Clear H2O


By Louie Stout

Rattlers Thrived on South Bend Southwest SideOur rattlesnake column a few weeks ago has triggered some interesting conversations.

If you missed that story, it noted how the 2000-plus acre Ed Lowe Foundation property east of Cassopolis harbors one of the Midwest’s largest populations of Massasauga rattlesnakes.

More than 800 have been documented on the property over the past seven years. The Massasauga is the only poisonous snake in Michigan and northern Indiana. However, populations have dwindled rapidly due to habitat loss and the snake may be placed on the national endangered species list.

After that story ran, reader Ken Price of Granger dropped us a note pointing out that rattlesnakes were once prominent around South Bend.

In fact, a large population living on the city’s southwest side some 60 years ago created quite a stir and led to a public demonstration demanding the city eradicate the snakes.

Price recalls a huge rattler colony in a large field adjacent to a trailer park once located on the south side of the old Lincoln Way near the Michiana airport. The field ran all the way to the edge of Mayflower Road.