DOWAGIAC — The history of a favorite Dowagiac eatery will be the kickoff topic for the Dowagiac Area History Museum’s 2019 Fall Lecture Series.

Julie Johnson, owner of Caruso’s Candy Kitchen, will hold a presentation called “Almost a Century of Candymaking: A History of Caruso’s Candy Kitchen” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The lecture series runs through December.

Candymaking has been a constant at the location of Caruso’s for over a century. Antonio Caruso purchased the business known as the Chicago Candy Kitchen in 1911, and in 1922 changed the name to Caruso’s. It has been a favorite Dowagiac eatery for almost a century, while remaining family-operated.

Current owner Julie Johnson will provide a history of the company and entertain the audience with tales of candymaking.

“Everyone who grew up in Dowagiac has fond memories of Caruso’s,” Museum Director Steve Arseneau said in a news release about the lecture series. “The family has done an amazing job keeping the historic features of the building and business model, which allows current residents and visitors to take a trip down memory lane.”

The lecture series continues Oct. 2 with Don and Lance Lyons’ program: “An Historic and Live Look at Lyons Industries.” The Nov. 6 program will be “Votes for Women: The Fight for Women’s Suffrage in Michigan”; and the series concludes with Mollie Kruck Watson of the Niles History Center and “A Look Inside the 1884 Chapin Mansion of Niles.”

The program is free to museum members and children under 18, and $5 for non-members. Membership will be available at the museum, located at the corner of Division and West Railroad streets. For more information, call the museum at 783-2560 or visit