Berrien County

US States / M / Michigan / Berrien County

Berrien County is named for John M Berrien, who was the Attorney General of the United States.


Created:  October 29, 1829

County Seat:

Niles                   1831 – 1832

St. Joseph          1832 – 1837

Berrien Springs  1837 – 1894

St. Joseph          1894 – present


County Courthouse – St. Joseph


Location:  811 Port Street / Court Street

Built:  1964 – 1966

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Shaw, Metz & Associates of Chicago, Illinois

Contractor:  Pearson Construction Company of Benton Harbor


Description:  The building faces south and is a five story concrete, stone and glass structure. The building has a central entrance framed with light stone. The windows are narrow and vertical with narrow vertical dividers. The top of the building is recessed and the roof line is flat.


Note:  The previous courthouse was designed by Bell & Kent in 1896 at a cost of $104,007.42.


Old County Courthouse – Berrien Springs




Location:  313 North Cass Street / West Union Street

Built:  1638 – 1839

Style:  Greek Revival

Architect:  Gilbert Avery

Contractor:  James Lewis


Description:  The building faces northeast and is two story white wood and brick structure. The northeast front has a portico with four white colored columns rising to a pediment at the roof line. At the northeast end of the hipped roof is a square white colored wood cupola. The windows are vertical. The foundation is red colored brick. The building is surrounded by spacious grounds which contain the old Sheriff’s Residence constructed in 1870.


Note:  The courthouse is the oldest courthouse in Michigan next to the courthouse in Lapeer County.


See:  Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky



N – Van Buren County

E – Van Burren County and Cass County

S – Saint Joseph County, Indiana and LaPorte County, Indiana

W – Lake Michigan


























Photos taken 2008