Bellaire, Michigan

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Bellaire is a village in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 1,164. It is the county seat of Antrim County[3]. The town has a very scenic main street, and is a popular location for tourists. Bellaire is also home to the Antrim County Courthouse, a historic structure built in 1905. The Antrim County Review, the county's main newspaper, was headquartered in Bellaire before the paper went out of business.

Contents

History

The Bellaire post office opened under the name Keno on June 20, 1879 and changed to Bellaire on May 26, 1880.[4] Also, in 1880, Bellaire became the county seat of Antrim County, a position that Elk Rapids had previously had. The Chicago & West Michigan Railroad built a depot in Bellaire in 1891, and the East Jordan & Southern Railroad built another line into the town in 1901. For years, Bellaire was a major railroad center in Antrim County, so the town attracted many industrial corporations. For example, the wooden bowl company (which made wooded utensils) built a factory in Bellaire because of the ease of transportation. Bellaire remained a transportation center until 1962, when the East Jordan and Southern abandoned their trackage through Bellaire, and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (which was using the former Chicago and West Michigan line) followed suit in 1982.

Geography

The village is located on the boundary between Forest Home Township on the west and Kearney Township on the east, separated by the Intermediate River with the larger portion within Kearney Township. The Bellaire ZIP code, 49615, serves large portions of both townships, as well as portions of Central Lake Township to the north, Chestonia Township to the east, Custer Township to the south, and Helena Township to the southwest.[5]

M-88 passes through the village, with Central Lake approximately 8 miles to the north and Mancelona approximately 10 miles to the southeast.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 5.1 km² (2.0 mi²). 4.7 km² (1.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (6.15%) is water.

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