Introduction to Dowagiac, Michigan
Dowagiac, Michigan, in Cass county, is 22 miles N of Elkhart, Indiana (center to center) and 79 miles E of Chicago, Illinois.
The Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Ottawa tribes of Native Americans, who are considered to be the first settlers in the region, named the place "Dowagiac" after an Indian term meaning "foraging ground." Rail lines and stagecoaches arrived in the mid 1800s and the area was platted as the City of Dowagiac in 1848. The first school was established in the same year. Round Oak Stove Company was founded by Philo Beckwith in 1859, which was also when the Judd Lumber Company was established. This lumber company is currently the oldest lumber company in Michigan.
Dowagiac and Nearby Attractions
- Heddon Museum
- Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site
- Southwestern Michigan College Museum
- Kaukakee State Fish and Wildlife Area
- James E. Heddon Park
- Black Pine Animal Park
Things To Do In Dowagiac
The Southwestern Michigan College Museum, located in the city of Dowagiac, houses artifacts and memorabilia from the early days of the community. The Elkhart County Historical Museum, the Fort Saint Joseph Museum, the Snite Museum of Art, and the Curious Kids' Museum are also close by. James E. Heddon Park, Water Tower Park, Optimist Park, Rotary Park, and Northwest Park are popular parks in the area. The Rudolphi Wildlife Refuge & Rudolphi Woods feature nature trails and hiking trails. Visitors can also enjoy cross country skiing here. The Historic Walking Tour across Dowagiac traverses places of historical interest around the city, including the Historic Train Depot, Judd Lumber Company, Beckwith Park, Caruso's Candy Kitchen, St Paul's Episcopal Church, and the Gardner Mansion. The city also hosts the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival in May every year.
Air transportation is available from the South Bend Regional Airport.
Dowagiac Higher Education
Southwestern Michigan College is located in the city of Dowagiac. The University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College are also close by.