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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Niles in Berrien County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin

 
 
Henry Austin Chapin side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
1. Henry Austin Chapin side of the marker
Inscription. The Chapin House. This Queen Anne style house, completed in 1884, was the Henry A. Chapin family home until 1902. In 1932, when the City of Niles bought the property at auction for $300, the Chapin children stipulated that it be used only for civic purposes. Now serving as the Niles City Hall, the house is built of local brick and terra-cotta tile. The interior is ornamented with leaded glass windows and transoms, handcarved woodwork, and stenciled ceilings. In 1939 the Works Progress Administration joined the carriage house to another outbuilding, thus creating the Fort St. Joseph Museum structure. The museum holds over 10,000 items, including Fort St. Joseph and Potawatomi Indian artifacts, local memorabilia, and a collection of drawings by Chief Sitting Bull.

Henry Austin Chapin. Henry A. Chapin (1813–1898) spent most of his early life in Ohio. He married Ruby N. Nooney in 1836 and settled in Edwardsburg, Michigan. In 1846 Chapin and S.S. Griffin opened the first general store in Niles. With his son Charles, Henry A. later established an insurance and loan agency. Their firm had interests in nearby paper mills and electric companies and real estate in Alabama, Illinois and Michigan. The bulk of the family capital came from the discovery of iron ore in Michiganís Upper Peninsula. The Chapin Mine near
The Chapin House side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
2. The Chapin House side of the marker
Iron Mountain began operations in 1879. “Mr. H.A.” as he was known received up to $300,000 yearly in royalties from the mine. Owing to the Great Depression, the Chapin Mine closed in 1934, after fifty-five years of continuous production.
 
Erected 1979. (Marker Number L0475.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects marker series.
 
Location. 41° 49.789′ N, 86° 15.225′ W. Marker is in Niles, Michigan, in Berrien County. Marker is on East Main Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 508 E Main St., Niles MI 49120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U.S.S. Maine Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Four Flags Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wesley United Methodist Church (about 700 feet away); Second Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ferry Street School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Trinity Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); John B. Reddick Building (approx. ľ mile away); PA-WA-TING (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Niles.
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsNotable Persons
 
The Chapin House - now City Hall image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
3. The Chapin House - now City Hall
The former Chapin House carriage house - now Fort St. Joseph Museum image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
4. The former Chapin House carriage house - now Fort St. Joseph Museum
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by M. Bowyer of Indianapolis, Indiana. This page has been viewed 2,015 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by M. Bowyer of Indianapolis, Indiana. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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