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Cass County, MI
Cass County, Michigan, was established in 1828 during the presidency of Andrew Jackson and named after Lewis Cass who served as territorial governor of the area at the time. Cass was known for his ability to establish treaties with the Native Americans which enabled the white man to settle in the area.
Cities and villages within this county include Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, Cassopolis, Vandalia and Marcellus. Boasting a population of more than 51,100, this region is rich in history and resources.
In the early to mid 19th century, Cass County residents became known for their anti-slavery position. The Underground Railroad ran through Cassopolis village (currently the county seat), assisting slaves to freedom. One story reveals how, in 1947, a group of Kentucky slave owners came to Cass County to reclaims runaway slaves. The group was overcome by farmers and residents who surrounded and threatened them.
Today the area provides more than 250 lakes for waterfront living and water sports. The nature preserves scattered throughout present opportunities for hiking, camping and bird watching. Over the course of time, the county’s industry has slowly transformed from agricultural to tourism. In May residents and visitors can enjoy the Dowagiac Dogwood Fine Arts Festival featuring dancers, storytellers, novelists and songwriters, then in August experience the Cass County Fair with livestock auctions, Bullmania and a demolition derby. The Pioneer Log Cabin Museum located on M-60 at Stone Lake was constructed from logs in 1923 and contains a historical collection of the region’s first settlers and preserved animals, including the now extinct passenger pigeon.