White Pigeon, Michigan

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White Pigeon is a village in St. Joseph County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,627 at the 2000 census. The village is located within White Pigeon Township.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²) of it is land and 0.71% is water. The White Pigeon River flows through the south end of town, making its way to the St. Joseph River a short distance away.


White Pigeon was incorporated in 1837, and is the oldest incorporated village in the state of Michigan.[3][4][dubious ] Downtown White Pigeon boasts a historic building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the United States Land Office, which is the oldest surviving U.S. Land office in the state of Michigan.[5] Out of this office the U.S. government sold land in Michigan for $1.25 an acre in the 1830s to settlers of Western Michigan.

The town was named after the Potawatomi Indian Chief Wahbememe, which means Chief White Pigeon. According to legend, while he was at the gathering of the chiefs in Detroit, Wahbememe heard plans to attack the settlement which is now White Pigeon. The Chief was a friend to the white settlers and didn't want to see harm come to them so he set out on foot and ran almost 150 miles to the settlement to warn the people. After running that long distance and giving his warning, he collapsed and soon died from exhaustion. His remains are buried in the town, and the site is now part of the National Register of Historic Places. [6][7]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,627 people, 602 households, and 431 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,157.8 per square mile (445.5/km²). There were 640 housing units at an average density of 455.4/sq mi (175.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 94.59% White, 0.18% African American, 1.11% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.03% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.58% of the population.

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