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The City of Bridgman, Michigan is in Berrien County, in the southwestern Lower Peninsula. Lake Michigan forms its western boundary, and the city is otherwise surrounded by Lake Township.

The main route through the city is I-94, which runs roughly north-south through the city. Red Arrow Highway mostly parallels the interstate. Other routes through the city include Baldwin Road, California Road (Church Street), Rambo Road, and Shawnee Road (Lake Street). The village of Stevensville is 5.8 miles north, with the cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor further north, and the village of Baroda is 4.6 miles east-northeast of Bridgman.

When the area that would eventually be named Bridgman was first settled, the community was known as Plummer's Pier, although not much is known about that earlier settlement. In 1856, a lumber company came into the region, and the community that grew up along the lumber company operations was named Charlottesville for Charlotte Howe, the wife of one of the lumber company owners.

Another lumber company owner, George C. Bridgman, established operations about a half-mile east of Charlottesville, at the place where a railroad station had been established. Both the railroad station and the community that grew around it became known as Bridgman. A post office was established there on November 11, 1862, with Elijah Cowles as postmaster. However, the post office was named Laketon, for the surrounding Lake Township. In 1870, George Bridgman platted a village at that location. On April 9, 1874, the name of the post office was changed to Bridgman, to match the railroad station.

Due to the advantages of the railroad station and post office, Bridgman eventually absorbed Charlottesville, and was incorporated as a village in 1927, and became a city in 1949.

Besides lumbering, an early business in Bridgman was created by Orzo Baldwin, who established the Railroad View Plant Farm there, advertising his raspberry plants for sale in the Farm Journal, published in Philadelphia. Other local residents also entered the nursery business.

Construction on the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant began on a 650-acre site just north of Bridgman in 1969, and it was commissioned in 1975, and last renewed in 2005. Owned by American Electric Power and operated by Indiana Michigan Power, the plant has two nuclear reactors. Prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, the plant was open to drop-in visits by the public. Since then, it is open only to school groups by reservation.

Other significant employers are Weldun Tool & Engineering Company and the Hoover Ugine Plant.

The focus of this guide is on the City of Bridgman, Michigan, as well as its industries, businesses, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, sports, and recreational opportunities, and events.


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