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The village of Nashville, Michigan is in east Barry County, primarily in Castleton Township, but extending south into Maple Grove Township.

Nashville is bordered to the north and west by Castleton Township, to the south and west by Maple Grove Township, and to the east by Vermontville Township in Eaton County. The chief routes through the village are M-66 (Main Street), M-79 (Fuller Street), and Nashville Highway (Reed Street).

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Nashville include Vermontville, Woodland, Hastings, Lake Odessa, Bellevue, Charlotte, Sunfield, and Olivet.

The Thornapple River flows through the village, and Quaker feeds into the river within its borders. Three small lakes or ponds are just outside the village limits, and Mulberry Fore Golf Course is in the north part of the village.

Originally, the land upon which the village was built was owned by John R. Pettibone, who purchased it from the government on February 15, 1836. He soon sold pieces of it off. The land was part of Barry Township, and then Hastings Township, until February 16, 1842, when it became part of the newly organized Castleton Township.

In 1852, Henry Feighner and his brother, Solomon Feighner, came from Ohio, purchasing eighty acres from Horace Butler, and additional property from Hiram Hanchett, including a sawmill that Hanchett had built on the west side of the Thornapple River. Solomon operated the mill until Henry sold it to Phillip Holler in 1865.

In the early 1860s, George Gregg and his adult son, Robert Gregg, acquired land for a farm and platted a townsite on a portion of their farmland on the south side of the river in 1865. The survey was conducted by Joshua Martin, and certified on October 2 of that year. The first of 127 lots were sold to Enos Kuhlman. Robert Gregg named the new settlement for George Nash, a construction engineer for the Michigan Central Railroad, after the railroad agreed to run its track through Nashville, and establish a depot there. The first train came through in 1869.

On June 29, 1866, a post office was established in Nashville, with John H. Palmer as postmaster.

Across the river from Holler's sawmill, a gristmill was built by Eli Mallett, M.V.B. Mallett, and G.W. Johnson in 1867. Holler purchased the gristmill in 1868, and began using the original sawmill as a feed mill.

After the railroad completed its line through the town, Griffith & Grant opened a grain elevator along the Grand River Valley Division of the Michigan Central Railroad. In 1874, Ainsworth & Brooks purchased the elevator and later added a steam-powered feed mill. Around that time, Holler patented a new process for making flour, after which his mill became known as Nashville Roller Mills, which later marketed its product as Red-eye Flour.

Nashville was incorporated as a village on March 26, 1869.

By 1920, Nashville had become the halfway stopping point for the railroad between Jackson and Grand Rapids. As the trains did not move at night, it took one day to reach Nashville from either Jackson or Grand Rapids. Prior to 1920, the trains had stopped overnight in Hastings. Its status as the halfway point spurred the opening of hotels, restaurants, and expanded railroad operations, which helped the town to recover from a decline in the timber industry.

Although Nashville has never been a large community, it has experienced steady growth through most of its history. Its only declines were in 1930 and 2010, and its current population is just under 1,700.

The focal point of this portion of our guide is on the village of Nashville, Michigan. Online resources representing the municipal government, or local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, sports programs, or recreational opportunities are appropriate for this category.



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