It was over 100 years ago that 19th century industrialist J.D. Oliver, his wife, Anna, and their four children moved into their new home at 808 West Washington Street-Copshaholm as they would later name it. Built in 1895-1896, Copshaholm is a 38-room Romanesque Queen Anne house designed by New York architect Charles Alonzo Rich. The furnishings on all three floors are original, giving visitors a remarkable glimpse of how the mansion appeared during the 72 years the Oliver family lived there.
Oak, cherry and mahogany woodwork are found throughout Copshaholm. Leaded glass windows and 14 fireplaces add to the ambiance of the house. The furnishings include period porcelains, glass, silver, prints, and statuary. Two bronze busts by noted Chicago Lorado Taft-one of J.D. Oliver and the other of his father, James-are part of the collection.
J.D. Oliver was president of the Oliver Chilled Plow Works, located in South Bend, Indiana. The company was founded by J.D.’s father, James, inventor of the chilled plow.
Copshaholm is built of native Indiana fieldstone which was transported and cut on site by skilled masons. It was one of the first homes in South Bend to have electricity.
Surrounding Copshaholm are 2.5 acres of landscaped Italianate gardens, including a teahouse, rose garden, pergola, tennis lawn, and fountain.
Copshaholm and its gardens are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is registered as an American Treasure. This landmark is operated by the The History Museum.