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Situated in the northwest quadrant of Kalkaska County, and surrounded by Kalkaska Township, Kalkaska, Michigan is the county seat.

The North Branch of the Boardman River flows through the Twin Birch Golf Course in the east, and continues in a southwesterly direction through the lower portion of the village. Vipond Creek flows into the river in the southeast. Little Rapid River is just north of the village.

The chief routes through the village are US-131, M-66, M-72, CR-612, Adams Road, and Island Lake Road. Cities and villages with twenty-five miles of the village include Mancelona, Fife Lake, Elk Rapids, Kingsley, Traverse City, and Bellaire, and unincorporated communities within ten miles include Leetsville, Crofton, Barker Creek, and South Boardman, the latter also being a census-designated place.

Serving as the commerce center of Kalkaska County, Kalkaska is the only incorporated municipality in the county, which is largely rural, and featuring rivers, forests, and farmland. There is also a large amount of state-owned land, particularly in the east and northwest, allowing for recreational opportunities, particularly snowmobiling, ATV riding, hunting, and camping, while its rivers provide for fishing and canoeing opportunities.

Like several other Michigan communities, Kalkaska was founded to support the lumber industry, and was platted around the railroad. Albert A. Abbott is acknowledged as Kalkaska's founder. He came from Decatur in 1872, bought a thousand acres, and built a sawmill. He platted the townsite, and became the community's first postmaster on May 12, 1873. Kalkaska was incorporated as a village in 1887.

The Chicago and Western Michigan Railroad (Pere Marquette) opened a station in Kalkaska. The Chicago and Western Michigan lines were later crossed by the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, which also operated a station and other facilities in Kalkaska.

Kalkaska grew from a population of 496 in 1880 to 1,415 in 1910. Then, due in large part to the decline of the forest industry, the village experienced two decades of decline, bringing its population down to 861 in 1930. Since that time, however, the village has increased in population each census year until 2010, when there was a 9.3% decline. Today, the village has about 2,000 residents.

Its course has been shaped by its access to transportation and natural resources. First, there was the timber industry then, after natural gas was discovered in the 1970s, that became a core industry, but the village's economy has included a healthy mixture of industry, commerce, and tourism, supported by the railroad and its access to major highways.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the village of Kalkaska, Michigan. Online resources representing the village itself, or any businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities, are appropriate topics.


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