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The Village of Chesaning, Michigan is in Chesaning Township, Saginaw County, in the Lower Peninsula. The Shiawassee River winds in a northerly direction through the eastern portion of the village.

The chief route through the village is M-57, which enters the village from the west and exits in the south. Other routes include Brady Road, Corunna Road, Deitering Road, Frandsche Road, Peet Road, Sharon Road, and Volkmer Road. Parshallburg is 3.1 miles south-southwest of Chesaning, Oakley is 5.7 miles southwest, St. Charles is 11.0 miles north, Montrose is 11.9 miles east, New Lothrop is 12.1 miles southeast, and Saginaw is 27.3 miles to the northeast.

Since it first appeared on the census in the 1870s, the number of people in Chesaning increased steadily until 1970, and its peak population of 2,876. Since then, it has declined slightly each decade.

Chesaning began as a Chippewa reservation created by a treaty between the Saginaw Tribe of the Chippewas and the United States government in 1819, and named for the Chippewa word for "big rock place." A subsequent 1837 treaty took the land from the Chippewas and offered it for sale.

Coming in 1839, Thomas W. Wright and his family were the first settlers in the area. Two brothers, Wellington and George W. Chapman, and a man named Rufus Mason, bought the first parcels of land at $5 an acre in 1841, moving their families from Massachusetts in the summer of 1842. During the time that they were away from their land, several other settlers had moved into the area, building a dam, a sawmill, and later a grinding mill. The early settlers organized their community as Northampton Township, for their home town in Massachusetts, and Thomas W. Wright became the first postmaster of Northhampton on January 28, 1846.

The village was surveyed and platted in 1851. In 1853, the state legislature changed the name of the township and, subsequently, the village, to Chesaning, reverting to the traditional name for the area. On August 8 of that year, the post office, village, and township were all renamed Chesaning, and the village was incorporated in 1869.

In 1857, the Owosso and Saginaw Navigation Company, created to move freight by barge up and down the river, began the project of building a canal and lock on the east side of the dam, which was significant to the village's economy until the railroad came through.

Although most of the village, today, is on the west side of the Shiawassee River, its original business district was on the east side. Like much of Michigan, its early economy was based on forest products, and lumber was used to build most of its stores and homes. However, the use of coal heating systems resulted in major fires that destroyed entire blocks of its business district. The fires and the arrival of the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad on the west side of the river in 1867 spurred development on that side.

Today, Chesaning is largely residential, although its downtown district is home to several businesses, including retail stores and restaurants. There are a couple of parks in Chesaning, Cole Park, and Showboat Park, both of which are along the river. Showboat Park is a 68-acre park in the southern part of the village, on the west side of the river, while the much smaller Cole Park is on the east side, a little further north, and closer to the downtown district. Twin Brooks Golf Course is not in the village limits, but it borders the village in the northwest.

The focus of this category is on the Village of Chesaning, Michigan. Appropriate topics include online resources for the village government, as well as local individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, attractions, and events.


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