NELDON: Celebrating all things ‘Made in Michiana’

French Paper Mill in Niles has boasted about the manufacturing company’s energy efficiency since before it was cool to do so. In what decade did French Paper Company replace fossil fuels with hydroelectric energy?

Answer: 1922.

The Edward Lowe Foundation in Cassopolis is dedicated to bolstering entrepreneurship and land stewardship. For which product is this foundation’s namesake responsible?

Answer: Kitty litter.

These questions and many more stumped the Leader Publications staff as we kicked off our 38th annual Horizons edition earlier this month with a trivia contest debuting this year’s theme: Made in Michiana.

How many times have you driven by a factory in southwest Michigan and wondered what is made there?

Have you ever wondered how many people it takes to run the cornfield you pass on your way to work?

Where in southwest Michigan can you find homemade apple butter?

These questions and so many more may be answered this February, when Leader Publications publishes Horizons 2019.

This year’s edition will focus on all sorts of things created in Michiana, and the people who make those things.

Part of the fruit belt, southwest Michigan generates thousands of tons of produce each season. Some of the region’s most popular wines are made from grapes grown right in our backyard. Items ranging from bathtubs to car parts are created at factories here, literally connecting southwest Michigan to places all over the world.

Handcrafted art, tools and gifts made right here can be found at shops, boutiques and other organizations all over the area.

On another level, the people who grew up in southwest Michigan, or at one time called the region home, are products of the area, too, and were therefore “made in Michiana.”

As we begin work on our biggest product of the year, we encourage you to think of the people you know who fit these categories.

Who makes your favorite homemade peanut butter? Where do you buy art for your living room? What is your favorite made-from-scratch menu item to order at a local restaurant? Who has a great story to tell?

Share your ideas via email at, or by writing us a letter and sending it to 217 N. Fourth St. in Niles. Interested in advertising your business in this publication? Email

We’re so excited to get to work showcasing all the products of this region. We can’t wait to share your stories.

Ambrosia Neldon is the general manager at Leader Publications. She can be reached by phone at (269) 687-7700 or by email at


Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates


Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze


DUS graduate raising money for independent film project


Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community

Berrien County

MDHHS extends epidemic order, strengthens mask requirement for children


Buchanan District Library awarded American Library Association grant


SMC Board of Trustees prepares for Higher Learning Commission reaffirmation visit

Cass County

Cass County votes to engage Kalamazoo studio for Cass County Historic Courthouse services

Berrien County

Buchanan graduate now Berrien County prosecuting attorney

Cass County

Cass County Veterans Affairs Office welcomes new leadership


Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce hosting monthly giveaways

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 770,822 cases, 16,731 deaths


No danger found following lockdown at DUHS


Berrien County Public Defender’s Office to increase staff

Berrien County

Buchanan man named 911 Telecommunicator of the Year


Dowagiac man arrested for possession of meth


Niles teacher accused of assault pleads not guilty


Dowagiac Police Log: April 7-13

Berrien County

LMC to host virtual career, program expo for prospective students


Dowagiac woman to compete in ‘Jeopardy!’ 2021 Tournament of Champions


Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon-tying ceremonies for two new businesses


Four arrested in Dowagiac drug search

Berrien County

Niles city, DART consider south county expansion