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Lansing, Michigan Historical Markers

 
Austin Blair Statue image, Touch for more information
By Bill Pfingsten, November 20, 2016
Austin Blair Statue
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Austin BlairWar Governor of Michigan — 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864
He gave the best years of his life to Michigan, and his fame is inseparably linked with the glorious achievements of her citizen soldiers. — Map (db m103326) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L2215 — Capital Bank Tower
Upon its completion in 1931, the Capital Bank Tower was hailed by newspapers as the tallest building in the state beyond Detroit. Industrialist and Capital Bank president Ranson E. Olds commissioned the three hundred-foot skyscraper, which housed . . . — Map (db m103624) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L2226 — Carnegie Library
Side A Andrew Carnegie credited libraries with opening the "treasures of knowledge and imagination through which youth may ascend." This belief led him to provide funding for more than 1,600 libraries across the United States. Designed by . . . — Map (db m103324) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L790A — Central United Methodist Church
The first recorded Methodist meeting in Lansing was held in 1845 when the Reverend Lewis Coburn preached in the log cabin of Joab Page of North Lansing. In 1850 a Methodist class (congregation) was formed in what is now central Lansing. Its first . . . — Map (db m103630) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1632 — Church of the Resurrection / Monsignor John A. Gabriels
Church of the Resurrection On June 15 1922, the Most Reverend Michael J. Gallagher, bishop of Detroit, sent Father John A. Gabriels to Lansing to establish a Catholic parish east of the Pere Marquette railroad tracks that would include East . . . — Map (db m103656) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Drs. Pearl Kendrick and Grace Eldering
Dr. Pearl Kendrick (1890-1980) and Dr. Grace Eldering (1900-1988) In 1932 a severe outbreak of whooping cough struck Grand Rapids. Pearl Kendrick, director of the Michigan Department of Health laboratory there and her colleague Grace . . . — Map (db m103712) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L2147 — Durant Park / Arch
Durant Park William C. Durant was one of Michigan's most important industrialists and the founder of the General Motors Corporation. In 1919 Durant purchased this three-acre city block, once the estate of Mortimer Cowles, an Eaton Rapids . . . — Map (db m103629) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — E. Genevieve Gillette 1898-1986Athletics and Recreation
Known as the “Mother” of Michigan State Parks system. Genevieve Gillette is remembered as one of the state’s most effective conservation lobbyists. In 1920, she was the only woman in the first landscape architecture class to graduate . . . — Map (db m103684) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Eero Saarinen 1910-1961
Eero Saarinen grew up in Finland and the United States surrounded by art and design. He taught design at Cranbrook Academy of Art and worked in his father’s architectural firm. His independent artistic vision was first revealed in the simple, . . . — Map (db m103982) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Elijah McCoy 1843-1929
Born in Canada to parents who had once been enslaved in Kentucky, Elijah McCoy studied engineering in Scotland. He settled in Ypsilanti after the Civil War, intending to work as a mechanical engineer. Although discrimination limited him to the . . . — Map (db m103724) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Ernie Harwell b. 1918
Ernie Harwell is the only member of the American sports media in the Guinness Book of Records. Where he is named baseball’s most enduring announcer. Harwell, the only announcer to broadcast over a span of seven decades, became the first active . . . — Map (db m103718) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Fannie Richards 1840-1922
Fannie Richards helped initiate the fight for educational equality that led to a landmark 1869 Michigan Supreme Court decision abolishing segregation in the Detroit public schools. She began her 50-year teaching career as a Detroit teacher in 1865. . . . — Map (db m103984) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — First Michigan Sharpshooters
First Michigan Sharpshooters. [There follows a list of the regiment's officers.] The regiment was organized during the winter of 1862 and 1863 at Kalamazoo, Michigan. Disbanded at Jackson, Michigan, August 7th, 1865. The entire enrollment of . . . — Map (db m26786) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — First Olds Horseless Carriage
Near this site in 1886, Ransom Eli Olds designed, built, and first drove a steam powered horseless carriage. In 1803, he brought out his first automobile using gasoline engine power. In 1897, he organized the Olds Motor Vehicle company and produced . . . — Map (db m104356) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1471C — First Presbyterian Church
Side A This church, Lansing's first congregation to affiliate nationally (with the Marshall Presbytery), was founded on December 17, 1847. It was organized by the Reverend Calvin Clark, an agent for the American Home Missionary Society. . . . — Map (db m103502) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — First Regiment Michigan Engineers
Rendezvoused at Camp Owen, Marshall, Michigan Mustered October 29, 1861 Regimental Organization twelve companies 150 men each Total enrollment during war 2920 men Served in Thbe Army of the Ohio, Army of the Cumberland, Army of the Tennessee Engaged . . . — Map (db m99956) WM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Freedom Patriotism Humanity
To commemorate the valor and patriotism of the men of the nation who served in the War with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection and the China Relief Expedition 1898 - 1902.

