The Old Fort Building Supply Story
A Family Business in South Bend, IN
Located at 1401 South Main Street, Old Fort Building Supply is a family business that has been serving Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan since 1983. Founded at the turn of the century as “Builders Supply & Specialty Co.” the yard at Main St. and Broadway sold clay sewer pipe, flue liners, clay brick, chimney tops, lime, cement, plaster, and wall coping. Sometime in the 1930’s, it became the “E.R. Newland Co.” and remained under Mr. Newland’s ownership until the 1960’s when it went through a succession of owners. In 1976 the business ended up being purchased by the Old Fort Supply Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. All during this time it remained at the current location and was focused on masonry products.
In 1983, Old Fort was purchased by Lew Jagger and it was renamed Old Fort Building Supply of South Bend, Inc. Not too many years later, Lew’s son Rob was hired to oversee business operations as general manager. Rob Jagger became the sole owner when he purchased the company from his dad, Lew. Grandpa Lew continued to work in the office on a regular basis throughout his retirement. Rob grew the business as sole owner by introducing new product offerings outside of the masonry field. These product introductions and expansions led to Old Fort becoming the only full-service masonry AND interiors product supply.
Bill Jagger was brought onboard in 1996 to oversee residential and commercial masonry sales. Bill oversees that department to this day. Rob and Bill continue to own and actively run the business to this day as co-owners. In 2015, Bill’s son Kyle was hired into a masonry sales and marketing position within the company. With that hire, Kyle became the first of the family’s 3rd generation to work for the business.