Page Contents for Laingsburg, Michigan
Statistics & Facts
History & History-related items
Statistics & Facts
The Michigan state capital is Lansing.
The population of Laingsburg is approximately 1283 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 430 (1990), 463 (2010).
The amount of land area in Laingsburg is 4.114 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0.015 sq kilometers.
The distance from Laingsburg to Washington DC is 487 miles.
The distance to the Michigan state capital is 16 miles. (as the crow flies)
Laingsburg is positioned 42.88 degrees north of the equator and 84.34 degrees west of the prime meridian.
about 20 minutes NE of Lansing, the state capital
Return to Index
History & History Related Items
If one passes through or stops in our sleepy little community and looks around today, it
would be hard to imagine what it was like at one time. It was a thriving city with a
vast array of shops and businesses. A busy railroad passed through it (the same one that
passes through Bath, Michigan and continues on to Owosso and beyond). The main street
running through Laingsburg was originally a trail, more or less following the Looking
Glass River, and eventually becoming a busy stage route that was one of the main routes
stretching across Michigan. Today it is still a main back highway and one of Michigan's
most beautiful historic roads, winding (as trails do) for miles, lined by ancient maple,
oak, walnut and hickory trees planted long ago by unknown hands. It passes through many
small, unique towns all historically connected together by the Grand River Road (also
known in some areas as Round Lake Road). Scenic and beautiful in all seasons, it is
truly worth exploring on a Sunday drive.
In the 1600's the Native American village of Wassololo was located exactly where
Laingsburg now stands. No one knows what happened to this Chippewa village.
Laingsburg was founded by Dr. Peter Laing in 1836. His parents came from Scotland,
he was born in New York in 1788, married in 1810, moved to Ann Arbor in 1833 and
practiced medicine, and came to this area which would become Laingsburg in 1836.
At the corner of Fenner and Grand River roads he built Laing Tavern. Other taverns
and hotels followed. Since this was a main route between Pontiac and Grand Rapids
they were kept busy with weary travelers.
Since the beginning we have had Saw Mills, Jewelers, Hardware stores, a Grist Mill,
Feed and Produce stores, Drug stores, a Cooperage and Stave mill, General Stores,
Brick making operations, Liveries, Photographers, a one man Cigar Factory, a Pickle
Factory, Morticians, Hotels, Restaurants, and Taverns, Barbers, Banks, a store that
sold crockery and groceries, Doctors and Dentists, Cobblers, Inventors, and other
assorted entrepreneurs. This, of course, is not a complete list.
Laingsburg was not without culture. Through the years a variety of entertainers
called our city home. The Laingsburg Band started around 1863. In 1910 an Opera House
was built (it also served as a roller skating rink). In 1908 a touring tent show known
as Kelly and Brennan Dramatic Company was formed. In spring the owner of the
show would drive around town with his calliope playing to announce the beginning of
the new show season. The was also an entertainer known as Poluhni - the Mystic who
conducted telepathy acts, magic, and death defying stunts. The Opera House was also
host to many theatrical and musical acts during the five years it was in existence.
Laingsburg lost a lot of buildings and businesses to fire through the years! Hotels,
Grain Elevator, Post Office, Millinery, Groceries and many, many more. In 1888 a
huge fire on both sides of the road in town nearly destroyed the village. Even the
beautiful St. Isadore's Catholic church was destroyed in 1966, the original brick
building being built in 1902. There was a train wreck east of town about 80 years ago.
Several sources say that Roosevelt came through Laingsburg on a train when he was campaigning. For a brief period, Laingsburg's name was changed to Nebraska, Michigan. Obviously, it was later changed back to Laingsburg. There are many centennial farms in the area.
Bob Tisch, a local political activist who ran for Vice-President of the United States
on the Tisch party ballot, resided with his wife in Laingsburg. Sadly he passed away
this year. (Aside-he reminded me a lot of Abe Lincoln-about 6'4" and slender, with a
deep resonant voice, personally I have found that he was delightful and kind and of strong
political opinions.) Most of the historical information was taken from two sources: The Hill and Below by Birdie Colby and Emma Jane Wright and a report written by two high school students found at the local library. The report did not contain their names. Anyone is welcome to let us know who they are so we can give them credit.
Return to Index
The founding of Laingsburg
Enchanted Mud Pottery
("The Pottery on the Marsh") is 2 1/2 miles south of town on
on Grand River Rd.
Sleepy Hollow State Park
- 10 minutes NW of town. A Beautiful park with camping, beaches, trails, fishing. Sleepy Hollow is one of the area's best kept secrets. It is a wonder why more people
in Lansing do not use it when it is so close (25 minutes away). Lake Lansing is so
much more crowded and not as clean.
- a restaurant that
is located in a very old restored dance hall that was actually built on the shore of and
OUT OVER THE WATER OF Round Lake! A lovely and unique setting. They serve a variety of
Cajun, Creole, Louisianna cuisine in a Fine Dining setting.
Grand River Rd. - A beautiful, scenic, historic, winding road that was an early Indian trail.
The Laingsburg area is host to variety of artists and craftspeople. Furniture makers,
painters, weavers, potters, crocheters and more. Many entertainers live in the area. Carl Veith (also known as Carl Karl the magician) has delighted people with his magic show for years all around Michigan and beyond.
Ladonna's School of Dance has enriched the lives of children and adults alike by
teaching several forms of dance, acrobatics, etc. They perform regularly at community
functions and at the featured spring recital. Many of her students have gone on to
become successful performers and dance teachers. The Community Singers brighten the
Holiday Season with their performances. There are other singers and musicians that
regularly share their talent. A Jamboree is held one Saturday a month in Laingsburg
where old-time country, gospel, folk, bluegrass music is performed.
Field Pharmacy, Wild's Furniture and Leonard Hardware are a few of the family
businesses that have been passed down through the family and are still here today
(centennial farms, of course, fall in this category also).
On the edge of town there is the beautiful 18 hole Pine Hills Golf Course
that is open
to the public for golf.
Beautiful Nash Nurseries
and Reinert Pottery
sit side by side just east of town on
Grand River Rd..
A restored one room school (Sprague School) that was run as a school museum and
toy store is just 2 mi. south of town. Unfortunately it closed in 1997. It was full of
original school memorabilia and artifacts and offered a variety of old-fashioned
reproduction toys for purchase to help finance keeping the museum open to the public.
I apologize to those who I may have neglected mentioning. There no way I could list
everone and make this short of a book.
Return to Index