Potterville, Michigan

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Potterville is a city in Eaton County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,168 at the 2000 census.



Potterville is named after Linus Potter, who settled his family in the area in November, 1844. Linus was elected supervisor of Benton Township in 1846. In 1830, Linus and his wife Diantha came from Cayuga County, New York, by way of the Erie Canal, to Buffalo and then by way of Lake Erie steamboat to Detroit. From there, Linus and Diantha walked to Plymouth, Michigan, a journey of about thirty miles, before walking on to Saline. The pair carried their three-year-old son, George, and their infant daughter, Louisa[3].

Recent calamities

On July 6, 1994, a lightning strike at Fox Park injured 22 beach-goers. The lightning struck the water and "walked up the beach."[4]

A rare Michigan earthquake on September 2, 1994, had its epicenter just east of the city. Measuring a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter Scale, it could be felt through most of Mid-Michigan.[1]

The city experienced a massive train derailment of 35 Canadian National railcars over Memorial Day weekend 2002. Due to leaking propane from the cars, the entire city was evacuated.[2] The cause of the derailment was found to have been a faulty rail.

A second Canadian National train derailment occurred in May 2006, though no evacuation was necessary. The cause of this derailment was found to be a failed wheel bearing on the 82nd railcar. [3]

June 15, 2008 around 3:00 pm a fire arose at a nearby pallet factory. The fire took four days to be extinguished and 12 different local fire departments to assist. The cause of the fire was unknown.

January 30, 2010 at 11:30 pm a fire occurred in downtown Potterville burning two antique shops, a book store, Masonic Lodge, a dog grooming shop, and two apartments. This fire destroyed historic buildings that were 100 years old. No one was seriously hurt in the fire. Fire fighters from Benton Township, Windsor Township, Delta Township, Charlotte, and Eaton Rapids were initially involved in battling the blaze. When it was found that the city's water system could not keep up with the draw from fighting the inferno, tanker trucks from each of the above departments as well as several other departments in Eaton County were called to assist. It took nearly twelve hours to extinguish the blaze. The fire then rekindled on February 1, 2010 and was again extinguished.

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