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MARKER DATABASE
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Michigan Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 21, 2020

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Michigan ranks 20th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Michigan is a state in the United States of America located in the American Midwest. It is also in the Great Lakes region. Michigan is some 97 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 10 million people. The state is divided into 83 counties and 74 of them have entries in this database. In Michigan we have discovered historical markers in 362 cities and towns lying in 376 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Michigan? There are least 2,120 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 2,044 historical markers and 99 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 2,133 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 1.6% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 76 historical markers in Michigan that we donít yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Michigan marker in the database, Lake Shore Drive Bridge / Eagle River, was added May 4, 2007. It was photographed in Eagle River in Keweenaw County and was erected in 1991. The last one added was submitted on February 14, 2020, and titled The Paint Creek Cider Mill. It is in Oakland Township in Oakland County and had been erected in 2019. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Michigan was erected in 1872. It was this one: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, and one of our correspondents found it in Detroit in Wayne County on January 19, 2010.

Michigan Historical Categories
500 • Industry and Commerce
404 • Settlements and Settlers
253 • Notable Buildings
252 • Waterways and Vessels
248 • Churches and Religion
195 • Education
173 • Man-Made Features
125 • Native Americans
117 • Roads and Vehicles
114 • Railroads and Streetcars
    ... and more ...

Michiganders donít want to forget their Industry and Commerce history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Michigan about Industry and Commerceó500 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 404 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce category was The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin, added July 15, 2007. It had been erected in 1979 in Niles in Berrien County. The last one submitted also was submitted on February 14, 2020, and titled The Paint Creek Cider Mill. It had been erected in 2019 in Oakland Township in Oakland County. The earliest marker erected with the Industry and Commerce category that we have listed was erected in 1920. It was Vicksburg's First Mill, found in Vicksburg in Kalamazoo County on September 24, 2013.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Michigan county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Wayne County, with 268 of them. It is followed by Oakland County with 215 markers. The Detroit area of Wayne County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 89. In Oakland County the area with the most markers, 21, is Farmington Hills.

Historical Markers in These
Michigan Counties
268 • Wayne County
215 • Oakland County
108 • Ingham County
107 • Washtenaw County
100 • Macomb County
79 • Emmet County
68 • Berrien County
68 • Mackinac County
65 • Monroe County
59 • Cheboygan County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Michigan with the most markers we again find Detroit at the top of the list with 89 markers in or near it. It is followed by Lansing in Ingham County with 74 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 49770 at the top of the list with 57 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 49770 is assigned to Petoskey MI including the Bay Harbor, and Bay View delivery areas.) It is followed closely by ZIP Code 48933 with 55 markers. (48933 is assigned to Lansing MI.)

Historical Markers Near These
Michigan Cities and Towns
89 • Detroit
74 • Lansing
66 • Dearborn
56 • Monroe
49 • Mackinaw City
44 • St. Ignace
42 • Petoskey
34 • Ann Arbor
32 • Ypsilanti
29 • Union City
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Wayne County, the first marker added to the database from there, 19th U. S. Infantry, was added December 4, 2008. in Detroit. The last one submitted was uploaded on January 6, 2020, and is titled Orville L. Hubbard, LLB and was erected in 2017, in Dearborn. The earliest marker erected in Wayne County that we have listed was erected in 1872. It was Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, found in Detroit on January 19, 2010.

Latest entry from Michigan. Click to go there
By Joel Seewald, November 3, 2019
Latest Entry from Michigan
“The Paint Creek Cider Mill”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Lansing. The first: First Michigan Sharpshooters, was added January 20, 2010. It had been erected in 1915. The last: North Lansing Brenke Fish Ladder added on January 7, 2019. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1915: First Michigan Sharpshooters, added on January 20, 2010.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The Michigan Historical Commission is currently in charge of the familiar green and gold official historical markers found all over the state and the Michigan Department of Transportation typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. You will also find official markers erected by the Michigan History Division, Department of State, a predecessor. They erected their first marker in 1955, and we have 705 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Michigan. Click to go there
By Michael Baker
A Michigan Historical Commission Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Michigan have been marked with history. Check out Baraga County, Luce County and Marquette County. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Michigan might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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