Town names in St Joseph County, MI|
written by Joe Ganger, Nov 2000
The little settlement near Sand Lake was once called Oporto. Later on it was called Nottawa Station, referring to the railroad stop. That was then shortened to Nottawa. Of course the name itself comes from the Nottawa-Seepe Indian name which means "Prairie by the River." The Nottawa-Seepe was a huge Indian reservation in the area.
Constantine was once called "Meek's Mill." And that is why they gave the restaurant that name.
Leonidas was first called "Magougo's Village" after Indian Chief Magougo. There once was a large Indian village about two miles west of the current village which was laid out in 1846. The residents voted to name the village Leoni. History has it that some sleepy-eyed clerk in the Lansing office mixed the name applications. Leonidas was chosen as the name for a village near Jackson. In the mix-up, Leonidas became Leoni and Leoni became Leonidas.
There once was a village on the south side of the St. Joseph River to be called "Biesel." Nothing came of the plans and it went back to farmland.
Blackstone Island in Colon was once called Charles L. Miller Island.
There once was a village in St. Joseph County called "Eschol." It was platted out in 1833 and was located on the south bank of the St. Joseph River below where Hog Creek (now called the Prairie River) joins the St. Joseph. This would be between US 131 and the Constantine Road, about a mile north of Withers Road. The reason you have never heard of it (unless you are a lot older than I am) is because the dam washed out in 1844 and the village was wiped out and never rebuilt.