Michigan Center, Michigan

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Michigan Center is an unincorporated community in Leoni Township of Jackson County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is also a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes and without legal status as an incorporated municipality. The population was 4,641 at the 2000 census.

Michigan Center was platted as "Michigan Centre" in 1837 by Abel Fitch and Paul Ring, although there were settlements in the area from at least 1834. The name was presumably derived from the proximity to the Michigan Meridian which divided the state into eastern and western portions for surveying. The community is not close to any sort of geographical center of the state. Fitch became the first postmaster in 1838.

Michigan Center began developing as a mill town on a tributary of the Grand River. There was a station on Michigan Central Railroad. However, nearby Jackson rapidly outpaced Michigan Center, which has since become a bedroom community to the city of Jackson.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.7 square miles (14.7 km²), of which, 5.2 square miles (13.4 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (8.48%) is water.

The community is situated primarily around the northern end of Center Lake, formed by a dam on a tributary of the Grand River. Several other nearby lakes on the same tributary form a connected chain of lakes: Round Lake, Price Lake, Moon Lake, Little Dollar Lake, Dollar Lake, Olcott Lake, and Little Olcott Lake. Wolf Lake and Little Wolf Lake are part of the same chain of lakes, but are separated from the others by another dam. Local residents travel between the first several lakes using small boats or personal watercraft.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 4,641 people, 1,856 households, and 1,308 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 895.6 per square mile (345.9/km²). There were 1,961 housing units at an average density of 378.4/sq mi (146.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.72% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.53% of the population.

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