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Situated in the center of Hartford Township, Van Buren County, the City of Hartford is bordered to the south by I-94, although the city center is at the intersection of Red Arrow Highway and County Road 687.

Pine Creek flows through the southwestern corner of the city, the Paw Paw River touches its northeastern corner, and Hog Creek is just east of Hartford. Beginning in the northwest segment of the city, the Van Buren Trail is a 14-mile multi-use trail linking Hartford with South Haven, passing through woodlands, farmlands, dense brush, and blueberry fields.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Hartford include Lawrence, Watervliet, Coloma, Bangor, Breedsville, Decatur, Paw Paw, Benton Harbor, South Haven, St. Joseph, Dowagiac, and Lawton.

Although Hartford is surrounded by agricultural farms and wooded areas, the city has direct access to I-94, and is only a short drive from much larger cities with colleges, universities, shopping centers, and medical centers. Kalamazoo is about forty minutes away, Chicago is an hour and a half, and Detroit is about three hours from Hartford.

The first recorded European-American settler in the area that was to become Hartford Township was Ferdino Olds, who came in 1837. When the township was organized in 1840, he named it Hartland Township, for his New York hometown. However, as there was another Hartland in Michigan, it was renamed Hartland Township at the suggestion of another settler who arrived in 1837, Burrill A. Olney.

The hamlet was first named Bloody Corners, for its unsavory reputation but, when a post office was established there on March 31, 1856, it was named Hartford, for the township. James E. Griffin was the first postmaster.

The village was platted by Truman Stratton and W.W. Shepard in 1859, and the Pere Marquette Railroad opened a station in Hartford in 1870. Hartford was incorporated as a village in 1877, and a city in 1990. Hartford first appeared on the census rolls in 1880, with a population of 838, and its peak population, thus far, has been 2,688 in 2010.

The focus of this category is on the City of Hartford, Michigan, and appropriate resources include websites representing the city or any businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, or events within the city.


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