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Situated in the northwestern panhandle of Montcalm County, Howard City is actually an incorporated village, surrounded by Reynolds Township.

Tamarack Creek flows winds generally southwest through the village, flowing into the Little Muskegon River in Newaygo County. A designated trout stream, the creek is open to fishing year-round.

The chief routes through the village are M-82, which ends in Howard City, becoming East Shaw Street, and Federal Road (Ensley Street). Cities and villages within twenty miles of the village include Pierson, Morley, Sand Lake, Lakeview, Cedar Springs, Stanwood, and Newaygo. The unincorporated communities of Amble and Coral are about six miles from Howard City.

The White Pine Trail, the state's longest trail, passes through the center of Howard City, along the former railroad bed, which parallels Federal Road. The 92-mile trail stretches the distance of the former Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad bed, from north Grand Rapids to Cadillac. The trail is open to hiking, bicycling, and other forms of non-motorized transportation.

The land upon which the village was formed was owned by Benjamin Ensley who, along with E.W. Muenscher and a Mr. Shaw, founded the townsite, which was platted by Muenscher in 1868. When the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad came through, establishing a depot there the following name, the town was named for William A. Howard, an attorney for the railroad.

On January 12, 1870, a post office was established as Howard City, with John B. Spencer as the first postmaster, and the village was incorporated in 1873. On February 2, 1895, the name of the post office was shortened to Howard, but its original name was restored on January 19, 1899.

In 1900, the village began a population decline that lasted for five decades, bringing its population down to 791 in 1950. However, the population of Howard City has increased each decade since, bringing its population up to 1,808 in 2010, and it is projected to increase further with the 2020 census.

The focus of this guide is on the village of Howard City, Michigan. Topics related to the village government or to any businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, or events within the village are appropriate here.


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