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Thursday, December 18, 2014
 

The Cassopolis
Vigilant

205 Spaulding St.
Dowagiac, MI 49047

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The Newspaper
The Community


Market overview
We deliver newspapers and/or our shoppers' guide to all of Cass County and the Eastern portion of Berrien County, Mich. Our market includes Southwestern Michigan and Northwestern Indiana, including South Bend, Mishawaka, Granger and Elkhart, Ind.

Geographic description
Midwestern rolling farmland and the St. Joseph River valley.

Climate
Average annual temperature is 49 degrees Fahrenheit. In January, temperatures range from an average low of 16 degrees to an average high of 30 degrees. In July, temperatures range from an average low of 61 to an average high of 84. Average annual precipitation is 36 inches, with an average relative humidity of 83 percent at 7 a.m. and 68 percent at 7 p.m. Annual snowfall averages 72 inches. The growing season lasts 158 days, with the last freeze usually occurring in early May and the first usually occurring in early October. During the year, the sun shines an average of 53 percent of the daylight hours. Prevailing winds are from the southwest during both winter and summer.

History
It was near Diamond Lake that Cassopolis was founded in 1830, moving the county seat downtown the next year.

The first family to live along Stone Lake were the Tietsorts, their daughter Julie Ann Tietsort being born their on July 3, 1830. The first session of court was held in 1832, under an oak tree. The first post office was a desk in a store in 1837.

The first school was a log house, with the first real schoolhouse, Union School, built in 1857. The downtown area continues to struggle to maintain retail stores, though in the past year a new restaurant has opened and additional stores. There is an Arby's and McDonald's for those fast food fans.

Education
Niles Community Schools and Brandywine Public Schools serve the Greater Niles area; St. Mary's Catholic School serves Niles' Catholic community with grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Southwestern Michigan College, Niles; Lake Michigan College, Niles; University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., and St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind. (located 8 miles south of Niles); Indiana University at South Bend, Ind.; Andrews University, Berrien Springs

Culture
Typical Midwestern hospitality from good, unpretentious, hard-working people.

Recreation
Abundant opportunities for the sportsman, including hunting and fishing the St. Joseph River and its tributaries and Lake Michigan or the many lakes of Cass and Berrien counties in Michigan. Each community has its own well-developed organizations for youth sports, ranging from soccer to baseball and softball to swimming and tennis through the Niles-Buchanan Family YMCA. Outdoor winter sports include snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice skating. Golf is ever popular, and available on a number of public and private courses. A number of country clubs serve the Greater Niles area.

Interesting tidbits
Volunteers maintain the Pioneer Log Cabin Museum, located by Stone Lake, which was built in 1923 with donated logs from the community. Houses the Law & Courts Building, completed in 1899. Boyhood home of Dennis Archer, Detroit's mayor.

 

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