Fort St. Joseph LbNA # 23086
|Placed Date||Jun 18 2006|
Alive & Well, July 6, 2008. Alive & Well 5/3/09.
Alive & Well, March 21, 2011 HOWEVER! Bonus Box is missing.
The city of Niles is known as "The City of Four Flags". France, England, Spain and the United States, have all flown their flag over this city on the river. Before that, Potawatomi, Miami & Iroquois tribes settled here. In 1691, the French built Fort St. Joseph, the first permanent European community in Michigan. In the 1740's, British interests in the land and fur trading led to conflict with the French and Indians. A young militia officer,George
Washington, took the initiative to attack Fort St Joseph and started the French & Indian War. The British prevailed. Fort St Joseph and all of Canada fell to British rule. In 1781, Indian chiefs formed an alliance with Spain. The fort was attacked, looted and burned. The Spanish flag replaced the Union Jack. After a short time, the Spaniards returned to St. Louis. The American Revolutionary War ended the contest for the area and the "Stars and Bars" would fly proudly over Niles.
Niles was named in honor of Hezekiah Niles, who published one of the first nationwide publications,"The Niles Weekly Register." Niles was the first city in Berrien County and among the first in Michigan.
Quite a bit of underbrush, and possibly poison ivy on this little used path.....
From downtown Niles, head South on Third St., from Third & Broadway (fire station on corner), about 1/2 block south, veer right onto Bond St. Two blocks onto Bond, another veer right. Keep following Bond St., even when it changes to gravel. There will be a picnic area on the right hand side. Continue forward approximately .2 mile to a small parking area on right. Park car. Continue on foot south on Bond.
About 1/2 mile, look up to the right to see the big rock marking Fort St. Joseph. Only 8 steps up!! There is a corner marker for each of the Four Flags of Niles. Find Spain's marker. Take 4 steps NW towards the woods. See a slight path. Take 4 paces into the woods. See a pair of small trees; a really small one leaning across the path. Get past the leaning tree, take 4 paces, you will see a more clear path that veers to the left and down. It's barely a path, but it veers right now, past a pile of cut logs on your right. As you stumble downward a large tree that splits into a V (at 20') will catch you before you trip over some branches. As you step over the branches to continue forward, look ahead to see 5 trees in a circle around 1 leaning. About 45 degrees beyond them, see a biggish tree standing alone, just beyond that a fallen tree. On the back side of this log,up close to where it split from the standing tree, covered by sticks you will find Fort St. Joseph letterbox. PLEASE re-hide well...this area is apparently more travelled than initially known...