Free Soil, Michigan

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Free Soil is a village in Mason County of the U.S. state of Michigan.. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 177. The village is located within Free Soil Township. The village is close to the intersection of Free Soil and Custer Roads. Free Soil previously operated a two-building K-12 school district, with the high school closing in 2007 and elementary closing in 2010. The school had been in operation since 1913.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.7 km²), all land. The Big Sauble River runs just east of the village.

The current village is actually the second settlement in Mason County to be named Free Soil. An area in Grant Township near Lake Michigan, just south of the Manistee County line, was the original settlement in the late 1800s. There are still a few homes in the area now known as "Old Freesoil".

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 177 people, 75 households, and 48 families residing in the village. The population density was 171.2 per square mile (66.3/km²). There were 93 housing units at an average density of 90.0/sq mi (34.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.22% White, 2.26% African American, 0.56% Native American, and 3.95% from two or more races.

There were 75 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the village the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $27,083, and the median income for a family was $36,000. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $20,833 for females. The per capita income for the village was $13,329. About 5.6% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under the age of eighteen and 11.4% of those sixty five or over.

Recreation

The Big Sauble River provides great fishing for suckers, brown trout and brook trout, along with other species. It is also a popular river for canoeing and tubing as well. People frequently make the trek from Smitty's Landing to Stephens Rd.

Gun Lake, Hoags Lake, Blue Lake, Ford Lake and Thunder Lake are very close to Free Soil. They are generally good lakes for bass and panfish. Hoags Lake has a public access but requires a National Forest Service parking sticker or day pass. Gun Lake has a non-fee boat launch and a beach open to the public. Gun Lake is larger and more popular with recreational boaters as Hoags Lake currently does not allow outboard-gasoline-propelled watercraft.

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