On a warm summer day in 1839, Charles Lamb and his wife decided to leave their home in Vermont. They packed their few belongings and, with their infant daughter, headed west to St Joseph, Michigan. After working on the St Joseph docks for a short while, Lamb purchased a canoe and traveled up the Paw Paw River into what is now Hagar Township. The Lambs built a log cabin and the young family became the first permanent settlers.
After helping the Lambs move and build their cabin, Mathias Farnum felt the attraction of the dense woods and beauty of the area. In the fall of 1839, he filed a claim on 160 acres and became the second permanent settler. More people soon followed and the decision was made to form a separate township. On March 25, 1846, the community was officially incorporated as Hagar Township.
Hagar Township is located in Northern Berrien County along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The township is not as densely populated as some of the other lakeshore towns and the cost of living in Hagar Township is generally lower. The township comprises mainly grain and fruit farmers. Along the lake, the population increases in the summer months when seasonal property owners return to enjoy the sugar sand beaches. The community is beautifully located amidst dense woods and along sandy beaches. It is easily accessible from I-196 and M-63 halfway between South Haven and Saint Joseph. A quiet, rural community within proximity of several shopping and recreational areas in Berrien County and neighboring Van Buren County. These characteristics make the community a welcome place to live.
According to the 2010 census, there were 3,671 people the number of dwellings in Hagar Township is 2,234. Of these, 1,131 are owner occupied with the remaining 378 renter occupied and 696 vacant homes. The median household income is 41,615.
Riverside is an unincorporated community in Hagar Township located just off I-196 on Coloma Road. This farming and light industrial community boasts a post office, township hall, public safety building, restaurant, convenience store, gas station, children's park and other small shops. The township owned baseball fields are located nearby.
Lake Michigan Beach is an unincorporated community in Hagar Township. It is a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes, without any legal status as a municipality. The community is in Hagar Township on the shore of Lake Michigan. The area is also known as Hagar Shores. This beach community boasts two public beach parks. According to the 2010 census, Lake Michigan Beach had a population of 1,216. There were 1,056 dwellings - 406 owner occupied, 73 renter occupied, and 574 vacant homes.
|[TOP: TOWNSHIP HALL (PRE-1915) | MIDDLE: PIER SCHOOL (CIRCA 1900) | BOTTOM: WWI SOLDIERS LEAVING HAGAR TOWNSHIP (UNDATED)]|