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Situated in the southwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan, two miles from the Indiana border and five miles from Lake Michigan, the Village of Three Oaks is in Three Oaks Township, Berrien County, Michigan.

US-12, also known as Pulaski Highway (Ash Street) and Three Oaks Road (Elm Street) intersect in the center of the village, and these are the main routes to and from Three Oaks. The nearest Interstate highway to Three Oaks is I-94, which runs along the Lake Michigan shore.

Michigan cities and villages within 25 miles of Three Oaks include Galien, New Buffalo, Bridgman, Grand Beach, Michiana, Buchanan, Baroda, Stevensville, Niles, Shoreham, and Berrien Springs, while the unincorporated communities of Harbert, Union Pier, Sawyer, Lakeside, and New Troy are within 10 miles. The Indiana cities, towns, and villages of Plainfield, New Carlisle, Michiana Shores, Long Beach, Michigan City, La Porte, Trail Creek, Pottawattamie Park, Town of Pines, Westfield, Kingsbury, Beverly Shores, and Roseland are within 25 miles.

Three Oaks first appeared on a US census roll in 1870. At that time, its population was 499. Since then, until 2000, the village has enjoyed mostly increases, with only a couple of slight decreases. Its peak population was 1,829 in 2000, but it declined by just over 11% in 2010 and more than 15% in 2020, when it had a population of 1,370.

Henry Chamberlain is generally acknowledged as the founder of Three Oaks after he and his partner, Joseph Ames, opened the first store in the community in 1854. Reportedly, Mr. Chamberlain came to the area in 1850, but the first European-American settlers began coming as early as 1835, and the community had a school and a sawmill by the early 1840s. Land was cleared, in 1848, for the Michigan Central Railroad, which established a depot in the community. Today, the railroad still cuts through the village, but it no longer stops.

A post office was established on October 6, 1854, with Joseph G. Ames as postmaster. A village site was platted in 1858. Originally known as Chamberlain's Siding, for Mr. Chamberlain, the settlement's name was changed to Three Oaks when it was incorporated as a village in 1867, taking its name from a cluster of prominent white oak trees that were located near the railroad depot.

The Warren Featherbone Company employed residents to make corsets from turkey feathers, which was a significant factor in the village's early economy. Although the company is still operating today, it moved from Three Oaks in the 1950s. Today, the factory building still exists, although it houses retail businesses and a theater, with plans for residential units and a distillery in the works.

The village prides itself on its patriotism, which is evident during its June Flag Day celebration and parade. Another annual event is Apple Cider Century, a bicycle ride of from 15-100 miles around Three Oaks that was started by the Three Oaks Spokes Bicycle Club in 1974. Held on the last Sunday of September, more than 6,000 riders participate each year.

Single-family residential housing accounts for most of the developed land in the village, most of which are homes on a traditional street grid. There are no large multiple-family residential districts in Three Oaks, although there are a few duplexes and small apartment buildings in the village. There is one apartment complex, Hidden Valley Harbor, which accounts for most of the multiple-family units in the village.

Three Oaks' Downtown Commercial District is along Elm Street, between Beech Street and Ash Street, with scattered commercial interests along Generations Drive, Sycamore Street, Maple Street, Linden Street, Oak Street, and Ash Street. The chief area of commercial activity outside of the downtown area is along US-12.

Industrial areas in the village area are mostly along the railroad tracks, with other industrial concerns situated in the downtown area.

Only two streets in Three Oaks cross the railroad tracks. The Elm Street crossing is a grade crossing, while Hickory Street employs an overpass over the railroad tracks.

Three Oaks operates five parks: Watkins Park, Dillard Park, Carver Park, Dewey Cannon Park, and Chamberlain Path. The village is in the center of a network of twelve regional bikeways. The 5-mile Spring Creek Trail stays close to the village, while the Grand Mere Trail, the Posey Hill Trail, and the Warren Woods Trail continue to more distant destinations, including the lakeshore, Indiana, and Warren Woods State Park.

Police services are provided by the Three Oaks Police Department, which is headquartered within the Village Hall on Maple Street. The Three Oaks Fire Department is operated by Three Oaks Township, and provides services to the village under contract. Three Oaks Ambulance, a non-profit organization supported by the village and township, provides emergency medical services.



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