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Located in the Thumb region of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, the city of Bad Axe is the county seat of Huron County.

The chief routes through the city are M-142 and M-53. M-142, also known as Pigeon Road, forms the northernmost boundary of Bad Axe. In the north-central part of the city, M-142 joins M-53, both running contiguous, in a southerly direction to the center of the city, where they are also known as N Van Dyke Road, then M-53 leads to the west, becoming W Huron Avenue, while M-142 leads to the east, becoming Sand Beach Road. At the point of divergence, N Van Dyke Road becomes S Port Crescent Road, which continues straight, exiting the city in the south as Bad Axe Road.

Bad Axe straddles Colfax township and Verone township, although it is governmentally independent of either of them.

The village of Ubly is 9.6 miles south-southeast, Kinde is 9.6 miles north, and Elkton is 10.5 miles west, while the city of Harbor Beach is 17.9 miles east of Bad Axe.

Although there are other stories relating to the origin of the city's distinctive name, one credible story that has made it into print is that the Thumb region of the Lower Peninsula had an abundant elk population in the early 1800s. In the area where the Pere Marquette roundhouse was later built, there was a spring. A hunter known as Kentucky Sharp had established a primitive camp there, which he and his party occupied during the winter months.

In 1861, a surveying crew that included Rudolph Pabst and Albert Pack came through that area while surveying the state road between Harbor Beach and Sebewaing. They stopped to camp at the old hunting camp and found an old rusty axe that had been left buried in a tall pine tree. The tree could be seen from miles away and was known as the Bad Axe Pine. In his survey notes, Pabst referred to the place as Bad Axe Camp, which also found its way onto a county map.

When roads were built, the place became known as Bad Axe Corners, which was eventually shortened to Bad Axe.

On November 27, 1870, a post office was established by the name of Bad Axe, with Charles E. Brown as postmaster. On October 15, 1872, the county supervisors voted to make it the county seat. In the following years, the village was platted and the county seat was moved from Port Austin. Bad Axe was incorporated as a village in 1885, and a city in 1905.

In 1909, the state legislature changed the name of the city to Huron, but the townspeople quickly changed it back to Bad Axe. Since then, there have been other attempts to change the name of the city, but they have failed.

Early in its history, two railroad lines, both owned by the Pere Marquette Railroad, came through Bad Axe. The main line extended from Port Huron to Grindstone City on Lake Huron, while the Saginaw, Tuscola & Huron division connected the city with Saginaw. As Bad Axe was the terminus of ST&H line, a large roundhouse was located there.

A fire department was organized in Bad Axe in 1895, although there had been a department prior to that time.

Early hotels included the Hotel Irwin, which was purchased by John Leonard the late 1800s, as well as the Hotel Morrow, and the Farmers' Hotel, which had originally been the Collins House.

Frank W. Hubbard & Company operated a half dozen banks in the Thumb region, including the one in Bad Axe, which was established in 1886, shortly after it was incorporated as a village.

Other early businesses included E.P. Rowe Company, a mercantile house that was originally established in Mayville but was moved to Bad Axe in 1894. Lankin & Dundas Hardware occupied multiple businesses in the village, and the James Nugent & Company Store began as the Nugent Store but expanded when he took Joseph Fremont into partnership. The John Ballentine & Company Store carried dry goods, groceries, boots, and other goods.

George Clark established an elevator in Bad Axe in 1887, operating it for only a couple of years before leasing it to W. H. Carey & Company, who later purchased the building, operating it as the W.H. Carey & Company Elevator. It later became the Bad Axe Elevator. Other elevators included the Farmers' Elevator and Muchler & Truax's Elevator.

L.J. Lishness established Huron Valley Mills, operating them for several years before selling to W. Engel, who manufactured wheat flour, graham flour, buckwheat flour, cornmeal, and other products. Comfort Produce Company dealt in butter, eggs, poultry, and other produce.

There were several others, besides, and many more throughout the years.

The focus of this category is on the city of Bad Axe, Michigan. Appropriate topics for this category include websites whose topics concentrate on the city, as well as those representing businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and individuals within the city.


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