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Hamilton, Michigan is an unincorporated community in the northwest corner of Heath Township, Allegan County.

Since Hamilton is neither incorporated nor a census-designated place, there are no defined boundaries to the village but it is concentrated at the point where State Highway M-40 (Lincoln Road) crosses the Rabbit River, and south to the vicinity of Sink Lake.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Hamilton include Zeeland, Fennville, Allegan, Hopkins, Douglas, and Saugatuck, and unincorporated communities within ten miles of the village are Fillmore, Overisel, Dunningville, East Saugatuck, May Station, Bentheim, New Richmond, Diamond Springs, Oakland, and Millgrove.

Besides the Rabbit River, the Kalamazoo River flows through the southwestern part of the township, and Hamilton is less than twenty miles from Lake Michigan.

Like much of Michigan, early residents were attracted to the area for its white pine forests, and lumbering provided its early industry. The rivers provided the means of powering mills.

Although a large part of the land in the region had been purchased from the government by the early 1830s, the first permanent settler didn't appear until around 1850, when Simon Howe leased some land along the Rabbit River, where he and Colonel John Littlejohn built a sawmill. The following year, several others came, including John Sadler, who purchased eighty acres and came there with his three sons, Jonathan, Richard A., and Andrew J. Sadler. They built a log house and lived their lives there.

A post office was established on May 30, 1851, with Simon Howe as postmaster, although the post office was originally known as Rabbit River. The post office was closed on September 13, 1852, but was reopened on July 9, 1864, with J.W. Purdy as postmaster, although he kept the post office at nearby Purdy Lake. When David Burch became postmaster around 1865, he moved the office back into the village. When Charles A. Field became postmaster on May 19, 1870, the name was changed to Hamilton.

Other early settlers included Porter Shields, who came in 1852 and was later employed at a sawmill built by Ambrose Belden in 1856, where he died in a work accident. Joseph Shank and Amos S. Judd came in 1853. Although Shank later moved further north, Judd remained in Hamilton. Stephen Sutton, a friend of Mr. Judd, established a farm in Hamilton, and Allen Beach purchased a hundred and sixty acres, where he resided until his death. In 1854, Abram Parkhurst, Philander Smith, and Daniel Rhodabaugh came.

Today, Hamilton remains a small community. There is not much in the way of industry, but the rivers, lakes, and marshes in the area bring people to the area for outdoor activities, and agriculture is a common industry on the lands surrounding the village. Hamilton is home to several commercial businesses that cater to residents of the village and surrounding communities, as well as those passing by along the state highway.

The focus of this guide is on the unincorporated village of Hamilton. Businesses, churches, schools, organizations, attractions, and events within the village are appropriate topics for this category.


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