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The Village of Climax, Michigan is in eastern Kalamazoo County, in northern Climax Township, with a small northern portion of the village extending into Charleston Township.

The inhabited portion of the village is centered on the intersection of South 44th Street (Main Street) and East ON Avenue (Maple Street), which are the only roads leading to or from the village. I-94 (Officer Eric Zapata Memorial Highway) is north of the village. The unincorporated community of West Leroy is 4.1 miles southeast of the village, and nearby cities and villages include Galesburg (7.5 miles), Springfield (9.5 miles), Augusta (11.3 miles), Battle Creek (14.0 miles), Richland (15.9 miles), Athens (16.9 miles), Kalamazoo (17.3 miles), Portage (17.5 miles), and Vicksburg (18.6 miles).

Not far from Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and other cities, the village is largely a bedroom community. The village has a rural feel, and most residents own their own homes. Lawrence Memorial Library is downtown, and the Climax Crescent Newspaper is headquartered in the village, although it covers news from the surrounding region, as well. Just northwest of Climax is Cold Brook County Park, a 276-acre campground and RV park built around the Portage River, Portage Lake, and Blue Lake, with Potter Lake and McGinnis Lake just south of the park.

While Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula were, for the most part, passed by during the settling of the Midwest, European-American settlers came to the southern part of the Lower Peninsula earlier. The first recorded settlement of the area was by John Mullett, who came with his family in 1825. The Calvin White family came in 1831, and pair of brothers named Farnsworth came in 1832.

At that time, the region was a vast prairie that included a series of mounds that may have been Indian burial mounds, although that wasn't known at the time. Judge Caleb Eldred came with his son, Daniel B. Eldred, in 1834. Daniel is said to have climbed a tree and reported, "This caps the climax of everything we saw." In light of this, they named the place Climax Prairie. Eldred built a home, which still exists, in 1835.

As Judge Eldred was politically connected, he organized Climax Township, holding the first township meetings at his home. A post office was established in Climax Prairie on January 13, 1836, with Daniel Eldred as the first postmaster.

A harvesting machine developed by Hiram Moore and John Hascall was demonstrated in Climax Prairie in 1836. It proved to be the forerunner of the modern combine and the McCormick Reaper. While it could cut and thresh up to twenty acres of wheat a day, it required a team of sixteen horses to pull it.

In 1866, the Pennsylvania Railroad established a station in Climax Prairie and were followed by the Chicago & Lake Huron Railroad, leading to a period of growth in the community. On April 9, 1874, the village and post office names were shortened to Climax. The first Rural Free Delivery mail service in Michigan began in Climax in 1896. There were two routes, one in which the mail was delivered by horse and buggy, the other by bicycle. The post office was located at the site of the current library until 1964 when a new post office building was constructed.

Climax was incorporated as a village in 1899. Since the village first appeared on a census report in 1880, it has experienced a decline only in two decades, 1920 and 2010. Its peak population was 791 in 2000.

The focus of this guide is on the village of Climax, Michigan. Appropriate resources for this category may include websites representing the village or any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events within the village.



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