This monument erected through the efforts of the various camps and . . . — Map (db m99954) WM

Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1908 — George E. Palmer / Old Newsboys
George E. Palmer George E. Palmer (1862 - 1944) served Lansing as a truant officer, police officer and superintendent of buildings for the Lansing Public Schools. Beginning in 1900 as a truant officer, Palmer worked with students who were not . . . — Map (db m103930) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Gordie Howe b. 1928
Known as Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe scored his first professional goal in his 1946 National Hockey League debut. Howe established the most records by any athlete in any sport, including 2,589 career points, 1,071 goals and 29 all-star appearances. He . . . — Map (db m103981) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Grand Army of the Republic
THIS MEMORIAL was erected in memory of and dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic by the Department of Michigan Women's Relief Corps. Jun 11, 1924. "Ever in the realms of glory shall shine your starry fame. Angels have heard your story. God . . . — Map (db m104515) WM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L0521 — Grand Trunk Depot
Constructed in 1902, this castle-like building with its square tower was the Lansing station for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad until 1971. For decades passengers streamed through its doors. Here servicemen left and returned from military duty. . . . — Map (db m104014) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Helen Thomas B. 1920
Considered “The First Lady of the Press,” former White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas is a trailblazer who broke through barriers for women reporters. Thomas worked for United Press International for more than 55 years covering every . . . — Map (db m104168) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Henry Ford 1863-1947
Henry Ford transformed America by creating “a motor car for the great multitude.” Always interested in tinkering with machinery than in working on his parents’ Dearborn farm. Ford gravitated toward the young auto industry in the 1890’s. . . . — Map (db m104169) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Herbert Henry Dow 1866-1930
Chemical pioneer H.H. Dow developed new processes for extracting bromine, chlorine, calcium, magnesium and sodium compounds from Midland’s underground deposits of brine (salt water). During World War I, Dow’s company replaced Germany as a supplier . . . — Map (db m103983) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — I-496 Olds FreewayRolling Through the City — The I-496 freeway loop opened in late 1970.
The road, cutting across downtown Lansing, was given the name "Olds Freeway' in honor of Ransom E. Olds. The new freeway reflected a national trend as workers moved out of the cities to suburban homes. I-496 spurred growth in the suburbs, but . . . — Map (db m104215) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Jeff Daniels b. 1955
Daniel’s career took off when he won a 1982 OBIE Award for his performance in the one-man Off-Broadway play “Johnny Got His Gun,” Known for his varied movie roles, he is also a director, playwright and entrepreneur. Remaining . . . — Map (db m103720) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Joe Louis Barrow 1914-1981
Joe Louis learned to box as a teenager at Detroit’s Brewster Recreation Center. With power in both hands and great strength, Louis quickly rose through the amateur ranks and turned pro in 1934. He won the world heavyweight title in 1937 at the . . . — Map (db m103682) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1430 — John T. Herrmann House
This English Tudor house was built in 1893 for John T. Herrmann, a Lansing tailor. Herrmann immigrated to Lansing from Bernsberg, Germany in 1872 with his wife, Katharine, and two children Henry and Christian, In 1878 John Herrmann opened the . . . — Map (db m103355) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Jonas Salk 1914-1995
Jonas Salk developed the first successful polio vaccine. Poliomyelitis, also known as infantile paralysis, was a feared disease that could cause paralysis or death. Salk began his career at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, . . . — Map (db m103709) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1468 — Kerns Hotel Fire / Box 23 Club
