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Maple Rapids, Michigan is in Clinton County, bordering on Gratiot County to the north, in the central Lower Peninsula.

The Maple River flows west-southwest through the village. Pine Creek flows into the Maple River within the village limits. Most of the populated area of the village is south of the Rapid River.

Maple Rapids is bordered on the north by Gratiot County Line Road, to the south by Hyde Road, the west by Wacousta Road, and to the east by Forest Hill Road, although its eastern boundaries are broken up in the northeast, along the Maple River Valley. The chief routes through the village are Maple Rapids Road, which becomes Main Street within the village limits, and Luce Road (Maple Street).

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Maple Rapids include Perrinton, Fowler, Carson City, St. Johns, Hubbardston, Pewamo, Ashley, Elsie, Westphalia, Ithaca, and Muir.

The earliest known inhabitants of the area that later became Maple Rapids were the Sauks. To the north and south of the Maple River watershed were the Ojibwa. As the Sauks were in the habit of raiding Ojibwa villages, the Ojibwa planned an attack, hitting the Sauks from the north and south simultaneously, effectively wiping them out.

The area was much wetter then, with a lot of swampy or marshy land, besides the rivers, streams, and lakes. Land travel was difficult along the Maple River watershed. Native Americans had established dry land routes along gravel ridges that crossed the area, and several of these were later converted into what are now highways and roads.

The Sauks, the Ojibwa, and the Ottawa used the salt marshes to make dry salt, which they traded for other items. In the early 1800s, George Campau, a fur trader, came up the Grand River from the Grand Rapids area, then continued up the Maple River to the rapids, where there was a portage.

He built a trading post there and, before long, a steam boat regularly transported goods and supplies to and from his trading post. When land became available for purchase from the U.S. government, Campau purchased 80 acres at Maple Rapids in 1832, and built a home. The European-American village that grew in the area was name for the rapids on the river.

In 1852, William A. Hewett acquired 240 acres of land in Maple Rapids and, the following year, he built a dam on the river to power a sawmill. He also opened a store, and had the townsite platted, although the plat was not recorded until the village was replatted in 1867. A post office was opened in Mr. Hewett's store on February 24, 1857, with William A. Hewett as postmaster. Maple Rapids was incorporated as a village in 1881.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the village of Maple Rapids, Michigan. Thus, online resources for the village government, any other governmental bodies based in Maple Rapids, and any businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities within the village are appropriate topics for this category.



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