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Local legend supplies the name of Indiana's "Princess City". Its eponym is a legendary Shawnee Native American princess who was abducted and stabbed by Pottawatomie Indian Grey Wolf out of jealousy. Although Mishawaka survived the attack, Grey Wolf was killed by Deadshot, a white trapper whom Mishawaka loved. Mishawaka is memorialized by a bronze marker at Lincoln Park, one of the city's 29 parks. In the early 1800s, bog iron deposits were discovered, and St. Joseph Iron Works was founded to mine the iron. In 1833, Mishawaka was born out of the convergence of St. Joseph Iron Works with Indiana City and two other small neighboring towns. The iron deposits supplied most of the city's industry until the middle of the 19th century when they exhausted and industry shifted to manufacturing, which remains a major part of Mishawaka's economy. Major industries located in the area are Dodge Manufacturing Co., Bayer Inc. (healthcare), Nyloncroft (injection molding), and Janco Engineered Products. Other industry present in Mishawaka are agriculture and transportation. Its situation on the St. Joseph River, on railways and at the intersection of major U.S. Interstates 80 and 90 have made it useful in the transportation of goods across the country. In addition to being home to Bethel College, Mishawaka is also close to Notre Dame University.
A largely residential city, Mishawaka has provided its residents with several outdoor recreational activities with the construction of 29 parks throughout the city. Visit several of them along the city's Riverwalk or get your cultural boost in one of the city's museums and historical sites. Moreover, golf courses as well as a big zoo will keep you busy on your trip.
Ethnic influences are prevalent in Mishawaka's cuisine. Asian restaurants varying from Thai to Vietnamese as well as Italian and Mexican restaurants sit alongside pubs with mouth-watering burgers. However, American cuisine, both traditional and modern, definitely has its place.
Coffee houses in the area are generally small, quiet places to escape to on a busy day. You can get a coffee to go on almost every corner or enjoy a nutritious meal at one of the area's popular breakfast spots. Indulge in sumptuous treats and explore the specials of local bakeries.
While sports bars and laid back lounges are more prevalent in Mishawaka and South Bend, there are also a couple of classy bars nightclubs to be found. The Club Fever is clearly one of the more notable ones and many bars also double as live music venues.
It would be easy to spend half a day or more perusing the more than 120 stores at University Park Mall. This shopping center is so large it serves all of Michiana. Of course, others might prefer strolling down Grape Road and Main Street and popping in and out of the small local shops.
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