Benton Harbor, Michigan is home to just over 10,000 people. However, with a rich history and a growing community, this town is on the move. Homes in Benton Harbor MI are within steps of Lake Michigan.
The first settlers to the Benton Harbor area was Eleazar Morton and his family who settled in to a log cabin in 1836. To accommodate farmers on the east side of the St. Joseph River, three men (Sterner Brunson, Charles Hull, and Henry Morton) built a canal going from the river through wetlands to what is now Benton Harbor. That was the beginning of real estate in Benton Harbor MI. The town name became Benton Harbor in 1865.
Tourism attracted visitors to this town in the 1890s. Mineral baths and a local amusement park brought people from many parts of the region. The 1920s saw development and a population boom that died out by the 1960s. Due to efforts by Michigan's state government, the town has seen a resurgence in its health and vitality since the 1980s.
Many homes in Benton Harbor MI are within steps of Lake Michigan. Residents and visitors alike can take in Jean Klock Park. With 76 acres along the lake front and 3000 feet of beach, this park offers swimming, picnicking, volleyball, and a boardwalk.
The oldest park in Benton Harbor is Hall Park located at Hull Street and Highland Avenue. For fishing and grilling, Riverfront Park, along River Drive, is the best place to go. With grills and picnic tables, families often gather there in the summer for cookouts and fun.
The largest attraction of Benton Harbor is easy access to Lake Michigan. The city offers beach front for swimming and recreation. Visitors and residents can go fishing or take a boat out on the water.
Those who want a bit of history can tour Morton House, the 1849 dwelling of the founding family of Benton Harbor. Shiloh House offers a glimpse into the local House of David colony.
Golfers will love the Golf Club at Harbor Shores. This course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, hosts PGA level tournaments and offers a challenging course along the breathtaking waters of Lake Michigan. The community around the golf course is a major developing area of real estate in Benton Harbor MI.
The leading event in Benton Harbor is the Blossomtime Festival that the city co-hosts with nearby St. Joseph. This festival began with a simple 1906 Sunday sermon where a pastor urged his flock to enjoy the blossoms of sprint as a symbol of life's renewal. A floral parade joined the community in 1923. Today, the parade and surrounding festivities have grown into a multi-community event. Almost a quarter of a million people come every year to the festivities.