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Surrounded by Harrisville Township on the north, south, and west, and situated on the western shore of Lake Huron, Harrisville, Michigan is the county seat of Alcona County.

At the time of the 2010 census, Harrisville had a population of 493 and was the sixth least populous city in the state. Its peak population was 987 in 1890 and its largest population loss was in the decade following.

The chief route through the city is US-23 and M-72, which terminates at its intersection with US-23 in the center of the city. M-72 traverses the Lower Peninsula, connecting Harrisville with Empire on the Lake Michigan side of the LP. US-23 runs from Jacksonville, Florida to Mackinaw City, Michigan, at the northern tip of the LP.

The only other incorporated community within thirty miles of Harrisville is the village of Lincoln, about eight miles to the west. The unincorporated community of Springport is just over a mile to the south.

Mill Creek flows through the northern part of the city, emptying into Lake Huron near the harbor. There is a small man-made pond on the creek, west of US-23. Adjacent to the city to the south, Harrisville State Park is a 107-acre public recreation area with a sandy beach on the shore of Lake Huron, More than a hundred acres of the park is heavily forested. The park also features 195 campsites, a cabin, and mini-cabins, a carry-in boat launch, sports fields, and picnic areas.

Alcona County has a long history of human occupation. Stone lance heads found in the area were dated back to 9,000 BC. The Ojibwe (Chippewa) were in the area when the first European-Americans came.

The founding of the current city is generally traced back to 1854, when Simeon Holden and Crosier Davison, both fishermen, formed a partnership to purchase pine lands and the rights to build a water mill to power a sawmill operation, which was supervised by Mr. Holden. The operation proved to be profitable, so that Mr. Davison closed his fish business to concentrate his investments on additional pine.

Already, the land offices were busy catering to those who were seeking choice tracts of land, particularly along streams and rivers. The resulting community was first known as Davison's Mill.

Davison and Holden sold their land and mill operations Benjamin Harris and his sons, Levi O. and Henry H. Harris, who had come from New York, and the community soon became known as Harris. When a post office was established on September 16, 1857, with Levi O. Harris as postmaster, the post office was named Harrisville.

Levi Harris proved to be a talented engineer, devising a means of using both water and steam to power a steam gang and siding mill, connecting the reservoir ponds for storing logs, with plank shutes for running them to the mill without significant labor costs. After the death of their father, the Harris brothers continued to operate and expand the business, building docks and purchasing an interest in the Genessee Chief, a twin-screw propeller owned by the Union Steamboat Company, which made weekly trips between Detroit and Saginaw, always stopping at Harrisville. They also cleared land for a farm.

However, in 1866 the brothers sold their large holdings to Weston, Colwell & Company, and left the village, which was not, at the time, very well developed. George L. Weston. of Weston, Colwell & Company, surveyed the townsite in 1866, and had it platted by H.G. Rothwell in 1870. In 1869, Harrisville was named the county seat, and the company contributed land for the courthouse square, and Mr. Rothwell drew up the plans for the county buildings, completing them in 1870. Harrisville was incorporated as a village in 1887, and became a city in 1905.

Today, tourism and seasonal recreation is an important segment of the city's economy. Approximately twenty percent of the residential property in Harrisville are seasonal homes. The city does not have a municipal police department. Law enforcement is provided by the Alcona County Sheriff's Department, supplemented by the Michigan State Police. Ambulance services are provided by Alcona County, which has a station in Harrisville. The city does have a volunteer fire department that provides first response services, as well as fire calls.

Lake State Railroad provides freight services to Alpena, and there is a Great Lakes port facility in Harrisville. The Harrisville Harbor was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1961.

The focus of this category is on the city of Harrisville, Michigan. Online resources pertaining to the city, as well as local businesses, industries, churches, schools, organizations, attractions, events, sports programs, and recreational opportunities.



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