Historical Markers in
Berrien County, Michigan

1870 Berrien County Jail 8:46 a.m. September 11th 2001 9:03 a.m. September 11th 2001 Andrews University Baker Park Benton Harbor Fruit Market Berrien County Courthouse Berrien Springs Courthouse Bertrand Boatbuilding Industry Buchanan Downtown Burnett's Post Carey Mission Carl Sandburg / Chikaming Goat Farm Coloma Interurban Station Commercial Fishing Commercial Shipping Creating a Harbor Donavon F. Smith Donavon F. Smith Veterans Memorial Park Monument Downtown Buchanan National Register Historic District Eisenhower Interstate System Eleven Inch Dahlgren Father Claude Jean Allouez S. J. Ferry Street School Fort Miami Fort St. Joseph Four Flags Hotel Gordon Beach Inn Israelite House of David / Mary's City of David John and Horace Dodge / The Dodge Brothers John B. Reddick Building Johnson Cemetery La Salle Memorial Lakeside Inn Lighthouses on the Bluff Lighthouses on the Pier Michigan Central Railroad Depot / Michigan Central Railroad Company Michigan Central Railroad Niles Depot Morris Chapel Church Morton Cemetery New Buffalo Welcome Center Niles - A Transportation Center Niles Veterans Memorial Old St. Joseph Neighborhood PA-WA-TING Parc Aux Vaches Parrott Civil War Cannon Pears Mill Portage Prairie United Methodist Church Recreational Boating Ring Lardner Saint Mary’s Second Baptist Church Shipbuilding in the Twin Cities Silver Beach Amusement Park St. Joseph Maritime Heritage St. Joseph Maritime Heritage St. Joseph River Swing Bridge St. Joseph's Firemen St. Joseph's Mission The 9-11 attacks resulted in the death of 2,996 people The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin The Dewey Cannon The Fruit Belt The Historic District of Mary's City of David The Hogue House The Iron Brigade / The Twenty-Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment The Morton House Trinity Church U.S. Lighthouse Supply Depot U.S.S. Maine Memorial Union Church and Cemetery United States Life Saving Service Wesley United Methodist Church West Michigan Pike
The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States. It was founded in 1817, 20 years before Michigan became a state, and its alumni include President Gerald Ford, Google co-founder Larry Page, and actor James Earl Jones.
Berrien County, located in southwestern Michigan, has a rich history that spans centuries. The area originally belonged to the Potawatomi Native American tribe, who used the fertile land for hunting and farming. In the early 19th century, European settlers began to arrive, fueled by the opening of the Erie Canal and the availability of cheap land. The first permanent European settlement in what is now Berrien County was established in 1822.

Throughout the 19th century, Berrien County experienced rapid growth and development. The construction of the St. Joseph River canal, completed in 1838, improved transportation and facilitated trade in the region. This led to the rise of various industries, including lumber milling, agriculture, and manufacturing. The city of St. Joseph, located on the shores of Lake Michigan, became a hub of economic activity and a popular tourist destination.

The mid-20th century brought significant changes to Berrien County. The decline of traditional industries prompted a shift towards tourism and service-based sectors. The growth of the automobile industry in nearby cities like Detroit also had a positive impact on the local economy. In recent years, the county has continued to diversify its economy, with a focus on attracting high-tech industries and promoting small businesses.

Today, Berrien County is known for its natural beauty, with miles of sandy beaches along Lake Michigan and a thriving agricultural sector. It is also home to several popular tourist destinations, including the Silver Beach Carousel, the Whirlpool Compass Fountain, and various wineries and breweries. The county's rich history and picturesque landscapes continue to attract visitors and make it a desirable place to live and visit.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Berrien County, Michigan.

  • 1829 - Berrien County is established as part of the Michigan Territory.
  • 1831 - The county's first courthouse is built in Berrien Springs.
  • 1833 - The city of Niles is founded as a trading post.
  • 1837 - Berrien County becomes part of the newly formed state of Michigan.
  • 1857 - The St. Joseph River is dredged, improving transportation and trade in the area.
  • 1870 - The railroad reaches Berrien County, further enhancing transportation and commerce.
  • 1894 - The county seat is moved from Berrien Springs to St. Joseph.
  • 1941-1945 - Berrien County contributes to the war effort during World War II, with factories producing military supplies.
  • 1959 - The construction of Interstate 94 connects Berrien County to the interstate highway system.
  • 1968 - The Silver Beach County Park is established, becoming a popular tourist destination.
  • 1980s - Berrien County experiences economic growth with the expansion of the fruit industry and the establishment of manufacturing companies.