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Situated near the center of Van Buren County, in northern Lawrence Township, the village of Lawrence, Michigan is largely a residential community.

The Paw Paw River and Brush Creek flow through the northern part of the village. The chief routes to and from the village is I-94, which forms its southern border. Red Arrow Highway and Paw Paw Street (CR-365, CR-673), intersect in the center of town, while CR-215 (Corwyn Road) ends at Paw Paw Street, within the village limits.

Other cities and villages within twenty miles of Lawrence include Hartford, Bangor, Breedsville, Paw Paw, Decatur, Watervliet, Lawton, Coloma, Mattawan, Bloomingdale, Gobles, and South Haven.

Largely a residential community today, most of the village's homes are on relatively small parcels in neighborhood areas around the central business district north and south of St. Joseph Street, while larger residential lots are found north of the Paw Paw River, along Bangor Road and County Road 215, as well as along the outer edges of the neighborhood areas.

Commercial areas in the village begin at the intersection of St. Joseph Street and Paw Paw Street, and extending north to Baker Street, east to Village Park, and west to 1st Street. Outside of the Central Business District, there are commercial areas along South Paw Paw Street, at the former railroad crossing and Corwin Road intersection.

Industrial areas are established along the former Kalamazoo & Chicago Railroad line, near the Michigan Street and South Paw Paw street crossings, and the Lawrence-Crandall Business Centre was developed in 1997, occupying a 110-acre industrial part northwest of the I-94 interchange with CR-365.

Parks within the village include Village Park, a 2.5-acre park on a village block, bordered by the Red Arrow Highway and the Baker, Elizabeth, and Exchange streets. The Central Business District is situated west of the park, while single-family homes are north and east. North River Park is a 1-acre park adjacent to the Paw Paw River, on the west side of Paw Paw Street. A canoe launch is provided, and the site is along the 68-mile Paw Paw River Water Trail. The Robert Brausch Jr. Park is a 1-acre park at the Lawrence Crandall Business Centre.

Lawrence was founded in 1835 by John Allen, who originally named it Mason after Governor Stevens T. Mason. Although platted, the townsite was not recorded. By 1843, the settlement was known as Brush Creek, for the stream that passes through the community. In 1844, Mr. Allen's mortgage was foreclosed, and John R. Baker acquired most of the town. He arranged for it to be re-platted, and named it Lawrence after the township. On April 17, 1844, the Weston post office was transferred here and renamed Lawrence. The community was incorporated as a village in 1869 and re-incorporated in 1879.

First appearing on a census roll in 1860 with a population of 339, Lawrence's peak population was 1,059 in 2000. Since then, it has decreased slightly to just below 1,000.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the village of Lawrence, Michigan. Appropriate resources include websites representing the village government or any local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational or sporting opportunities.



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