“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Union City in Branch County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

“Union” of the Rivers

Union City Heritage Water Trail

"Union" of the Rivers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Val Rossman, June 16, 2016
1. "Union" of the Rivers Marker
Inscription. At this point the Coldwater and St. Joe Rivers join, creating their namesake “Union” City. In the late 1820s a road surveying party following the Washtenaw Indian Trail that later became M-60 stumbled upon this junction and returned giving a glowing account of the area. In the early 1830s, Isaiah W. Bennet of New York State made an exploratory tour along the St. Joe. He also was struck with the advantages of this area. He and another prospector, Jeremiah Marvin, purchased a tract of several hundred acres from the government in 1831. The first permanent settler in the area was Justus Goodwin, who came from New York State and in 1833 purchased 568 acres of land from Marvin for $2000. This included the present site of the business district. Goodwin registered the town of Goodwinsville with Branch County on 8/27/1835. The first tide of immigrants from New England arrived in 1836. In 1837 another group, Richard and Israel Clark, Lyman Gilbert, and Isaac Diamond, laid out a 200 acre tract of land that was called “Union City” for the confluence of the two rivers. The name of the Goodwinsville Post Office was changed to Union City in 1840, but the town remained as Goodwinsville until 1/25/1866 when it was officially incorporated as the Village of Union City. By 1870 the population had swelled to 1,035 and the business district began to show signs of growth.
Erected 2106 by Union City Heritage Water Trail. (Marker Number 7.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Union City Heritage Water Trail marker series.
Location. 42° 4.009′ N, 85° 7.795′ W. Marker is in Union City, Michigan, in Branch County. Click for map. This marker is on private property please do not attempt to access it by trespassing on foot. It is mean to be viewed up paddling the Coldwater River as part of the Union City Heritage Water Trail. It is a few hundred yards downstream from the JP Palmer launch in the south east corner of the Village of Union City. It is at the north west corner where the Coldwater River terminates into the St. Joesph River. Marker is in this post office area: Union City MI 49094, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Narrow Gauge Railway to the Cement Factory (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Union City Creamery (about 600 feet away); Union City Iron Furnace (about 700 feet away); Coldwater River & Bridge (about 700 feet away); The St. Joe Tavern & The Bucket (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Fire Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Riverside Hotel, Duo Coach & UCI (approx. 0.2 miles away); Caille Richards Company (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Union City.
More about this marker. There are 28 of these markers comprising the Union City Heritage Water Trail on the Coldwater River and the St. Joseph River launched in 2016 for the village's Sesquicentennial. These markers can be viewed by paddling the 5 mile stretch of river from the JP Palmer Launch in the Village of Union City to the Riley Dam on the SW Corner of Union Lake. Most of these markers CANNOT by accessed by foot as they are on private property along the river. Please do not trespass. More details can be found at
Also see . . .  Union City Heritage Water Trail Marker 3. This link will take you to the official Union City Heritage Water Trail page for this marker which contains additional photos and information. (Submitted on June 16, 2016, by Val Rossman of Union City, Michigan.) 
Categories. ExplorationSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Val Rossman of Union City, Michigan. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on , by Val Rossman of Union City, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 18, 2016.
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