Place:Fair Plain, Berrien, Michigan, United States


NameFair Plain
Coordinates42.083°N 86.45°W
Located inBerrien, Michigan, United States
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Fair Plain (also "Fairplain") is an unincorporated community in Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes and has no legal status as a municipality. The population of the CDP was 7,631 at the 2010 census.

The Fair Plain CDP consists of the portion of St. Joseph Charter Township lying northeast of the St. Joseph River and a portion of Benton Charter Township. The CDP's boundaries are the city of Benton Harbor to the north, the St. Joseph River to the west and south, and M-139 to the east.

Fair Plain was largely an agricultural area with fruit orchards in the 19th and early 20th centuries until it evolved into a residential area. The post-World War II years saw the construction of many homes in Fair Plain and the movement of many families from the nearby city of Benton Harbor to Fair Plain. To this day, many large old farm houses and barns can be found in Fair Plain, primarily on or near Fairplain Avenue and Jakway Avenue. Miami Drive is one of the most prestigious streets in Fair Plain with many large stately homes on large lots overlooking the St. Joseph River.

Until the mid-1960s, Fair Plain had its own school district with a junior high school (7th through 9th grades) and four elementary schools - Fair Plain West, Fair Plain East, Fair Plain Northwest and Fair Plain Northeast. The boundaries between the four elementary schools were the cross-roads of Colfax Avenue and Napier Avenue. Before it was expanded and the four elementary schools built, the junior high school building was known as Fair Plain Central. The mascot of the junior high school was the Colt, and the school song was "Onward Fair Plain", played to the tune of "On, Wisconsin". In the mid-1960s, the Fair Plain School District, together with others, was consolidated into the school district of the city of Benton Harbor.

A notable stately home in Fair Plain is the Elisha Gray Home on Nickerson Avenue. The WHFB-AM/FM radio station is located on Fairplain Avenue, and the Berrien Hills Golf Club is on the banks of the St. Joseph River.

The Fairplain Plaza,[1] located on M-139 just outside of Fair Plain, was the first shopping center in the area. The original Fairplain Plaza was largely torn down by the late 1990s, but was subsequently rebuilt and expanded in a different format.

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