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Berrien County, Michigan
Niles boasts of two community colleges, excellent schools, and beautiful tree-lined streets, numerous vineyards and orchards, and friendly people. The area that makes up Niles was once occupied by four different nations, thus the name Four Flags. Spain, France, England and the United States have all flown their flags over this city. It once was the trading area and passageway for those westward bound. Once the intersection for major railroads, Niles was once known as the "Gateway of Commerce and Settlement" for the American West. The original train depot is still in existence today, and has been the site several Hollywood movies, including "Continental Divide" with John Belushi; "Midnight Run," with Robert DeNiro; and "Only the Lonely," with John Candy and Maureen O'Sullivan.
Niles is located 8 miles from the University of Notre Dame, 15 miles from the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown South Bend, IN, 38 miles from Lake Michigan, and 90 miles from Chicago. It has the advantages of a small town, with the proximity ofnational sports arenas, cultural events and industrial areas of the larger cities.
The cost of living is low, and the rural atmosphere is attractive as "home" to people working and commuting from Chicago. The Dodge Brothers of automobile fame, were born and raised in Niles. They built their first car secretly in their garage, before taking it to Detroit.
The famous author, ring Lardner" also resided in Niles, as did Aarom Montgomery Ward, founder of the first mail-order business in the world - Montgomery Wards. Tommy James and the Shondells were raised in Niles, as was Tommy Shaw of STYX .
Niles was the site of the 1997 and 1999 U.S.C.A. National Canoe Races, and each year since 1997 have held National Dragon Boat Races on the St. Joseph River.
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