“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Van Buren County, Michigan

Clickable Map of Van Buren County, Michigan and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Van Buren County, MI (46) Allegan County, MI (52) Berrien County, MI (76) Cass County, MI (34) Kalamazoo County, MI (73) St. Joseph County, MI (36) Lake County, IL (62)  VanBurenCounty(46) Van Buren County (46)  AlleganCounty(52) Allegan County (52)  BerrienCounty(76) Berrien County (76)  CassCounty(34) Cass County (34)  KalamazooCounty(73) Kalamazoo County (73)  St.JosephCounty(36) St. Joseph County (36)  LakeCountyIllinois(62) Lake County (62)
Paw Paw is the county seat for Van Buren County
Adjacent to Van Buren County, Michigan
      Allegan County (52)  
      Berrien County (76)  
      Cass County (34)  
      Kalamazoo County (73)  
      St. Joseph County (36)  
      Lake County, Illinois (62)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Michigan (Van Buren County), Bangor — Grand Army of the Republic
To the honor of A. Lincoln Post No. 19, Dept. Of Mich. Grand Army of the Republic whose 296 members fought from 1861 till 1865 to save the Union, and to A. Lincoln Woman’s Relief Corps No. 89, whose devoted services for forty years have helped . . . Map (db m150271) WM
2Michigan (Van Buren County), Bloomingdale — Bloomingdale Oil Boom
This Pump Jack is typical of the many that were in operation in Bloomingdale in the late 30's and early 40's. On August 13th, 1938, after several days of drilling on the Wiggins Farm, which borders the village on the north, the Fisher McCall . . . Map (db m69950) HM
3Michigan (Van Buren County), Bloomingdale — Bloomingdale Oil Boom / Statewide Effect of Bloomingdale Oil Boom
(Side One) Bloomingdale Oil Boom This 90 ft, 1930's era oil derrick is typical of the many drilling rigs that occupied the landscapes around bloomingdale during the late 1930's. It was originally located in Mt. Pleasant, . . . Map (db m69929) HM
4Michigan (Van Buren County), Bloomingdale — Bloomingdale Veterans Memorial
(Center Monument) Dedicated to all Veterans, men and women who have served our country in peace and war. Their memories will never die. (Left Tablet) In memory of the VETERANS of all wars. Erected by . . . Map (db m69952) WM
5Michigan (Van Buren County), Bloomingdale — L1245A — Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad / Bloomingdale Depot
(Side One) Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad On April 14, 1869, Kalamazoo businessmen filed articles of incorporation establishing the Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad Company. Final construction on the line was completed in . . . Map (db m69951) HM
6Michigan (Van Buren County), Covert — L416 — Covert Library
This structure was the township's first commercial building and an integral part of Covert's development. In 1871 Packard and Sons Lumbering Company hired Will Frary to build a general store. Under George Michel's proprietorship from 1885 to 1915, . . . Map (db m69956) HM
7Michigan (Van Buren County), Covert — Covert World War II Memorial
The citizens of Covert Township with solemn pride and reverent gratitude honor those who gave their lives to win World War II 1941 — 1945 William O. Bigoness Jr. Walter J. Fitch Edward H. Hecker George E. Husek . . . Map (db m69958) WM
8Michigan (Van Buren County), Decatur — L716A — Decatur Township Hall
Constructed at the turn of the century, this building replaced the original 1870 township hall. A Georgian Revival brick and stone structure, it was dedicated on September 19, 1901. Besides township activities, the hall has been the setting for . . . Map (db m68410) HM
9Michigan (Van Buren County), Decatur — L2111 — Hamilton Grange Hall / Hamilton Fair
(Obverse Side) Hamilton Grange Hall Local farmers organized Hamilton Grange No. 355 in 1874 and built this hall the following year. Lacking a town center, area residents congregated at the hall, which hosted elections and . . . Map (db m68413) HM
10Michigan (Van Buren County), Hartford — 430 — Van Buren County Poorhouse
This two and a half story brick building was constructed in 1884 as the county poorhouse and infirmary. Here lived the indigent and mentally retarded from Van Buren County. Able-bodied residents worked on the grounds and on the adjacent farm where . . . Map (db m44795) HM
11Michigan (Van Buren County), Lawton — L2017 — Houppert Winery
Grape growing began in Lawton in 1868 when A.B. Jones planted 100 vines. By 1900 many eastern Van Buren County farmers converted their land to vineyards. In 1903 the Lawton Vineyard Company built a winery on this site, which William C. Houppert . . . Map (db m68432) HM
12Michigan (Van Buren County), Lawton — Lawton Civil War Monument
Our Fallen Heroes From 1861 to 1865Map (db m68411) WM
13Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — Charles R. Maxwell
(Front Side) Dedicated in honor to the life of Charles R. Maxwell Born in Lawton, MI April 8, 1927. Charlie was the youngest of four children of Tom and Isa Maxwell. He graduated from Lawton High School and received a baseball . . . Map (db m68437) HM
14Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — L2264C — Isaac Watts Willard / Isaac Watts Willard
Isaac Watts Willard In 1838, Isaac Watts Willard (1803-1879) and partners Peter Gremps and Lyman Daniels surveyed and platted the village of Paw Paw. That same year, Gremps and Willard opened a mercantile and grist mill in the village. . . . Map (db m182883) HM
15Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — L2114 — Paw Paw Public Library
