Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Michigan » Cities & Towns » Fowler

Fowler, Michigan is a village in the central Lower Peninsula. It is in Dallis Township, Clinton County.

The chief route through the village is M-21 (Bluewater Highway), which intersects Wright Road in downtown Fowler. Nearby cities in villages include Pewamo, Westphalia, Saint Johns, Maple Rapids, Muir, Hubbardston, Lyons, and Portland. Lansing is about twenty-five miles to the south-southeast.

Fowler has a small-town, somewhat rural feel to it, yet it has diminished in population only twice since it first appeared on a census in 1880, with a population of 321. Today, its population is above 1,200. Its downtown district, and other parts of the village, offer shopping venues, restaurants, and other commercial businesses. The village also supports parks and recreational facilities, churches, and its own public school district, as well as a K-8th-grade Catholic school.

Fowler got its start as a rural post office named Dallas, which was established on January 18, 1849, with John Parks as the first postmaster. Robert Higham, the chief engineer for the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad, chose the site for a village in 1856. In partnership with E.A. Wales, he bought 160 acres along the route planned for the railroad, and platted a village in the area of the post office in 1857. Within ten years, the settlement had a railway station, a hotel, and a few other buildings. Unfortunately, the area was surrounded by swamps which limited its growth.

In 1867, the post office and most of the buildings in the village were moved about 7/10 of a mile to the west, onto property that was on higher ground, owned by John N. Fowler. Mr. Fowler platted a village on the north side of the Grand Trunk Railway, and named it Isabella, although the post office retained the original name of Dallas. One of the relocated buildings became known as the Fowler House and, in 1869, the village was renamed Fowler. A plat of the village of Fowler was recorded on February 1, 1870. The post office took the name of Fowler on July 17, 1871. Fowler was incorporated as a village in 1885.

At the turn of the 20th century, an opera house was built by Corwin Sturgis on First Street and Main. The upper level was used for dances, school plays, commencement ceremonies, and other activities, while the lower level housed a hardware store. Remodeled in 1998, the Fowler Village Hall was originally a movie theater, built around 1948, it was only open for a short while.

The railroad discontinued local passenger service in 1950, and its fast through passenger system was phased out by 1969. In 1972, the depot was sold, moved, and converted into a family residence. In the early 1990s, the last freight train passed through Fowler, and the tracks were removed altogether in 1995.

Fowler's first public school was opened in 1870, and one of his first churches, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was organized around 1860. The fire department was organized in the 1890s, and the town's first newspaper - the Fowler Post - was established in 1937.

Major housing developments in Fowler included a 159-acre tract that was purchased by Community Developers, who began the Country Pines subdivision. Theis Acres, a subdivision on West Second Street, began in the mid-1990s. The village began a main street improvement project in 1994, which yielded decorative sidewalks, new street lights, new pavement, and other improvements. That same year, a new public works building was constructed.



Recommended Resources

Search for Fowler on Google or Bing