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
Underground Railroad Days set for July 8, 9, 10.
The Village of Vandalia, MI and the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County (URSCC) will partner for the 7th year on Underground Railroad Days, their annual celebration of the legacy of the Underground Railroad (UGRR) in the area. It is said that over 1500 fugitive slaves (now called freedom seekers) came through Cass County MI on their way to Canada. They were helped by Quakers and free blacks who settled in the area from 1830-1850.
URSCC sponsored events include Friday’s 7 p.m. "Opening Night" presentation at historic Chain Lake Baptist Church. Saturday and Sunday feature presentations and displays in the Vandalia Youth Center, guided tours of UGRR sites, a Civil War living history encampment, and music at the Ramptown Cabin in Milo Barnes Park. The historic Bonine House will be open for tours.
The Village of Vandalia will sponsor a soul food dinner, family entertainment and vendor booths on Saturday and Sunday. There is a car show on Saturday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. and a Sunday morning church service in Milo Barnes Park at 11 a.m.
Hours for Underground Railroad Days are Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. For information on the car show and non- food vendor booths, call Vandalia Village president, Beverly Young at 269-476-2344. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________