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Hubbardston, Michigan is mostly in northeastern North Plains Township, in Ionia County, although a portion of the village extends east into Lebanon Township, in Clinton County.

Fish Creek flows through the center of the village, widening in the northwestern part of the village, where a dam was built in the mid-19th-century to power a grist mill. Stoughton Creek is just northwest of the village limits.

Situated just south of the center of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, Hubbardston is about fifty miles from both Lansing and Grand Rapids. No major highways pass through the village, however. The chief routes to and from the village are Borden Road, Hubbardston Road, and Island Road.

Other cities and villages within twenty miles of Hubbardston include Carson City, Pewamo, Muir, Fowler, Lyons, Westphalia, Perrinton, Maple Rapids, Ionia, Portland, and Sheridan.

Prior to its being settled by European-Americans, there is no evidence that the area was inhabited, although the Ottawa and Chippewa people came through the area frequently, given that there was a large village in the area of Lyons and Muir, and a smaller one on the banks of the Maple River, south of Matherton.

In the early 1800s, it is likely that French fur trappers and traders came through the area, as Louis Genereau, a French fur trader, had established a trading post along the Maple River, at the area where Lyons now is, but there were no permanent French settlements in the area of Hubbardston.

European-Americans began coming into the area after North Plains Township was organized in 1831, and a land office was established at Ionia in 1834. Hiram Brown and Hector Hayes, both from Bristol, New Hampshire, settled in North Plains Township in May of 1836, but their homes were not in the area of Hubbardston.

Later, that same year, James R. Langdon, a land speculator from Montpelier, Vermont, acquired two thousand acres that included most of the present village of Hubbardston. After walking from the mouth of Fish Creek, a tributary of the Maple River, he determined that the creek would be a good mill site.

In the late 1840s and early 1850s, a group of Irish immigrants established homes in the area of the current village, the first being John Cowman, who came in 1849.

In 1852, Joseph Brown, who came from Kalamazoo, purchased two hundred and forty acres from Langdon, which included frontage along the Fish Creek. After building a dam and a small sawmill, he exhausted his available capital and was forced to sell out to Hubbard, Taylor, and Company, a group that included Thomas Hubbard, Newton W. Taylor, Wilson Homer, and Noah Hitchcock, who already owned large tracts of pine timber along the creek, north of the current village.

In a short time, the Company built another mill, a boarding house, and a tavern. In 1854, they enlarged the mill, and a general store was opened by J.T. Holbrook and D.F. Hunter, who had also come from the East. In 1856, a 100 horse-power steam engine was installed in the mill, greatly increasing its capacity. Also in 1856, Hubbardston's first hotel, The Howard House, was built and operated by Eli Welch, but it was destroyed by fire a couple of years later. The Patrick and Sabin Grist Mill was built in 1857, which later became the Homer Grist and Flouring Mill.

A post office, then known as Plains, was established on September 13, 1858, with Linus Van Alstine as the first postmaster. On December 27, 1859, the post office took its current name, in honor of Thomas Hubbard, with James Holbrook appointed postmaster.

Representing the Company, Thomas Hubbard arranged to plat the village in 1865, and Hubbardston was incorporated as a village in 1867. At that time, according to a directory published the following year, the town includes several businesses, including five hotels, two boarding houses, a few saloons, four doctors, a law office, and a notary public. The Perry & Abbott Company carried a line of shoes, boots, harnesses, and trunks, and Robert Gardner manufactured wagons. The Hubbardston Sash & Blind Company shipped sashes, doors, and blinds to markets in Chicago, and the Stuck & Lusk Foundry manufactured parts for the famed Studebaker wagons.

Hubbardston was a commercial center for the surrounding pine timber industry, which operated from isolated timber camps. In the 1860s and 1870s, local businessmen contributed greatly in a failed effort to encourage a railroad to extend its lines through the area.

Hubbardston never became a large town. Its peak population was 450 in 1900, but it has retained a stable population, with an estimated population of 400 in 2020, although the census results have not yet been released. Its lowest population was 335 in 1950.

The focus of this category is on Hubbardston, Michigan. Topics related to the village, or any businesses, schools, churches, or attractions within the village are appropriate.



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