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Bath, Michigan is an unincorporated village and census-designated place in Bath Charter Township, Clinton County, in the south-central Lower Peninsula.

The village has no elected officials, nor any government other than the township government, acting as the township's business district.

The village is accessed primarily by I-69, which runs east-west just south of the village limits, and US-127, a north-south highway just west of Bath. Connecting with these highways are Chandler Road, Webster Road, and Clark Road.

The unincorporated community of Gunnisonville is 2.6 miles west, and Haslett is 5.8 miles south-southeast of Bath, while the city of DeWitt is 6.8 miles southwest, East Lansing is 7.1 miles south, and Lansing is 13.0 miles south-southwest of the village.

The first known European settler in what was to become the township was Ira Cushman, who came from Canada with his family in 1836. Dustin Marr, a Mexican War veteran, was the first settler on the land that became the village. He sold his property to Charles Thompkins, who gave a portion of the land to the Michigan Central Railroad, to be used as a depot and rail yard. The village grew up around the rail station. A post office was established on June 7, 1858, and the village was platted in 1864, but never incorporated.

Today, the community is largely a bedroom community for people who work in Lansing, East Lansing, or other nearby cities. Although is near some large shopping centers, the village is generally acknowledged to be a good place to raise a family, offering quiet streets and a good school system, despite its proximity to the state capitol of Michigan.

However, Bath was also home to what remains the worst school mass murder in the history of the United States, known as the Bath School Disaster. Andrew Kehoe, a local school board member and farmer, upset over the impending foreclosure of his farm, blamed his troubles on high taxes resulting from the establishment of the Bath Consolidated School, which had replaced the much less expensive one-room schoolhouse a few years earlier.

Early in the morning on May 18, 1927, Kehoe murdered his wife, killed all of his livestock, and burned his house and farm. Beforehand, he had wired the school building with dynamite, which he detonated, killing thirty-eight children and six adults, and injuring fifty-eight others. After the explosions, he drove back to the school in his pickup truck, which he had also wired with explosives. When the school superintendent approached his truck, he detonated the dynamite packed into his pickup truck, killing himself, the superintendent, and four others who were nearby. The entire school was wired with explosives, but nearly five hundred pounds of dynamite under the south wing of the school failed to detonate.

Today, Bath Middle School is situated directly across the street from where the Consolidated School previously stood. The school district maintains a memorial park and a small museum commemorating the tragedy.

The focus of this category is on the village of Bath, Michigan. Websites representing Bath businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events are appropriate for this category.

 

 

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