This building opened as the Paw Paw Public Library on June 26, 1920. Jackson architect Claire Allen designed the library, as well as the nearby county courthouse. Pennsylvania industrialist Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 toward construction and . . . Map (db m68434) HM
16Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — L1375A — St. Mark's Church / The Reverend Darius Barker
(Obverse Side) St. Mark's Church St. Mark's parish, organized at the county courthouse on February 22, 1851, is Paw Paw's oldest Episcopal congregation. The Reverend Voltaire Spaulding conducted the first service in a vacant . . . Map (db m68435) HM
17Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — S163 — Territorial Road
One of the three great east-west routes of pioneer days, the Territorial Road from Detroit to St. Joe tapped the rich lands of the second "tier" of counties. Approved in 1829, the road was not surveyed through Van Buren County until 1835. Although . . . Map (db m68436) HM
18Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — 556 — Van Buren County / Van Buren County Courthouse
Van Buren County Settlers attracted by lumbering came to this area in the 1830s. By the 1860s a mild climate, rich soil and easy access to the Chicago markets created a thriving fruit industry in Van Buren County. The county was one of . . . Map (db m59383) HM
19Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — 939 — Warner Wine Haus
Completed in 1898, this structure was built as a waterworks station for the village of Paw Paw. Water from artesian wells powered the plant, first by steam and after 1908 by hydro-electricity. In the 1920s the wells were capped, and the structure . . . Map (db m59387) HM
20Michigan (Van Buren County), Paw Paw — William Killefer Jr. / Wade Killefer
(Obverse Side) This memorial is dedicated to the life of William Killefer Jr. Born in Bloomingdale, MI, October 10, 1887 and moved to Paw Paw (1888). "Reindeer Bill" Killefer played catcher for Paw Paw HS state champions of . . . Map (db m68382) HM
21Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Algonquin Legends of South Haven
By: Chief Pokagon "Our traditional account of South Haven given us by ki-os-ag (our forefathers) was held as sacred by them as Holy Writ by the white man. Long, long bi-bong (years) ago Ki-ji Man-i-to (the Great Spirit) who held dominion of . . . Map (db m119267) HM
22Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Birth of City Utilities
The City of South Haven took a major step forward in providing utility services to residents in 1892 when a water pumping station was constructed on the lakeshore. In 1895, the City purchased its first electric generator. The original water pumping . . . Map (db m119261) HM
23Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Commercial Fishing
Commercial fishing was part of South Haven's diverse maritime economy from the 1860s until the 1970s. In 1932, Christopher Jensen, a Danish immigrant, opened a commercial fishery on the Black River near the Dyckman Avenue Bridge. The Jensen . . . Map (db m119266) HM
24Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Commercial Shipping
South Haven emerged as a commercial shipping center in the 1850s. By the late nineteenth century, lumber, fruit, and other manufactured goods were transported between South Haven, Chicago, and other cities on steam vessels. Commercial shipping . . . Map (db m119257) HM
25Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Corporal Duane E. Dewey
During the Korean War, Corporal Duane Edgar Dewey of the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines from South Haven, was the first person to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor from then President Eisenhower. He earned the nation’s highest award for heroism on . . . Map (db m61712) HM WM
26Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Downtown's Rich History
When South Haven became an incorporated town in 1869, it was a tiny but prosperous village with a bustling economy. Lake Michigan provided robust fishing, lumbering, shipping and fruit industries and the downtown business district grew quickly. . . . Map (db m119254) HM
27Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey
This is the birthplace and early home of Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, South Haven's most distinguished son. As a very young man he became interested in plants and trees. This interest and knowledge constantly grew until he became the nation's . . . Map (db m59421) HM
28Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Dyckman Avenue Bascule Bridge
Today, crossing the Black River is a far simpler task than in the past. Early travelers relied on ferryboats to transport them across the river until 1856, when a wooden drawbridge was constructed. From 1889 until 1968, an iron swing bridge . . . Map (db m119255) HM
29Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Entertainment Around the Harbor
As the City of South Haven's population grew, and with the arrival of steamship and train passengers, a greater need for entertainment became realized. The popular pastime of the day was "bathing" - referred to as "swimming" today - in Lake . . . Map (db m119279) HM
30Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Evelyn SA Long History
(panel one) In 1939, the Sturgeon Bay Boat Works built the Evelyn S for William Seliman Fisheries of Manistique, Michigan. A typical wooden gill net fish tug design prevalent during this period, the tug was sheathed in steel . . . Map (db m119292) HM
31Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Frank E. Warner
This property, known as the Bailey Home, was purchased from Liberty Bailey, father of Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, by Frank E. Warner in 1918. Mr. Warner made this his home until his death in 1926. Mr. Warner was a pioneer fruit grower of this . . . Map (db m59420) HM
32Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — L1095A — Hartman School
In 1906 the South Haven School District built this four-room school in Ward 2. The school, designed by Hussey and White of Lansing, was constructed at a cost of approximately $7,000. It was named for local businessman and school board president E.H. . . . Map (db m69992) HM
33Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — 227 — Haven Peaches
The Haven peach varieties were developed here by Michigan State University's South Haven Experiment Station, under the direction of Professor Stanley Johnston. From 1924 to 1963, eight yellow-fleshed freestone varieties were selected from more than . . . Map (db m182953) HM
34Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — History of the Channel Piers
In 1861, the first piers appeared on the north and south side of the entrance to the Black River. The channel between the piers was dredged to allow access to larger ships. In 1867, the piers were extended and the channel was widened which . . . Map (db m119260) HM
35Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — L1173 — Indiana School
This school was built for Ward One of the South Haven School District in 1898. Constructed at a cost of nearly $5,000 by William Buck, the handsome two-story building was designed by Frank S. Allen. It later took its name from the street on which it . . . Map (db m69989) HM
36Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — 243 — Liberty Hyde Bailey(1858-1954)
The world-famous botanist and horticulturist, Liberty Hyde Bailey, was born in this frame house. Here in wilderness surroundings he learned of wild animals and plants and attended the local village school. He graduated from Michigan Agricultural . . . Map (db m59419) HM
37Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Lifesaving Station
The Lifesaving Station was a prominent landmark on South Haven's waterfront for more than a century before it was destroyed by fire in 1989. The U.S. Lifesaving Service (USLSS) built the lifesaving station in 1887 to ensure the safety of ships, . . . Map (db m119262) HM
38Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Over a Century of Tourism
For over a century, South Haven's beaches, fishing, and boating have attracted tourists. By 1880, steamship lines and railroads brought thousands of visitors from Chicago, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Resort hotels, guesthouses, cottages, and . . . Map (db m119280) HM
39Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Resort Industry
The resort industry thrived in the latter half of the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s. Visitors arrived from Chicago aboard steamships that sailed into South Haven harbor daily. The Dewey Hotel, the Avery Beach Hotel, the Newcomes, the . . . Map (db m119281) HM
40Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — L807A — Scott Club
This federated women's club, founded as a reading circle in 1883 and named for Sir Walter Scott, merged with the Literary and Antiquarian Societies to build a clubhouse in 1892. John Cornelius Randall designed the sandstone Queen Anne structure, . . . Map (db m182977) HM
41Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — Shipbuilding
Between 1866 and 1902, more than 50 wooden ships were built at shipyards along the banks of the Black River. The construction of these ships was financed by the ship owners, local merchants, groups of shareholders, and small shipping companies. . . . Map (db m119268) HM
42Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — South Haven Lighthouse
The first light was erected in 1873 at the end of a 225 foot wooden pier that had been in use since 1861. The square pyramid wooden structure consisted of two rooms mounted on a raised platform. The bottom room was for oil storage, the top room . . . Map (db m119263) HM
43Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — South Haven LighthousePreserving Our Past Enriches Our Future
The United States of America donated this Lighthouse to the Historical Association of South Haven for public, educational and historic preservation uses through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act March 8, 2012Map (db m160033) HM
44Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — South Haven World War I Memorial
To Our Heroes Veterans of the World War 1917 — 1918Map (db m69990) WM
45Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — The Lightkeeper's Dwelling
The South Haven Lightkeeper's dwelling was built by the United States Lighthouse Service in 1871-1872, when South Haven's first lighthouse was constructed. The dwelling was last occupied by a lightkeeper in 1940, when technical changes . . . Map (db m119258) HM
46Michigan (Van Buren County), South Haven — L2212C — West Michigan Summer Resorts / Jewish Resorts
West Michigan Summer Resorts After the American Civil War (1861-1865) a new wealthy class arose with the time and means to escape the grime of industrialized cities for the summer “Season.” In the 1870s the Little Traverse Bay region became . . . Map (db m182951) HM
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Jun. 29, 2022