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Berrien County, Michigan


"Four Flags"

Page Contents for Niles, Michigan

Statistics & Facts


History & History-related items

City Attractions

Statistics & Facts

The Michigan state capital is Lansing.
The population of Niles is approximately 12,458 (1990), 11600 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 5,473 (1990), 4806 (2010).
The amount of land area in Niles is 14.543 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0.362 sq kilometers.
The distance from Niles to Washington DC is 545 miles.
The distance to the Michigan state capital is 108 miles. (as the crow flies)
Niles is positioned 41.83 degrees north of the equator and 86.24 degrees west of the prime meridian.


on the southern edge of the state, bordering Indiana.
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History & History Related Items

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.

The Dodge Brothers of Automobile Fame were born in Niles, Michigan.
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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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