Branch County, promoted as Coldwater Country, is located in southern Michigan, half way between Chicago and Detroit along the Old Sauk Trail, also known as the U.S. 12 Heritage Route. I-69 runs north and south in the middle of the county, making Branch County easily accessible from either I-94 to the north or the 80/90 Toll Road to the south. Coldwater, Bronson, Union City and Quincy make up the quaint communities where you can find home-town festivals, boutique shops, many lakes and events make this area a great place to escape to. Also covering Hillsdale County‘s communities of Allen, Hillsdale, Jonesville and Somerset Center.
Allen was named after Captain Moses Allen, a veteran of the War of 1812 who settled here in 1827. A small museum and plaque in his honor is found on the west end of town. The town was officially platted in 1868 when the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad came through the area and built a station here. It eventually was incorporated as a village in 1950. Known for it’s 3 huge antique malls, Allen is also home of Preston’s Gaslight Village.
Bronson located on the old Chicago Trail (US-12), was founded in 1828 by Jabez B. Bronson, the first settler in Branch County. The village was incorporated in 1866 under the name Bronson Prairie, the name was later shortened in 1871 when the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad came through. The Chicago Trail was a main thoroughfare between Chicago and Detroit during prohibition. Many locals have stories passed down through generations about boot-legging and lawless characters that have passed through the area.
Area residents have dubbed Bronson the Gladiola Capital, as you drive the country side you will see acres and acres of brilliant blankets of flowers. The gladiola bulbs are harvested for commercial use, but the vibrant bouquets can be purchased from the local farmers.
This quaint community has pride in their unique architecture such as the City Hall, built in 1970 made out of 100% plastic, erected in only 14 hours is still standing the test of time. A Carnegie Library built in 1924 was commemorated with a historical marker last year. The gazebo at the main 4-corners and the murals on the barber shop, as well as, the Victorian architecture makes this notable community a memorable stop on your journey across southern Michigan.
Coldwater Michigan has a beautiful walk-able Victorian downtown, a drive-in movie, a drive-in restaurant, a steam engine excursion train, an 1800’s active theatre and over 100 lakes, including 2 chains that have 7 attached lakes each! Located in the middle of the U.S. 12 Heritage Trail.
Tucked away in the southwestern part of Michigan, Colon offers just about everything you want or need. Experience Great fishing and water sports in one of our several lakes.
Located next to Coldwater Michigan, Colon boasts many of the amenities of a larger city yet keeps that ‘small town’ feel year around. We offer a Grocery, Pharmacy, Doctor, Dentist, Veterinarian, Auto Dealership, Post Office, Laundromat and several restaurants to visit. There is something for everyone here!
Colon is a 1.7 square mile village in St. Joseph County. The village is located in Michigan’s south central region that proudly declares itself as the “Magic Capital of the World.” Colon is home to Abbott’s Magic Company, the Magic Get Together, Lakeside Cemetery, and the Blackstone history that started it all.
Before television and Las Vegas stage shows, Harry Blackstone and company summered here in the small village between Sturgeon and Palmer Lakes. Driving around the Kalamazoo area, Inez Blackstone, then wife of the Great Blackstone, spotted what would become Blackstone Island – a mint farm and respite for the crew, show animals, and a number of visitors.
The village was founded in 1828 at a stop along the famous Sauk Trail, otherwise known as the Chicago Road (now US12), where it intersects highway M-99. Jonesville, just east of Coldwater, has a vibrant downtown business district, which includes a variety of entertainment and dining options. Also, in the business district is a play theater where each year the community produce professional quality plays and musicals.
A delightful small town with turn of the last century brick buildings dotting the downtown, Quincy was originally settled in 1830 by Horace Wilson, who built the first log cabin here. Six years later, in 1836, the surrounding township split from adjoining Coldwater Township to the west and thus the town needed a new name. A local doctor, Hiram Allen suggested the name Quincy, after his home town in Massachusetts. Quincy became a village in 1858.
Union City is located on the northern border of Branch County, about ten miles northwest of Coldwater. This is a small picturesque and historic town that functions primarily as an adjunct community to the greater Coldwater area. It has a striking turn-of-the-century look architecturally, with well preserved downtown buildings and several Victorian style homes. A Civil War monument can be seen on the north end of the main street area in the churchyard, while a veteran’s memorial along the riverbank to the south end stands to commemorate those who fought in more recent wars.
Union City was first settled by Justice Goodwin in 1833, when he built a mill here and became the first postmaster, calling it “Goodwinville.” A year later, he sold several hundred acres to E. W. Morgan, who officially platted the site, renaming it from the “union” of the Coldwater and St. Joseph Rivers, which join there, It was eventually incorporated as a city in 1866.