How Did Michigan Cities Get Their Names? Part 6

In our ongoing series of how cities in Michigan got their names, we’ve been able to share with you the history of cities from around our state. In case you missed them, here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. This week, check out part six, which shares the stories of how five more Michigan cities were named.

The city of Rochester was settled in 1817 and drew pioneers because of its location between the Clinton River, Paint Creek and Stoney Creek – all of which powered mills to cut timber, grind grain, card wool, and press apples into cider. The city was named for Rochester, New York, as many early settlers to the area were formerly from the state of New York.

Harbor Springs:
In 1847, L’Arbre Croche had the largest concentration of Native Americans in the states. At that time, Harbor Springs was called L’Arbre Croche, which means Crooked Tree. Later, French traders renamed the area Petit Traverse, or Little Traverse, when they arrived in the area. The village was eventually incorporated as Harbor Springs in 1880.

The original Flushing  was located in the borough of Queens, New York, and named after the city of Vlissingen, Holland – also known as Flushing, Netherlands. Flushing sprang up in Michigan as a railroad town long ago and Charles Seymour, formerly of the city in New York, is credited with naming the Michigan community in the 1830s.

Birmingham was founded in 1818, when four enterprising men purchased land in the area. The founders quickly established a manufacturer based local economy that brought foundries, tanneries, blacksmith shops, broom and brick making factories to the area. The name Birmingham was chosen after Birmingham, England, in hopes that the Michigan city’s manufacturing capabilities would take after England’s biggest industrial center.

On July 3, 1829, Horace Blackman, accompanied by Alexander Laverty, a land surveyor, and an Indian guide passed through what is today known as Jackson. Blackman returned in August with his brother Russell, and claimed 160 acres of land in the area. In 1830, the area settlement agreed on the name of ‘Jacksonburgh’ in honor or President Andrew Jackson, and in 1838 the name was changed to Jackson.

From Our Community: Pure Michigan Must-Dos

Who knows Michigan better than a Michigander?  With that thought, we asked the Pure Michigan Facebook and Twitter faithful to pick a place in Michigan and name one thing they HAVE to do when there.  Responses were fairly evenly divided between eating and nature, with frequent emphasis on…potatoes.

So without further ado, here’s a sampling of the must-dos across both peninsulas. Thanks to all who commented and submitted!

Where to Eat

Troy Rowley – Grand Haven: MUST have Pronto Pup!

Gina Helrigel Frazier – Rockford: Eat at The Old Mill above the dam of the Rogue River.

Cindy Hill Freeman – Copper Harbor: We have to have dinner at Harbor Haus. I order the best fresh whitefish ever! Enjoy the great view of Lake Superior anywhere in the restaurant and the wonderful German food.

Michael T. Szczepanski – Mackinaw City: Have Scalawags whitefish and chips, with awesome hushpuppies!

@AudaciousWolfFrankenmuth: Must have the Zehnders family style chicken dinner, Yum!  Mouthwatering road trip.

Susan Laing – Albion! Enjoy an avocado and bean tostada at Lopez Taco House.

Travis Kelley – Baldwin: Jones Ice Cream Shop. Best homemade ice cream ever!

Where to Nature

Shirley Burnett-Moore – St. Clair: Go stand or sit by the river. It speaks to the soul and spirit.

@AndrewPieschkeCharlevoix: Watch the sunset over the lighthouse.

@Natasha ColleenMarquette: You have to hike sugar loaf and check out the black rocks, so beautiful!

Natasha Lynn Snyder – Jackson: To visit the Cascades Falls.

@SandraMitchellMLowell: Fallsburg Park; step back in time and walk across the covered bridge.

@DTreeBayCityBay City: Tall-ship sail under the stars on the Schooner Appledore.

Vicki Pierce Schmucker – Adrian: Visit the historic Croswell Opera House in December to see White Christmas!

Where to Potato

Debra Kay Hukill – Gaylord: Visit the Old Spud Warehouse.  The structure is amazing, not to mention the merchandise they sell.

Tina Lambert – Posen, for the Posen Potato Festival. Can you say Polka?!

Kristel Johnson – Crystal Falls: Don’t forget to stop by Johnsons Potato Farm and pick up some fresh spuds!