Kerns Hotel Fire At 5:30 A.M. on December 11, 1934, the alarm outside the Kerns Hotel sounded. The 211-room four-story brick hotel that stood on this site had 215 registered guests. Before the last embers of the fire were extinguished, . . . — Map (db m104407) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1449 — Lansing Community College
Lansing Community College was established on April 8, 1957, by the Lansing Public Schools. It opened that fall with 425 students and sixteen faculty members. It offered civil mechanical and electronics technologies as well as practical nursing and . . . — Map (db m103351) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L0864 — Lansing Fire Station No. 8
Lansing architects Bowd-Munson Company designed Fire Station No. 8, which opened in June 1931. The firehall was built by the H. G. Christman Company. Firefighters lived in the upper two floors, and the community used a large room in the basement for . . . — Map (db m103325) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — 745C — Lansing Labor Holiday
Side A As the labor movement spread across Michigan in the 1930s, workers in Lansing organized. After a successful strike at REO Motor Car Company ended in April 1937, the Amalgamated United Auto Workers Local 182 began recruiting new . . . — Map (db m104288) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S587C — Lansing's First Capitol Building / Lansing Becomes the Capital City
Lansing's First Capitol Building Early in 1847, three commissioners were appointed to select an appropriate site for the capitol in Lansing. The contract for construction was awarded on June 3, 1847. Building materials were shipped by boat on . . . — Map (db m99950) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Lansing's Labor HolidayThe UAW Takes Action — They took it to the streets on June 7, 1937
Following Flint's example, Lansing Amalgamated United Auto Workers Local 182 concluded a successful sit-down strike at Reo in April 1937. A subsequent effort to organize Capital City Wrecking Company resulted in the firing of workers, picket lines . . . — Map (db m104154) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Mack-e-te-be-nessy “Andrew J. Blackbird” c. 1815-1908
Educated first in Odawa (Ottawa) skills and traditions, Andrew J. Blackbird struggled to find the resources to Euro-American schools. He eventually studied at Ypsilanti State Normal School. His command of English enabled him to work as an . . . — Map (db m103710) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0455 — Malcolm X Homesite
Side 1 Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925, lived on this site in the 1930's. His early life was marked by the violent death of his father, the Reverend Earl Little, on the Michigan Avenue streetcar tracks. Under severe . . . — Map (db m104016) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Michigan
This memorial presented to the State of Michigan by Michigan's veterans organizations and auxiliaries is one of the first multi-conflict memorials erected in the United States to memorialize the service and sacrifices of a states servicemen and . . . — Map (db m99957) WM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0625 — Michigan Education Association / Michigan Association of Counties
Michigan Education Association When completed in 1928, this building marked the Michigan Education Association's seventy-fifth anniversary. The Lansing architectural firm of Warren Holmes-Powers Company designed the Neo-Georgian structure. The . . . — Map (db m105077) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1459 — Michigan Manufacturer's Association
Side A Since its 1902 founding, the Michigan Manufacturers association has dealt with many important business issues. Beginning in 1908, the MMA organized employers to establish a system for compensating injured workers. In 1912, based on a . . . — Map (db m103660) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L2255 — Michigan National Guard Armory / 119th Field Artillery
Michigan National Guard Armory Built in 1924, the Lansing Armory in one of five Michigan National Guard Armories designed by state architect Lynn M. Fry. The front block contained military office; the large hall in the rear had room for unit . . . — Map (db m103356) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1408 — Michigan Optometric Association
The state's professional optometry association was founded as the Michigan Optical Society in Muskegon in 1896. Benson W. Hardy, Jay W. Gould, Ernst Elmer, Nelson K. Standart, Emil H. Arnold were its first directors. In 1904 the group was . . . — Map (db m103353) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1194 — Michigan Pharmacists Association
