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The village of Capac is situated in Mussey Township, in western St. Clair County, which is in the southern Thumb region of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

The chief routes through the village are Capac Road (Main Street), Downey Road, and Bryce Road (Mill Street), although I-69 nearly touches the village to the south, with an exit at Capac Road. Imlay City is 8.8 miles west, Emmett is 9.2 miles east, Almont is 11.4 miles southwest, Brockway is 12.6 miles northeast, Armada is 15.1 miles south, and Memphis is 16.6 miles southeast of Capac.

Before its settlement by European-Americans, an Algonquin village and burying ground was about a mile north of the current village of Capac.

A couple of men known as Barstow and Preston purchased the land near the Algonquin village, and built a sawmill there in 1852. The settlement was first known as Preston Corners, and it grew to include a grist mill, a hotel, a match factory, and several houses. On May 15, 1852, a post office was established in Pinery, with Daniel Alverson as postmaster. The office was closed on September 24 of that same year, but reopened on August 8, 1853, with William B. Preston as postmaster.

Meanwhile, about a mile south, Capac was founded by a group of people from the village of Romeo, about twenty miles to the south. The group was headed by George R. Funstan and Judge DeWitt C. Walker, who platted the townsite in 1857, naming it for Huayna Capac, Sapa Inca of a Peruvian line of the Inca Empire. On January 5, 1858, the Pinery post office was transferred to Capac, taking the name of Capac, with William B. Preston as the postmaster.

Sometime after the closure of the Pinery Post office, that community became known as Downey Corners, and then as Upper Capac. As Capac prospered, buildings from Upper Capac were moved to Capac, and Upper Capac eventually faded away.

A stagecoach route came through Capac before the railroad. The stage delivered the mail to the Capac post office, going to the Armada settlement first, followed by the Belle River settlement, on to Berville, and then to Capac.

In 1866, the Grand Trunk Railroad established a station at Capac, with the railroad line running through the center of the village. In 1873, Capac was incorporated as a village. The Capac Depot has since been repurposed into the Capac Historical Museum.

With the railroad shipping products to market, a stave mill opened in Capac in 1867. In the late 1800s, staves were used to assemble cut timber into barrels, which were used for shipping and other purposes. Not long after, a sawmill and a grist mill were added.

During its history, Capac has had several hotels. The first was the French Hotel at the northeast corner of Main and Mill streets. It was built before 1857, when the town was platted by Judge Walker. Later, it became the Northern Hotel. George Funstan, one of the founders of Capac, opened a hotel and a general store at the southwest corner of Main and Mill streets, which he named the National Hotel. In 1880, it was sold and became the New Western Hotel. In 1901, the hotel was divided, with a portion of it becoming a residence on North Hunter Street, while the rest was dismantled, and rebuilt as the Rotunda, an elaborate brick hotel. However, it burned only a few years later. The Columbia was built on the northwest corner of Main and Meier streets in the early 1900s. It later became the Cook Hotel, and was eventually converted to a tavern. Another hotel was opened across from the train depot. Known as the Railroad Hotel, it was dismantled in 1890.

Other early Capac businesses included three blacksmiths, a carriage maker, two tin shops, a meat market, and thirteen general stores. Capac was once home to a few paper plants, a charcoal plant, a soap factory, a match factory, a couple of lumberyards, and a casket and cabinet shop.

With a population of under two thousand, Capac is not a large village but, as of the 2010 census, it has never declined in population since it was first made part of the census in 1880, although it is estimated to decline slightly in 2020.

Main Street in Carpac was once a popular shopping area for people traveling between Port Huron and Flint on horseback. Farms surrounded the village's downtown district. Today, however, Capac has changed from being primarily an agricultural community with a thriving downtown shopping area to a bedroom community for people who work in Flint, Detroit, or surrounding cities.

The focal point of this category is the incorporated village of Capac, and appropriate resources may include websites representing the village itself, as well as any businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, and events within the village or the area served by the Capac post office.

 

 

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