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Dryden, Michigan is an incorporated village in the northeastern segment of Dryden Township, which surrounds the village. It is in the southeastern part of Lapeer County, Lower Peninsula.

The village is a historic small town with a traditional downtown business center, surrounded by stable neighborhoods, with outlying agricultural, suburban, and open space areas. With privately-owned wooded areas in the northwest and southeast segments of the village, approximately fifteen percent of the land area in the village is forested. Situated on the outer areas, more than seven hundred acres of land within the village are currently in agricultural use, although these areas are subject to development in the future.

Dryden is primarily a bedroom community. Still, it does have a commercial district and some light industry. The village is approximately thirty minutes from Flint, Pontiac, and Port Huron, and an hour away from Detroit. Incorporated municipalities nearer to Dryden include Almont, Leonard, Metamora, Imlay City, and Lapeer.

The main routes through the village are Dryden Road and Mill Road, which intersect in the center of the village. Dryden Road connects the village with M-53 to the east, while Mill Road connects with I-69, north of Dryden. The Belle River flows northeast through the southeastern corner of the village.

The first European-American settlement in the area was about a mile north of the current village boundaries, at what is now the intersection of Hollow Corners Road and North Mill Road. Settled in 1834, this community became known as Amboy, although it was never platted or incorporated, and another Lapeer County community later took that name.

In 1837, the township was organized, and named Lomond Township. Around 1839, settlers began to build homes south of Amboy, and Jonathan Sweet opened a store there in 1840. In 1846, Sweet sold his store to John M. Lamb, and the place became known as Lamb's Corners for a short time. However, the name of the township was changed to Dryden Township later that year, and when the Look's Corners post office was moved to Lamb's Corners on February 16, 1846, it took the name of Dryden, even though John Lamb served as the village's first postmaster.

Several businesses were opened in Dryden, beginning in the late 1840s. Among these were two blacksmith shops, a soap factory, a millinery, a tailor shop, a tin shop, and a broom and ink factory. A flour mill was opened on the southwest corner of Mill and North streets. An apple dryer and cider mill were built south of the Parker Block on Mill Street. The Dryden Exchange Hotel opened on the northeast corner of Main and Mill streets in 1854, and the Twin Elms House was built on the northwest corner in 1874.

The Pontiac, Oxford, and Port Austin Railroad extended its track through the village in 1883, connecting Pontiac to Caseville, largely to serve the growing lumber industry in the Thumb Region of the Lower Peninsula. Later that year, a depot was built in Dryden, and passenger trains began stopping there. In 1889, the PO&PA became the Pontiac, Oxford & Northern Railroad, and the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1910. Passenger service ended in 1932, although a mixed freight and passenger train continued until 1955. The depot was in use until October 9, 1979, after which the line was abandoned, and the depot moved to its current location where it serves as a museum. In 1887, Dryden was incorporated as a village.

With the focus of this category on the Village of Dryden, Michigan, appropriate resources include websites representing the village, or any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, and events within the village.

 

 

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