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The small village of Freeport, Michigan is in the southern part of the Lower Peninsula.

Spanning Irving and Carlton townships, Freeport is in northern Barry County, where it borders on Bowne and Campbell townships, in Kent and Ionia counties, respectively. The center of Grand Rapids is about thirty miles to the northwest. Cities and villages within twenty miles of Freeport include Clarksville, Hastings, Lake Odessa, Woodland, Caledonia, Middleville, Lowell, Sunfield, and Saranac.

The village is situated on the North Branch of the Thornapple River, which flows northwesterly through northeast Freeport.

The area that became Freeport was settled in the early 1850s. I don't know who the first settlers were, but a school, known as the Fish School, was opened there in 1854. In 1856, William Yule purchased four hundred acres in the area, selling most of it to a Mr. Hinckley, who sold it to John Roush, Senior.

Roush's sons, Samuel and Michael S. Roush, platted the town of Freeport in 1874, anticipating the arrival of the railroad, although the railroad didn't actually arrive until fifteen years later. At the time that the town was platted, the town had a sawmill, a general store, and a drugstore. With the promise of a railroad, churches were built and organizations were formed, along with a gristmill, a handle factory, two plane mills, a woodworking factory, and other shops and mercantile businesses. The town also had three churches, an opera house, a school, and a newspaper. In 1889, the Lowell & Hastings Railroad finally came through, extending its tracks through Freeport and establishing a station there.

Named for Freeport, Ohio, the hometown of the Roush family, Freeport was incorporated as a village in 1907. When automobiles came to dominate transportation options, the importance of the railroad declined. As Freeport was not along the route of any major highways, it declined for a couple of decades in the early 1900s. Never a large town, Freeport's peak population was 501 in 1970, which is roughly its population today.

The focus of this category is on the village of Freeport, Michigan. Appropriate topics include online resources representing the village itself, as well as any businesses, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events within the village.



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