MARP Meeting July 30, 2011


The Michigan Central Railroad, Round Oak Stoves, fine fishing lures, an old-fashioned soda fountain, and three action-filled cougars – what do these have in common? They’re all part of what makes the community of Dowagiac an interesting place to visit.

MARP has planned another family fun day, this time in Dowagiac, on Saturday, July 30. We will begin our day at 11:00 am in the Dowagiac Depot, built in 1903 by the Michigan Central. The curator of the The Museum at Southwestern Michigan College will be on hand to tell about the railroad and the town that grew up along its tracks.

While MARP conducts a brief membership meeting, friends and relatives will be free to take a self-guided walking tour of the downtown area and the many public sculptures for which Dowagiac is famous – including the 3 leaping cougars alongside the railroad track. Dowagiac will be celebrating its Summer Fun Fest, so there will be plenty of activity on the streets. Click here for a virtual tour of Dowagiac. And, be careful, you may find yourself “hooked” by the rare fishing lures and other memorabilia at the The National Hedden Museum.

Following the meeting and our usual no-host lunch, you will have a guided tour of the museum, where a model railroad layout  gives a nice picture of the historic village. You will also learn the fascinating story of Round Oak Stoves. To top off the day, you’ll want to visit Caruso’s Candy Kitchen where the family has been making chocolates and serving soda fountain drinks (anyone for a Green River?) and ice cream since 1922.

Plan to arrive at the Dowagiac station by 11 am. If you are on the Blue Water route, make your train reservations now. Due to serious delays on the Wolverine caused by slow orders east of Battle Creek, the train will not arrive in Dowagiac in a timely manner and, therefore, not recommended for this trip.

Virtual tour here
Dowagiac Depot
The Museum at Southwestern Michigan College
The National Hedden Museum