Would You Recognize These Michigan Cities by Their Original Names?
My, oh my, how Michigan has changed.
If a time traveler from the 1800s were to land in Mid-Michigan today, they probably wouldn't recognize our cities and towns--even if they landed in the exact same spot.
Not only are there a lot more buildings and people (not to mention motorized transportation), several cities and towns in our area aren't even called the same name as they started out with.
Would you know these Michigan municipalities by their original names?
In his book Michigan Place Names, Walter Romig reveals that there were times the county seat of Eaton County was known as Eaton Centre, or Carmel. Ultimately, it would become permanently known by the first name of the wife of a wealthy land speculator who helped found the town: Charlotte.
Ever been through Phelpstown, Michigan? How about LeRoy? These were early names for the city that would ultimately become Webberville shortly after the end of the Civil War. It was originally named Phelpstown after David Phelps, the host of the budding community's first town meeting. By 1850, it took on the name LeRoy instead, named for the state's first Attorney General. In 1867, the town was renamed Webberville, after Hubert Webber, the town's postmaster.
From about 1838 to 1853, this was Cedar, Michigan. It would ultimately take on the name Fowlerville, after Ralph Fowler, the first to settle here in the mid-1830s.
You can probably guess which community was once known as College Park, Michigan. Even though Michigan State University's roots in East Lansing go back to the mid-1850s, the name "East Lansing" didn't come to be until around 1907, when the city's charter was officially issued by the state legislature. Another early name for the area that would become East Lansing was Agricultural College, Michigan.
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