Michigan: Berrien County

Berrien County (pop. 156,813) is in the southwestern corner of Michigan, bordering Indiana and Lake Michigan.

Warren Dunes State Park and Grand Mere State Park are popular recreational areas along Lake Michigan.

The highest dunes are more than 200 feet above the lake.

The county seat of Berrien County is the city of St. Joseph (pop. 8,365).

St. Joseph Pier Lighthouse

Kate Upton, model and actress, was born in St. Joseph in 1992. Her great-grandfather was Frederick Upton, who co-founded the Whirlpool Corporation – which is still based in Berrien County.

Originally the Upton Machine Company

From 1891 to 1971, St. Joseph was the home of the Silver Beach Amusement Park. The land is now Silver Beach County Park.

It had steamboat access from Chicago.

St. Joseph’s “twin city” is Benton Harbor (pop. 10,038), on the opposite side of the St. Joseph River. Benton Harbor reached its peak population of 19,136 in 1960.

Benton Harbor in 1961

The actor and comedian Sinbad (David Adkins) was born in Benton Harbor in 1956; he was in the marching band at Benton Harbor High School.

The village of Berrien Springs (pop. 1,800) was the county seat of Berrien County from 1837 to 1894.

Former Courthouse (1839)

Andrews University in Berrien Springs was founded in 1874. It was the first higher-education facility founded by Seventh-Day Adventists.

It has about 3,000 students.

The city of Coloma (pop. 1,483) is known for the Dinosaur Farm, containing a variety of skeletal dinosaur sculptures.


michigan counties working