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Online Exhibits > Father Edward Sorin and the Founding of Notre Dame


Excerpt from Sorin's Chronicles

Notre Dame du Lac 1842 & 1843: Topographical Description

It was on Nov 26th 1842 that F. Sorin arrived at Notre Dame du Lac with seven Brothers, Mary (later changed to Br. Francis Xavier), Gatien, Patrick, William, Basil, Peter, and Francis, after a journey of more than one hundred leagues through the snow. This property was then known as St. Mary of the Lakes; it is situated on the right of the St. Joseph's River, half a league from South Bend, the county town of St. Joseph's County; one league from the northern boundary of Indiana; about twelve leagues from Lake Michigan; thirty-five leagues from Chicago; seventy leagues from Detroit; and four hundred from New York.

524 acres. It contains about five hundred and twenty-four acres of land, or nearly one third of a league square, only ten acres of which were under cultivation, the rest being virgin forest, with the exception of about eighty or ninety acres, the centre of which was occupied by two charming lakes fed by springs, and its bed being about twenty five feet deep. The banks contain an inexhaustible supply of white marl, which being worked like . . .