On November 14,1883, seventy-seven druggists met in the State Capitol to organize the Michigan State Pharmaceutical Association. Jacob Jesson of Muskegon led the effort to establish a professional association to participate in national professional . . . — Map (db m103350) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0628 — Michigan Retail Hardware Association
Side 1 With the philosophy, "in union there is strength", twenty Michigan hardware retailers convened in Detroit on July 9, 1895, and organized the Michigan Retail Hardware Association. Frank S. Carlton of Calumet was elected the first . . . — Map (db m103926) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0575 — Michigan School for the Blind / Administration Building
Michigan School for the Blind Michigan began educating the blind in 1859 at Flint's Michigan Asylum. In 1879 the legislature established the Michigan School for the Blind, which opened here on September 29, 1880, with 35 students. The next . . . — Map (db m103504) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0620 — Michigan Sheriffs' Association
In December 1877 twenty-four county sheriffs met in Lansing and formed the Michigan State Sheriffs Association--committed to devising ways and means for assisting each other in the detention, arrest and conviction of criminals. In 1893 the group . . . — Map (db m103927) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Michigan State CapitolConstructed 1872 to 1878
In 1871 Governor Henry P. Baldwin challenged Michigan's legislature to build a fireproof capitol to house the state;s governmental offices, recdords, and civil war relics. Modeled after the United States Capitol, it is one of thje first post-civil . . . — Map (db m99952) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — HB1 — Michigan State Capitol / Michigan's Three Capitols
Michigan State Capitol Hailed by Michigan citizens as a proud symbol of their young and growing state, this building was dedicated on January 1, 1879. National publications praised its scandal-free construction which took six years, and its . . . — Map (db m99951) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1185 — Morgan B. Hungerford House
This Late Victorian house, designed by Darius B. Moon was built by Morgan B. Hungerford in 1880. Hungerford (1830-1903) had arrived in the area in 1858. He farmed a large tract of land in what is now west Lansing and served one term as justice of . . . — Map (db m103352) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L2211 — Mt. Hope Cemetery
Side A Mount Hope Cemetery opened as Lansing's new city cemetery in June 1874 on what was formerly the John Miller Farm. Between 1874 and 1881 the city vacated the Lansing City Cemetery, located on the site of what would become Oak Park, and . . . — Map (db m103653) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Muzyad Yahkoob “Danny Thomas” 1914-1991
Danny Thomas’s first audiences on Detroit radio knew him as Amos Jacobs, the anglicized form of his Lebanese birth name. His CBS radio show in the late 1940s made him nationally known, but he is best known as a television producer and star, and . . . — Map (db m103978) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1353 — North Presbyterian Church
Side A On October 19, 1863, fourteen members of Lansing’s First Presbyterian Church signed the Articles of Association creating the Franklin Street Church Society. The society acquired a lot for a church from James Turner, a merchant and . . . — Map (db m103349) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Olds Returns to LansingThe Curved Dash Runabout — Fire didn't destroy Ransom E. Olds' dreams
After fire destroyed the new Olds Motor Works plant in Detroit on March 9, 1901, the Lansing Business Men's Association offered Olds land originally acquired in hopes of permanently hosting the State Fair. He took it. His new plant produced only the . . . — Map (db m104114) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0590 — Ransom Eli Olds / Curved Dash Oldsmobile
Ransom Eli Olds Born in Geneva, Ohio, Ransom E. Olds came to Lansing in 1880. He worked in his father's machine and repair shop, where he experimented with small steam engines. In 1887, Olds drove for a distance of one block, Lansing's first . . . — Map (db m103920) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Ransom Eli Olds BreakthroughEngines Turning Wheels — The spark of auto innovation ignited here in the 1890s.
