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Crystal, Michigan is an unincorporated community in northern Crystal Township, east Montcalm County, in the central Lower Peninsula.

Unincorporated, Crystal has no defined boundaries, but it is the only named community in the township. Concentrated along the east shores of Crystal Lake and southern Mud Lake, a small residential area along Duck Lake, to the east, is considered part of Crystal, as well. The Crystal post office serves the northern portion of Crystal Township and parts of southern Ferris Township. For the purposes of categorization, online resources bearing a Crystal post office address would be appropriate for this guide.

The main roads going to or through the community are Shore Drive and Crystal Road, the latter of which turns into Main Street within the village. Other routes include East Colby Road, East Sidney Road, Sloan Road, and South Waldron Road. The center of Carson City is 9.0 miles south-southeast, while Stanton is 10.8 miles west-northwest, Sheridan is 11.8 miles southwest, McBride is 13.1 miles northwest, and Ithaca is 17.9 miles east of Crystal.

As Crystal is the only concentrated settlement area in Crystal Township, the village and the township have a shared history. Originally, the township was covered by beech and maple forests, and this is what brought the first European-American settlers to the region. Two brothers, John and Humphrey Smith, came to the area in 1853, in the employ of A. Rust & Company, a lumber company. The following year, John W. Smith returned to build the first permanent home in the township. Soon after, George and Edwin Robinson erected a cabin which, it is said, had neither a door nor a window, entering and exiting via ladder through an opening in the roof, as they were afraid of wolves.

In the spring, Smith's wife and three sons joined him, and they set about preparing the land for a potato farm. Other early settlers included Chancey, William, and James Case, as well as John Bancroft and his family.

The first to settle in the area of the village proper was Enos P. Drake, who came in 1857. He built a small home and a sawmill, the latter on the outlet of Mud Lake. The Eagle Hotel was the first framed building. As others came, a business and residential district was formed, and a village was laid out by Asa Ward on land owned by Samuel Burtch and Enos Drake, although it was never incorporated. Crystal was named for Crystal Lake, the larger of three lakes in the township. A post office was established in Crystal on March 2, 1857, with Alfred A. Proctor as its first postmaster.

Much of the community's economy is aided by its proximity to three lakes and several streams, as it serves as a destination for summer visitors and outdoor recreationists. Crystal supports several commercial businesses and restaurants, as well as resorts and campgrounds along the lake.

The focus of this guide is on the community known as Crystal, Michigan. Local businesses, churches, schools, organizations, attractions, and events are appropriate topics for this category.

 

 

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