St. Joseph, Michigan

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St. Joseph is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It was incorporated as a village in 1834 and as a city in 1891. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 8,789. It lies on the shore of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the St. Joseph River, about 60 miles east-northeast of Chicago. It is the county seat of Berrien County.[3] St. Joseph is the site of the Venetian Festival, an event that draws thousands annually to its shores. It is also home of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

St. Joseph and Benton Harbor are locally known as the "Twin Cities".

Contents

History

The mouth of the St. Joseph River at present day St. Joseph was an important point of Amerindian travel and commerce, as it lay along a key water route between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Both the Miami and Potawatomi used this route and would use the area as a camp.[4] The St. Joseph River also allowed for connection with the Sauk Trail, which was the major land trail through Michigan. In 1669, the mouth of the river was discovered by European explorers. French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle built Fort Miami on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.[5] In 1679, he waited for the ship Le Griffon which never returned. Once the ship was deemed lost, LaSalle and his men made the first land crossing of the lower peninsula by Europeans.

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