P.F. Olds founded a prosperous machine shop here on River Street, repairing and building steam and gasoline engines. His was one of many Lansing Manufacturing plants that produced small engines, carriages, windmills and other equipment used by . . . — Map (db m104130) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0652 — REO Motor Car Company / REO Clubhouse
REO Motor Car Company In 1904 Ransom Eli Olds founded the REO Motor Car Company and built a factory on this site. In 1897 Olds had organized the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, the forerunner of Oldsmobile. REO soon became a leading automobile . . . — Map (db m103922) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1140 — Rogers-Carrier House
Lansing architect Darius B. Moon built this Queen Anne style house in 1891 for realtor H. M. Rogers. Purchased by Lansing merchant M. R. Carrier in 1905, the house was occupied by the Carrier family until 1964. In 1966, Lansing Community College . . . — Map (db m103621) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Rosa Parks 1913-2005Civic & Community Leadership
Rosa Parks became an icon of the modern Civil Rights movement for refusing to give up her Montgomery, Alabama, bus seat to a white passenger in December 1955. That defiant act fueled the movement that ended legal segregation in America. Because . . . — Map (db m104194) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1990 — Roswell Everett / Roswell Everett House
Roswell Everett Roswell Everett, a native of New York State, came to Michigan in 1834. In 1841 he moved to Ingham County and immediately involved himself in public affairs. Everett (1790 - 1871) is credited with naming Delhi Township, which . . . — Map (db m103501) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L1689 — St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Side A In 1848, soon after the Michigan legislature relocated the state capital to Lansing Township, an Episcopal society met in the new capitol, located at Washington Avenue and Allegan Street. The society which became a parish in 1856, . . . — Map (db m103358) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S588C — State Bar of Michigan
The State Bar of Michigan was established by the legislature in 1935 as an organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice and the delivery of legal services. Every lawyer licensed to practice in Michigan is required to be a . . . — Map (db m99958) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Stevie Wonder b. 1950
In the early 1960’s, he was “Little Stevie Wonder,” a Motown prodigy enrolled at the Michigan School for the Blind. As a young adult, the Saginaw native began writing songs and producing records independently. He said, “When . . . — Map (db m103931) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0617 — The Grand River / Grand River History
The Grand River and its valley were formed by the melting of the continental glacier that retreated from this area some 12,000 years ago. Known by Chippewa Indians as Washtanong (further country) and by the French as le Riviere Grand, the Grand is . . . — Map (db m104018) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L2097 — Theater District / The Strand
The Strand On April 21 1921, this building opened as the Strand Theater and Arcade. The 2000-seat theater boasted one of the largest vaudeville stages in the state and a screen for viewing motion pictures. The building was the pride of . . . — Map (db m103633) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Thomas Edison 1847-1931
As a boy in Port Huron, Thomas Edison spent hours in the laboratory he created in his parents basement. A technological genius, his passion for inventing devices that met practical needs led to more than 1,000 patents and laboratories that helped . . . — Map (db m103716) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0629 — Town of Michigan /Lansing
Town of Michigan ) In 1847, required by Michigan's 1835 constitution to choose a permanent capital site within the first decade of statehood, the legislature voted to move the capital from Detroit. Convinced that the governmental seat should be . . . — Map (db m92851) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L0987 — Trinity A.M.E. Church
Side 1 Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church of Lansing is the oldest black church in the city. Its first services were held in a building on North Washington Avenue. The church formally organized by the Reverend Mr. Henderson of . . . — Map (db m103654) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L0238 — Turner-Dodge House
Side A James Turner, a Lansing pioneer, originally owned this property. A native of New York, Turner came to Lansing in 1847 from nearby Mason, where he was a merchant. He immediately opened a general store in the Seymour House, the . . . — Map (db m103655) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — L2141 — Union Depot
The Union Depot began passenger service for the Michigan Central and Pere Marquette Railroads in 1902. The Detroit architectural firm of Spier and Rohns, which planned many Michigan Central stations, designed the building with Chateauesque conical . . . — Map (db m103659) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — Walter Reuther 1907-1970
Walter Reuther was a skilled die maker in Ford auto plants. Following a family heritage of labor and political activism, he joined the young United Auto Workers (UAW) in 1936 and quickly emerged as a leader. He gained national attention in May 1937 . . . — Map (db m103708) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — William Crapo “Billy” Durant 1861-1947
Unlike most automotive pioneers, Flint’s William Durant was not an inventor. Co-owner of the nation’s largest horse-drawn carriage company, he was a super salesman who saw the sales and marketing potential of the automobile. Impressed with a . . . — Map (db m103714) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — S0618 — Wolverine Boys' State / Wolverine Girls' State
Wolverine Boys' State: The American Legion On November 28, 1937, the board of directors of The American Legion established Wolverine Boys' State. American Legion departments in other states, including Ohio and Indiana, had existing programs. . . . — Map (db m104318) HM
Michigan (Ingham County), Lansing — 766 — Woodbury-Kerns House
Darius B. Moon, prominent turn-of-the century Lansing architect, designed this Queen Anne house in 1896 for Chester E. Woodbury, founder of the Lansing Capitol Savings and Loan Association. The structure’s last residential owner was William G. . . . — Map (db m103322) HM

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