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Paw Paw Village

Paw Paw Village Hall is located at 111 East Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw, MI 49079; phone: 269-657-3148.

Beginnings [1]

Paw Paw was settled in 1828 and named for the pawpaw trees that once grew along the Paw Paw River. Today, pawpaw trees are less common in the area, due to the clearing of forests. The Village of Paw Paw has a beautiful setting and bountiful natural resources, primarily water and soils. Just as with much of southwest Michigan, the area has an ideal climate for fruit production. This was recognized by early settlers to Van Buren County and the Village.

Peter Gremps platted the Village of Paw Paw and founded the community's first store, mill, and public house. A tavern in the Village, founded in 1834 by Daniel Dodge, was one of the principal stopping places along the Territorial Road between Chicago and Detroit (what is now Red Arrow Highway/Michigan Avenue). In 1840 the Van Buren County seat was relocated from neighboring Lawrence to Paw Paw. At the turn of the century, when South Haven became the largest community in Van Buren County, an attempt was made to wrest the county seat away from Paw Paw. After several votes and many protests, the county seat remained in Paw Paw and still does to this day.

Paw Paw is known for its wineries, its beautiful lakefront, and quality schools. The Village Hall is located in the former County Court House, which was relocated to Michigan Avenue. This building is one of four listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the others are the Van Buren County Courthouse, the Carnegie Library (now the Carnegie Center) and the waterworks building (now the site of the Warner's Winery/Kevin's Restaurant).

  1. LSL Planning, Inc. with the Village of Paw Paw Committees, 2009 Master Plan, www.pawpaw.net, accessed February, 2016.
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