Niles is a city of 11,000 people (2019) in West Michigan. Niles lies on the banks of the St. Joseph River, at the site of the French Fort St. Joseph, which was built in 1697 to protect the Jesuit Mission established in 1691. Between 1820 and 1865, Niles was an integral part of the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape from as far south as New Orleans through the Heartland, and eventually into Canada.
After 1761, it was held by the British and was captured on May 25, 1763, by Native Americans during Pontiac's Rebellion. The British retook the fort but it was not re-garrisoned and served as a trading post. During the American Revolutionary War, the fort was held for a short time by a Spanish force. The occupation of the fort by the four nations of France, Britain, Spain, and the United States has earned Niles the nickname City of Four Flags.
The town of Niles was settled in 1827. The town was named after Hezekiah Niles, editor of the Niles Register, a Baltimore newspaper.
U.S. Highways 12 and 31.
- 1 Amtrak, 598 Dey St. Niles is served by the Wolverine (Chicago-Ann Arbor-Detroit-Pontiac) and Blue Water (Chicago-Lansing-Flint-Port Huron) services.
- 1 Fort St. Joseph Museum, 508 E Main St (at 5th St), ☏ . W-F 10AM-4PM, Sa 10AM-3PM. Features exhibits on Fort St. Joseph, a French fort built in 1691. Located in the former carriage house of the Victorian-style Chapin Mansion; the main house is now Niles city hall. Free.
- 2 Henry A. Chapin House (Chapin Mansion), 508 E. Main St.
- 3 Birkholm Park, Clarendon and 14th.
- Cass Street Park, Cass and 8th St.
- 4 Plym Park, Marmont and Plym Park Rd.
- 5 Eagle Street Park, Eagle and 5th.
- 6 Tot Park, Pokagon and 11th.
- 7 Eastside Park, 17th and Sycamore St.
- 8 Saathoff Park, Maple and 9th St.
- 9 Clevenger Park, Cherry and 5th.
- 10 Riverfront Park. East side of the St. Joseph River from Wayne to Fort St
- 11 Island Park. entrance off Parkway, south of Broadway
- 12 Southside Park, 15th and Silverbrook Ave.
- 13 Troost Park, 8th and Ferry St.
- Cable Street Park, 1400 block of Michigan St.
- 14 Madeline Bertrand County Park, 3038 Adams Rd, ☏ .
- Iron Shoe Distillery, 3 North 3rd St, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- El Amigo Pepe Restaurant, 1140 S 11th St.
- The Nuggett Downtown Grill and Bar, 202 E. Main St, ☏ .
- Prime Table Restaurant, 1915 11th St, ☏ .
- Pizza Transit, 215 E. Main St, ☏ .
- Jim's Smokin Cafe, 220 E Main St, ☏ . Located in the Paris Soda Company.
- Front Street Pizza Pub, 510 N. Front St, ☏ .
|Routes through Niles|
|Chicago ← New Buffalo ←||W E||→ Kalamazoo → Battle Creek|
|Michigan City ← Three Oaks ←||W E||→ Bronson → Coldwater|
|Muskegon ← Benton Harbor-St. Joseph ←||N S||→ South Bend → Indianapolis|