Goshen, Indiana, the county seat of Elkhart County, was platted in 1831. The area was home to Indigenous Miami and then Potawatomi band people before they were driven out of the region by expansionist policies of the United States government. White settlers displaced these Native peoples as they established local communities. Beginning in the mid-19th century, Elkhart County’s emerging cities and towns included free Black families who struggled against segregationist attitudes of white community members, and of whom only 20 remained at the time of the 1890 census.
White Mennonite and Amish settlers grew into a substantial population of Anabaptists and established the Mennonite institution, Goshen College. A Jewish community was thriving here at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, but that had been reduced to 52 remaining members by 1927.
Beginning in the mid-20th century, the Bracero Program introduced Mexican laborers to the area who planted the seed for a growing Latinx community, who made up 30% of Goshen's population by 2019.
The stops on the tour highlight both community achievements as well as the challenges faced by groups as they lived and worked in Goshen.