This Veterans Memorial Park is named in honor of Donavon F. Smith, Lt. General, USAF. General Smith graduated from Niles High School in 1940. After flight training, he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England where he flew 123 combat . . . — — Map (db m68534) HM
To the memory of
Father Claude Jean Allouez S. J.
Whose intrepid courage won the admiration of the Indians and whose apostolic zeal earned for him the title of the Francis Xavier of the American Missions. Father Allouez was born at St. . . . — — Map (db m68554) HM
Constructed in 1867 at a cost of nearly $3,000, the Ferry Street School opened in January, 1868 as Niles’s school for “colored children.” In 1870 the Niles school system was integrated, and this facility closed. It reopened as an . . . — — Map (db m1635) HM
The French fort built here in 1691 controlled southern Michigan’s principal Indian trade routes. Missionaries and fur traders were here already. The fort became a British outpost in 1761. Two years later it was one of the forts seized by Indians . . . — — Map (db m1628) HM
The Four Flags Hotel opened with much fanfare on July 6, 1926. The newly formed Niles Hotel Corporation had raised $350,000 to build a hotel on the site of the Pike House hostelry. Chicago architect Charles W. Nicol designed the hotel, which was . . . — — Map (db m1629) HM
John and Horace Dodge.
Auto barons John (1864–1920) and Horace (1868–1920) Dodge were born and raised in Niles. During the 1830s, their grandfather, Ezekiel, had migrated from Massachusetts to Niles, where he ran a steam engine . . . — — Map (db m1707) HM
John Johnson Sr. donated property for this cemetery in 1838. His son Samuel had been buried on the land in 1835. John Johnson Jr. was among the township's first white settlers. The Johnsons and many pioneers are buried here. All but 20 of the 211 . . . — — Map (db m64953) HM
Michigan Central Railroad Depot
This Richardsonian Romanesque-style depot was constructed in 1892 by the Michigan Central Railroad Company. Seeking to create a lasting impression of Michigan for passengers . . . — — Map (db m68480) HM
The local Methodist Episcopal Society, the oldest Methodist society in Berrien Township, was organized in 1840. In 1846 it voted to name its church in honor of Bishop Thomas A. Morris, then the head of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Michigan. . . . — — Map (db m64952) HM
The St. Joseph River and the Sauk Trail (now U.S. 12) were major transportation routes for Indians, French voyagers, missionaries, military and early settlers through Niles. Nile's first railroad, the Michigan Central Railroad arrived October 1, . . . — — Map (db m68537) HM
(South Face of Memorial)
You a veteran of this
Old town or pilgrim
From far away looking
For some tranquility...
Here you may become
Silent in honor of those
Who have served...
No one is a stranger at
This revered place . . . — — Map (db m68541) WM
Nearly 12,000 memorial cannons were donated by the U.S. Government, between 1872 and 1916, to local Posts of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) and other civic and patriotic groups for the purpose of display as a veterans' war memorial. They . . . — — Map (db m67883) HM WM
Sportswriter, humorist, sardonic observer of the American scene, Ring Lardner was born in the house across the street on March 6, 1885. Possibly the best-known American author in the 1920s, he began his career writing sketches of sporting events for . . . — — Map (db m1632) HM
The Roman Catholic Church in Niles traces its origin to the Indian Mission established at nearby Fort St. Joseph in the late 1600’s. Reestablished at Bertrand, three miles south of Niles, in the 1830s, the mission moved into town in 1849 and was . . . — — Map (db m1606) HM
In 1851 the Reverends J.W. Hackley and D.G. Lett organized the Second Baptist Church under the Anti-Slavery Baptist Association. The first of four churches—a log building—was erected on the southeast corner of Sixth and Ferry streets. In . . . — — Map (db m1607) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m1706) HM
This is the oldest existing church structure in Niles, located in the oldest Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Western Michigan. The first Episcopal service in Niles was conducted by Bishop Philander Chase in 1832. The parish was organized in 1834. . . . — — Map (db m1634) HM
In 1839 circuit riders from Ohio began preaching in Niles, using the barroom of a local hotel. In 1832 nine worshipers formed the Methodist class that grew to be the Wesley United Methodist Church. They dedicated their first house of worship in . . . — — Map (db m1605) HM