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The Village of Columbiaville, Michigan is in the northeastern section of Lapeer County, mostly in southern Marathon Township, with a small portion of the village extending south into Oregon Township.

The village is situated on the Flint River, at the place where it widens to form the northern part of the Holloway Reservoir. Several other lakes, smaller bodies of water, and waterways are in the area surrounding the village.

The main route through the village is Columbiaville Road, which crosses the river on the west to form 2nd Street, which leads southeast through the center of the village, then swings northeast to form Pine Street, and continues east out of the village. Other routes include Levalley Road, Marathon Road, and Peters Road. Otter Lake is 6.2 miles northwest, Otisville is 7.3 miles west, Lapeer is 11.7 miles southeast, Davison is 14.4 miles southwest, and North Branch is 15.2 miles northeast of the village. Flint is about twenty-five miles to the southwest.

By all accounts, the first permanent European-American settler in the area that was to become Columbiaville was Levi D. Cutting, who came with his family from New York in 1847. When Cutting came to the area, there were no bridges, so they had to wade the Flint River. The only sign of human life in the area was a crude shanty that had been built by a man name Fineout, who had remained for only a short time. Mr. Cutting first built a shanty there, then improved upon it, remaining for the rest of his life in Columbiaville.

In 1848, a sawmill was built by George and Henry Niver. As the operation of the mill brought employment, a community developed in the area. Another early resident was William Peter, who came to work for the Nivers. In 1852, he opened the first store in the community and later came to own most of the land in the area. Before long, a blacksmith shop was opened, and Alfred Pettit opened a wagon shop.

Until 1857, the community was known as Niverville. On April 25th of that year, a post office was established and, as Michigan already had a town named Niverville, a new name was needed, and the Nivers suggested Columbiaville, for Columbia County, New York, where the Nivers were born. Peter Van Dyke was the first postmaster.

A man by the name of Reuben McArthur built a store building but never opened it. He sold it to John and Peter Van Dyke, who added onto it and opened a hotel, which later became the Farrel House, and then the Columbiaville Exchange.

The Richards Brothers opened the first gristmill in Marathon Township in 1854. It was powered by a water mill. Later, William Peters opened a steam-powered gristmill and flour mill.

In 1872, the Detroit and Bay City Railroad opened a line through Columbiaville, including a depot on the east side of the track at Pine Street. In 1893, William Peter built a brick building on First Street to replace the wooden depot, with the provision that all passenger trains would stop at Columbiaville. Nevertheless, the building was closed in 1964, and the railway ceased operations in 1977. The Columbiaville Station building now serves as the Columbiaville Rotary Club and Public Library and is listed on both the Michigan State Historic Site registry and the National Register of Historic Places as the Detroit-Bay City Railroad Company Columbiaville Depot.

In 1892, Peters built the William Peters Mansion, which was completed in 1896. Peters died a few years later and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

The focus of this guide is on the Village of Columbiaville, Michigan. Appropriate topics for this guide include online resources, such as websites, representing the village government, as well as any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and sporting or recreational programs, teams, or leagues.

 

 

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