, who joined the Cubs in 2012, spoke about the award with the Ballpark Digest: “South Bend is a great baseball community and the last four years have been very rewarding as we have worked hard to rebuild the franchise. We have a great owner that has a passion for baseball and deep commitment to [the] City of South Bend and the region. This would not be possible without an experienced front office staff that believes in customer service and providing a first-class experience for our fans each and every night.”

Going Mobile: Documenting Five Days in South Bend and Beyond …

By Data Indiana staff • February 6th, 2017

Sixteen Notre Dame students. Sixteen smartphones. Five days.

Student reporters were told to use only their phones apps to document various news events, features and points of interest around South Bend, the state, and on Notre Dame’s campus from Feb. 1 through Feb. 6. They used apps such as Hyperlapse (timelapse), Bubbli 360-degree photo bubbles and various photo and recording apps to document the stories.

Here’s what they found …

Gary Church Ruins

My American Ruins class at Notre Dame took a field trip to Gary, Indiana, and explored many abandoned sites in the city once anchored by US Steel.

City United Methodist Church, the crumbled building featured below, is Gary’s most famous ruin, and many photographers come to Gary to capture its haunting beauty. It was built in 1925 and closed in 1975, and at its peak boasted 3,000 members.

The class also visited a train station, high school auditorium, and housing for workers that was in similar conditions. While at the church, our class ran into two other photoshoots, a testament to understanding industrial ruins in America as tourist destinations. — Janet Stengle


Keenan Revue Ticket Lines and ‘Protest’

The Keenan Revue, composed of skits written and performed exclusively by members of Keenan Hall, has been an annual tradition at Notre Dame. It also draws just shy of 4,000 people to the Stepan Center, and the free tickets had students and others lining up for hours on Feb. 1 to get them.





This 360-degree photo bubble shot by Hannah Scherer shows just how long the lines were. Mouse over it to move the image or swipe it on a mobile device.

Meyo Invitational

The prestigious indoor meet was held at Notre Dame’s Loftus Sports Center on Feb. 5 and 6. The meet was telecast online on WatchESPN.


Hesburgh Library Updates

Marie Fazio takes us on a tour of the library’s renovations.


Google Trends: Can Lyft Catch Uber in South Bend in Search?

By Dakota Connell-Ledwon • February 1st, 2017

You’ve probably used Uber, the ride-sharing app that lets you order a car to pick you up at your exact location. But there’s a new competitor in town–Lyft expanded its operations to South Bend last Thursday.

In a comparison of Google searches using Google Trends, Uber remained dominant after Lyft’s launch.

The graph shows that Google searches for Lyft increased after its launch at noon on Jan. 26–perhaps because the company advertised a $5 coupon promotion for riders beforehand–and searches for Uber were still higher but comparable at the time.

Over the weekend, thousands of protestors gathered at JFK airport to oppose President Trump’s executive order banning refugees and travelers from seven largely Muslim countries. While taxis joined the protest by striking and refusing to pick up passengers from JFK, Uber continued service–and even turned off surge pricing.

Lyft continued to operate as well, but kept surge pricing on and pledged $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. Uber’s actions spawned a boycott of the company around the country. But as the Lyft trend generally follows the same pattern as the Uber trend in the graph, it’s a small possibility that the boycott has affected Uber’s business in South Bend.

Moving into the weekend, the gap between searches for the two companies widened, with Uber peaking early in the morning on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Lyft experienced similar but much smaller peaks.

A city with multiple universities such as the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend is rich ground for ride-sharing companies. Freshman at the University of Notre Dame are prohibited from having a car on campus during their first semester. Students without cars have utilized Uber or taxi companies to get around in the past.

Google Trends will be useful in following interest in Lyft over the coming weeks–will it continue rising in popularity and cut into Uber’s ride-sharing monopoly on South Bend? Or will it fail to take off?

Google Trends: Searches for Women’s March vs. March for Life

By Teagan Dillon • January 31st, 2017

On Jan. 27, Washington, D.C., saw its third major event of the past week as people gathered for the 43rd annual March for Life to protest abortion.

But less than a week earlier, on Jan. 21, some 500,000 people gathered in the same place — and at locations all over the country — for the first annual Women’s March to protest for the protection of a woman’s right to choose, among other things.

While the Women’s March was not centered on abortion, it did take a stance in favor of abortion rights. The Women’s March released a policy document stating that the march supported “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people.” One day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, it drew massive crowds not only to the nation’s capital but also to cities around the world.

Here’s a comparison of the amount of Google searches globally in the past 10 days for both the Women’s March and the March for Life. Both peaked on their respective march days, but the Women’s March generated nearly four times as many searches on its protest day than the March for Life did.


In addition, the Women’s March showed continued interest in the days following the protest. Since it was the first of its kind, it most likely drew questions about its crowd size, platform and mission. Also happening to fall on President Trump’s first day in office, it was a rally against his past statements and actions that many deemed misogynistic and reprehensible.

On the other hand, in its 43rd year, the March for Life has become a more established, well-known protest with imaginably fewer questions surrounding its premise. This year, however, Vice President Mike Pence became the first vice president to speak at the rally.

While the Women’s March did take a pro-abortion stance, its platform included a wide range of social issues, such as immigration reform, healthcare reform and LGBTQ rights, that provided pro-life men and women a chance to rally for other issues.

Here’s how the topics fared in Indiana on Google search: