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One of the smaller cities in Michigan, McBain is situated in lower Missaukee County, between Richland Township and Riverside Township.

M-66 enters the city from the north, where it becomes North Pine Street, then turns east in the center of town, where it becomes East Maple Street, while Stoney Corners Road enters the city from the west, where it becomes West Maple Street, and joins M-66 in the center of town, and South Morey Road enters the city in the south, where it becomes South Pine Street, joining M-66 at the center of town.

Providing freight service from Ann Arbor to Traverse City and Petoskey, the Great Lakes Central Railroad passes through the city from the northwest, near the industrial park, through the center of the city, exiting at the southern city limits.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of the city include Marion, Lake City, Cadillac, and Tustin, while the unincorporated communities of Ina, Pisgah Heights, Highland, and Falmouth are within ten miles of McBain.

Two school systems serve the city. The McBain Rural Agricultural School District is a K-12 public school system, while Northern Michigan Christian School offers a PK-12th-grade private school curriculum.

European-American settlement of McBain began in the early 1870s, around the time that Missaukee County was organized. The current Richland Township was part of Riverside Township until Richland Township separated in 1877.

Beginning in the early 1870s, groups of Scotch-Irish and English families migrated to the area from Canada, buying or homesteading land in Riverside Township. These were largely lumbermen who came to harvest the pine forests. At around the same time, a group of Dutch immigrants came to the area from the south, and these were the first to make farms out of the land that the lumbermen cleared.

The area that was to become McBain consisted of four quarter sections, three of which were owned by Gillis McBain and his wife, Penelope, although land changed hands quickly in those days.

In 1887, Penelope McBain arranged for part of one section to be platted as a townsite she named Owens. During the following months, lumber mills, lumber yards, stores, and homes were built on this land. In 1888, the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan Railway completed its track through Owens, providing a means for lumber and lumber products to be shipped from the region. More stores and businesses soon opened around the railroad. A post office was established on September 10, 1888.

In 1891, Gillis and Penelope McBain platted an addition to the village, extending its area to the east. Soon, a school and some churches were added. Since the larger portion of the land was still owned by the McBains, the community began to be known as McBain, and was incorporated as a village under that name in 1893.

By 1905, McBain had a newspaper, several churches, doctor's offices, a bank, a post office, and a population of about seven hundred, and was incorporated as a city in 1907.

Shortly afterward, the lumber industry in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan declined. As of this time, McBain's peak population was 709 in 1900, although it has since climbed to somewhere just below that point.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the city of McBain, Michigan. Websites representing the municipal government, as well as any other governmental bodies, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational opportunities within the city, are appropriate for this category.


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