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North Star, Michigan is an unincorporated community on the Bad River in North Star Township, Gratiot County.

The Bad River is a 44.3-mile waterway that begins in Bad River and flows largely northeast into Saginaw County, through St. Charles, and empties into the Shiawassee River. Brady Creek and several smaller waterways empty into the Bad River during its course.

As an unincorporated community, North Star has no set boundaries, but it includes the area along US-127 (Bagley Road), Buchanan Road, and Baldwin Road. Other routes include South State Road, East Washington Road, and South Wisner Road.

Incorporated cities and villages within twenty miles of North Star include Ithaca, Ashley, Perrinton, St. Louis, Alma, Breckenridge, Maple Rapids, Elsie, St. Johns, and Carson City, while the unincorporated communities of Newark, Beebe, Pompeii, Sickles, and Edgewood are within ten miles.

Although North Star has a post office, it serves only a small portion of the township. Addresses only blocks from the post office are served by the Ithaca post office.

The settlement grew around a station stop established by the Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Railroad, which later became the Ann Arbor Railroad, in the 1850s. Peter Hoffman is acknowledged as its first permanent settler. Originally known as Douglas Station, when a post office was established on October 20, 1857, with James M. Luther as postmaster, its name was changed to North Star Center, for the township, although it was later shortened to North Star.

The first commercial building constructed was the Pard House, a hotel that housed travelers who stayed overnight on their way to Ithaca. Owners of the Pard House, over the years, included Frank Waters, Henry Kennett, Hal Shaull, William Kellogg, Rollie Kennett, Malcolm Salisbury, and Jim Martin.

For several years, beginning in 1890, an important industry in North Star was a brickyard operated by George Smith, and later Smith & Bryant, the Hoffman Brothers, Botroff & Snyder, and Ed Kleins.

The community had an electric power plant in the early 1900s, before World War I. The plant was said to be erratic and was frequently shut down. However, Otis Lyons, the operator of the plant, would first blink the lights, giving residents five minutes warning before shutting the lights off.

Perhaps the most important early business in North Star was the North Star Elevator and Lumber Company. Established by Ithaca Roller Mills in 1910, the elevator was on the west side of the railroad tracks, and handled grain, coal, cement, wool, and lumber, serving farmers from a wide area around the village.

Organized in 1886, the United Brethren Church was the first in North Star. The Methodist Church was established in 1891, the same year that the U.B. Church moved into its first dedicated building, although the Methodists didn't get their own building until 1898. A Church of the Nazarene congregation was formed in 1927.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the unincorporated community of North Star, Michigan. Appropriate resources include websites representing businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events within the community.



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