One of the most beautiful parks in South Bend, historic Leeper Park is adjacent to the Chapin Park Neighborhood and offers fun and relaxation for people of all ages. The park features a pond with ducks, playground equipment, picnic facilities and beautiful views of the St. Joseph River. Plenty of large trees cover the park providing shade on a hot summer day. The city's premiere tennis courts are found at Leeper Park Tennis Center, which is host to many tournaments and offers lessons for players of all ages and skill levels.
Like the rest of Chapin Park, Leeper Park grew up with the city of South Bend. City officials first discussed plans for the park in the 1870's, but it was not until 1900 that South Bend designated the area Leeper Park in honor of former Mayor David Rohrer Leeper. Sixteen years later, nationally renown Landscape Architect George E. Kessler was hired to design a "modern" urban park.
Historic features of Leeper park include Navarre Cabin, built in 1820 and considered to be the home of the first European (Pierre Navarre) to permanently settle in St. Joseph County. A 1910 horse watering trough can also be found on the southeast side of the park, close to the duck pond.
Leeper Park hosts many city events, including South Bend's annual city tennis tournament and the Leeper Park Art Fair, which brings regional artists together each June. For more information about Leeper Park's facilities and upcoming events, contact the South Bend Parks and Recreation Department.