Allegan, Michigan

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Allegan is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 4,838. It is the county seat of Allegan County.[3] The city lies within Allegan Township, but is administratively autonomous.

Allegan was named by Michigan historian Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in 1837 to sound like a Native American word. Land was purchased from government to form the downtown business district; village organization came in 1838 with city incorporation authorized in 1907.[4]

Allegan is located in the south-central portion of the county. To the west and northwest is the Allegan State Game Area for which the city is considered a gateway. In all other directions Allegan is surrounded by farmland.

Allegan's dense forests and river geography served as a source of water power, trade routes for steamboats and timber production. Once cleared, Allegan became a center for business, industry and expansive farmland.



The men after whom Allegan's downtown streets were named - Elisha Ely, Samuel Hubbard, Charles Christopher Trowbridge, Pliny Cutler, and Edmund Monroe - patented land in the area in 1833. They considered the site a prime location for industry, due to its potential for water power (since it straddled the Kalamazoo River) and water bound transportation. By 1835, a dam and sawmill had been established.

In 1886, a one-lane bridge was built over the Kalamazoo River to connect limited highway M-89 to the downtown area. The bridge fell into disrepair and was going to be removed until a group of activists raised the money to restore the bridge in 1983. Now a highlight of Allegan, the one-lane bridge is used in the city logo and is considered an important part of the city.

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