Cass County was originally inhabited by three bands of Potawatomi Indians while development brought European settlers to the area in the 1820's. The County was organized in 1829 and named after Lewis Cass, the former territorial governor. An old Indian Trail ran east-west across the southern portion of the County which later became U.S. 12 and for a while was the primary transportation route from Chicago to Detroit.
On M-60, near Vandalia, a state historical marker calls attention to the nearby junction of two main line “underground railroads”, the “Illinois” line from St. Louis, and the “Quaker” line from the Ohio River, manned by Cass County Quakers, the two lines merging here and going on into Canada, Cass County was the scene of the Kentucky slave raid of 1847.
In 1848-49, Stephen Bogue and Charles P. Ball built a gristmill on the settlement now known as Vandalia and in 1851 they laid out the area for development. Theron J. Wilcox became the colony’s first postmaster on July 8, 1850 and Ada Kinsbury is credited with being the area’s first merchant. The Michigan Central Railroad came through in 1871 and a station was built. The Village of Vandalia was formally incorporated in 1875.
The Village of Vandalia occupies approximately one square mile of Penn Township in eastern central Cass County in Southwestern Michigan. The Village of Vandalia is approximately 11 miles north of the Indiana/Michigan State line. Michigan State Highway 60 runs east-west through downtown Vandalia.
According to the 2010 United States Census, The total Population for the Village of Vandalia is 301. The following tables correspond to the 2010 US Census and are based on a population total of 301.
The Village Hall is open on an As Needed basis
Vandalia Village President
Vandalia Village President Pro-Tem
Karen L. Young
Village Council meets the 2nd Monday of the Month at 7 PM
Planning Commission meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each Quarter at 7 PM
The Village of Vandalia MI and the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County MI will partner for the sixth year to celebrate the heritage of the Underground Railroad in the area. Hours are Saturday 11-7 pm and Sunday 11-5 pm in with activities centered around Milo Barnes park on M-60 in Vandalia. There will be an “Opening Night” performance on Friday at 7 pm at Ross Beatty High School in Cassopolis featuring Dr. Von and Fran Washington in a dramatic reading of their new play about the UGRR “They Fought to Save Freedom.”
Saturday and Sunday feature guided tours of UGRR sites that tell the story of the Kentucky Raid, UGRR related displays and presentations in the Village Youth Center; music and poetry at the “Ramptown Cabin” in the park, a Civil War Living History encampment on the Village green, and a soul food dinner in the Village Hall. The historic Bonine House at Penn Rd and M-60 will be open for tours both days. A community church service will be held in the park Sunday morning at 11 am.
Parking and all activities, except the dinner, are free of charge, donations are most appreciated.