Mishawaka is a city on the St. Joseph River, in Penn Township, St. Joseph County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 48,252 as of the 2010 census. Its nickname is “the Princess City,” and is colloquially called, “The Waka.” Mishawaka is a principal city of the South Bend–Mishawaka, IN-MI, Metropolitan Statistical Area. Mishawaka’s recorded history began with the discovery of bog iron deposits at the beginning of the 1830s. Settlers arriving to mine the deposits founded the town of St. Joseph Iron Works in 1831. Within a few years, the town had a blast furnace, a general store, a tavern, and about 200 residents.
Business prospered, and in 1833 St. Joseph Iron Works, Indiana City, and two other adjacent small towns were incorporated to form the city of Mishawaka. The Mishawaka post office has been in operation since 1833.In September 1872, a fire destroyed three quarters of Mishawaka’s business district. However, the citizens rebuilt and attracted new industry. The Dodge Manufacturing Company, Perkins Windmills and the Mishawaka Woolen and Rubber Company (later Ball Band, then Uniroyal) all helped the town to prosper. Mishawaka grew through both industry and agriculture. In the late 19th century, Mishawaka became known as the “Peppermint Capital of the World”, since the area’s rich black loam produced great quantities of mint.
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