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Friday, February 12, 2016

The Dowagiac
Daily News

217 North 4th Street
Niles, MI 49120

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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.

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.

Dowagiac came from a Potawatomi Indian word. "Ndowagayik" means foraging ground. The area offered Native Americans abundant fruits, vegetables, grains and medicinal herbs. Dowagiac is the tribal headquarters of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi of Michigan and Indiana. Dowagiac Creek powered early development of the "Grand Old City," starting with a grist mill in 1833.

One of Horace Colby's mill sites is owned by Mennel Milling, the oldest in Michigan still operated on its original site. Judd Lumber is Michigan's oldest lumberyard. Dowagiac, once the smallest U.S. city, was established in 1848 when Michigan Central Railroad arrived and made the community a wheat center.

Philo D. Beckwith came in 1854 and put Dowagiac on the map with Round Oak stoves. He is the only man to serve as both village president and mayor. Round Oak Band concerts were a popular pastime that continue on Thursday evenings in the summer in Beckwith Park. Community theater also carries the Beckwith name.

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

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

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
Five with Dowagiac ties survived Titanic's sinking, investigated by U.S. Sen. William Alden Smith, who grew up in Dowagiac. May's Dogwood Fine Arts Festival brings renowned authors and artists such as Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, Norman Mailer, Shirley Jones and Charles Neville.


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