Southwest Michigan History
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Historic Facts & Figures

Southwest Michigan MapBetween the Indians, the French, the Spanish, the British, and of course, the Americans each laying claim to Southwest Michigan, you can bet that there are numerous interesting stories, facts, and figures about the area we call "Home".

Below are you will find a brief sampling of facts and figures... we'll add more in the months to come!

Cass County, Michigan

Cass became a county in 1835.

Van Buren County, Michigan

Van Buren became a county in 1834.

Berrien County, Michigan

Berrien became a county in 1832.

Berrien County was named after Colonel James Berrien, Secretary of War under Andrew Jackson.

Region

The three counties of southwest Michigan have 320 lakes.

Of these 320 lakes, 182 have public access for boating, fishing and recreation.

Southwest Michigan's climate and soil have proven to be a winning combination. Southwest Michigan's "Fruitbelt" is world-renown for fruit production.

Civil War Statistics

The three counties sent 8,220 people off to the civil war and lost 1,020.

Paw Paw Lake, Michigan

One of the largest inland lakes in the three county area of Southwest Michigan.

The mean depth of Paw Paw Lake is 35 ft. the deepest point is over 90ft.

According to the US Corps of Engineers, the lake's shoreline measures 9.2 miles. However, if Paw Paw Lake Islands are included, the shoreline measures 11 miles.

Little Paw Paw Lake, Michigan

US Corps of Engineers measures the size of the lake at 90 acres.

The deepest point in Little Paw Paw Lake is 27 feet.

Little Paw Paw Lake elevation is approximately 2 feet higher than Paw Paw Lake. Through a creek, Little Paw Paw Lake drains into big Paw Paw Lake.

ORIGIN OF THE NAME. "Paw Paw" is a fleshy fruit from a tree that typically grows around water. Its scientific name is Asimina Triloba. Its taste has been described as a cross between a banana and a pear.

Sister Lakes, Michigan

The eight lakes, Sister Lakes, considered as a group are in the counties of Van Buren, Berrien County and Cass. Seven of these are in the townships of Keeler and Silver Creek.

  • Big Crooked Lake is 110 acres

  • Little Crooked Lake is 103 acres

  • Round Lake is 187 acres

  • Cable Lake is 91 acres

  • Dewey Lake is 174 acres

  • Magician Lake is 528 acres

  • Pipestone Lake is 110 acres

  • Indian Lake is 500 acres
Southwest Michigan History
Southwest Michigan History

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The Southwest Michigan Store
PO Box 916, Coloma, Michigan 49038
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