July 11, 2010
Where are they now?Uncork Paw Paw Paw Paw is the county seat of Van Buren County and is located in southwest Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 3,363. Historically, it was named after the river which flows through it, where Potawatomi Indians referred to it in the early 1800’s as "the place where the Paw Paw fruit grows." When European settlers moved there, they began growing other kinds of fruit due to the favorable soil there. This included grapes, which has become the principal agricultural product. Paw Paw was organized in 1859 and developed into the center of what is known today as "Wine Country." Today, the town is known for its wineries, where many come to visit and taste the region’s best fruit of the vine.
St. Julian is Michigan’s oldest, largest and most awarded winery. This family-owned winery, founded by Mariano Meconi in 1921, is nestled in the picturesque fruit-growing region along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Today, grandson, David Braganini, has adopted the family tradition of wine making while turning St. Julian into Michigan’s most renowned winery. The village is located at the confluence of the east and south branches of the Paw Paw river in the northeast portion of the township.Paw Paw was incorporated in 1837 and is located in the southwestern portion of Michigan, on I-94 approximately 20 miles west of Kalamazoo. Maple Lake is located in the center of the village and provides an area for festivals and family entertainment.
The Paw Paw trees which once grew along the Paw Paw River used to be prevalent in the area but they require shade to flourish. The clearing of the shade trees that pawpaws require have led to very few still growing in the area. An experimental planting of pawpaw trees on the high school grounds failed to flourish due to its location in an open, sunny field.
Paw Paw has also recently gained national prominence as the site of the Great Wheelchair Ride of Ben Carpenter (2007). Again, we are requesting classmates to participate by sending us photos and basic information about the town in which you live. C'mon. It doesn't take much time out of your day to drive around town and take a few photos of points of interest, and tell us a few facts about your town. Help us bring interesting information to other classmates.