The story of Dowagiac's first 100 years may ring familiar to other small cities across the United States. After Dowagiac was established on a railroad line in 1848, new settlers arrived and had the opportunity to establish large-scale factories in the young village. This growth would last for a
full century, fueled by the Round Oak Stove Company and other manufacturers in the city. Because of its manufacturing base, immigrants moved to Dowagiac, and the small city enjoyed strong business and manufacturing districts, solid educational institutions, and a vibrant social life. Surrounding lakes provided one venue for entertainment, while downtown Dowagiac offered theaters and fairs. This book documents and celebrates the history of Dowagiac with over 200 photographs from the collection of the Museum at Southwestern Michigan College.