Baroda in Berrien County: A Brief History and Photos, 1900-2000s
The town of Baroda sits in Berrien County, approximately 14 miles from the Michigan/Indiana border.
The genesis of Baroda took place in the 1830s when people began settling in the area. It was not an easy task, as swamps had to be drained and the land had to be cleared. Then came the process of building homes and farmland.
The man responsible for founding the town was Michael B. Houser, who originally named it after himself: 'Houser'. It was his desire to build a town of his own, so he sought the proper authorities to get a railroad station put on the land.
In his anxiousness to get his new town going, he made a generous offer: a free lot to anyone who would come and build a store, shop, or other business building that was valued at $500 or more. Okay, but how much did it cost for a plot of land for a house? Just $35.
As to the name change to 'Baroda', there are two theories that are mentioned in different recollections:
1) The post office rejected the name of 'Houser'
2) Michael did not want the town named after him in the long run
Either way, the name was changed to 'Baroda', after a city in India. But why? Why a town in India? That answer escapes me.
The post office opened in December 1890.
The village was incorporated in 1907.
Township was organized in 1923.
Driving through Baroda in the 2000s, you'll cruise the main drag with a good smattering of original old buildings mixed with a few newer ones, and seemingly little traffic.
Take a look at the gallery below of what Baroda looked like over 100 years ago!
Vintage Photos of Baroda, Michigan
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