Historical Sites & Cool Places to Check Out
Content updated April 2016
St. Joseph County is rich in history going back to the early 1800's. Below you will find a few points of interest and some historical sites, but we also invite you to explore the county for yourself to see what you can find!
Rawson's King Mill Park
Rawson’s King Mill Park was donated as a park by the Rawson’s who restored the mill and created this favorite park on Nottawa Creek. Enjoy a peaceful adventure with wonderful views of the mill, dam, or creek on one of the two islands. This is the perfect park for a picnic, relaxation, a peaceful walk, or even a wedding. The park offers a picnic pavilion, fishing access, restrooms, walking trails, and two scenic islands.
Langley Covered Bridge
Langley Covered Bridge is the longest remaining wooden covered bridge in the state of Michigan, and is located several miles north of Centreville, Michigan, the seat of St. Joseph County. Many of the covered bridges in Michigan and other states no longer exist, and therefore the structure is a historic tourist attraction frequented by visitors to St. Joseph County. The bridge is named for Thomas W. Langley and family, pioneers who helped establish the village of Centreville in the mid-19th century. In fact, Langley was the very first settler in Centreville. The red-paneled bridge, along with a causeway just to its north that forms part of Covered Bridge Road, spans the St. Joseph River. The bridge was constructed in 1887 by nearby Parkville builder Pierce Bodmer. It does this just above what is called the Sturgis Dam (although the city of Sturgis, Michigan is located nowhere near this location). The dam is adjacent to a county recreation area called Covered Bridge Park; just across the river within sight of the bridge is Pahl Point Park, which is in fact closer to the bridge itself. The bridge has been a very important symbol for the village of Centreville for almost 100 years; in fact, the village's annual summer festival is called Covered Bridge Days. (source: Wikipedia)
Wahbememe Historical Monument
According to Legend, while attending a gathering of chiefs in Detroit, Chief Wahbememe learned of plot to attack the settlement later known as White Pigeon. According to the story, he ran 150 miles, without stopping for food or rest to alert the village. After delivering the warning, he collapsed from exhaustion and soon died. His remains are buried on this site and the settlement was later named in his honor.
Stone Schoolhouse Leonidas
Made of Michigan Fieldstone, this building is a beautiful and unique piece of St. Joseph County history. After Leonidas schools were incorporated into the Colon school system, the building sat vacant for some time but is now a school for the large local Amish population.
Carnegie Center for the Arts/ W.R. Monroe Museum
The Carnegie Center for the Arts is located in historic downtown Three Rivers. Originally built in 1904 with Carnegie Foundation funds as the public library, the main part of the Carnegie is a beautiful example of early 19th century architecture. The Monroe Museum was opened as part of the Carnegie Center in 1997. (Source: www.trcarnegie.com - visit their website for full history)
Nottawa Stone School
Nottawa Stone School was built in 1870, and at that time teachers earned $1.50 per week. The classroom is equipped with antique desks, McGuffey Readers for all grade levels, slates, maps, pump organ and a score of items too numerous to mention. Nottawa Stone School is open to students in the area for field trips. Go to Resources, Reserving the Nottawa Stone School for information. (Source: St. Joseph County ISD - visit their website for full history)