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The City of Petersburg is in west Monroe County, near its border with Lenawee County, in the southeast Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Petersburg is surrounded by the northern portion of Summerfield Township, although the two are administered autonomously. The winding River Raisin is north and west of the city, and forms a portion of its northern boundaries in two places.

The main routes to and from the city are Deerfield Road (Railroad Street), Teal Road (Saline Street), Ida West Road (North Division Street), and Petersburg Road. Cities and villages within twenty miles of Petersburg include Deerfield, Dundee, Britton, Blissfield, Maybee, Sylvania (Ohio), Milan, Tecumseh, Monroe, Adrian, Luna Pier, and Ottawa Hills (Ohio).

With a total of 0.48 square miles, Petersburg is the smallest city in Michigan by total area, and the second smallest by land area, coming after Clarkston. Petersburg's peak population was 1,227 in 1970. Since then, its population has declined slightly each census year, although it still has a population above 1,100.

European-American settlement of the area began in the early 1820s. Early settlers included Richard Peters, who came from New York with John Wadsworth and Elihu Ward to clear their claims and then return East to bring their families to their new homes.

In 1825, Peters became the first tax collector for the township, which was then known as Raisinville Township, covering the western half of Monroe County. In April of 1831, Peters became the first postmaster in what was then known as Summerfield.

More settlers came in the 1830s and 1840s. The first store opened in 1831, and the current boundaries of Summerfield Township were established in 1838.

With rumors of a railroad coming through, Richard Peters deeded a portion of his land to Thomas G. Cole and Austin E. Wing, railroad investors, in 1836. Cole and Wing chose a site for a village, which would enhance the value of the railroad.

By 1839, the railroad was completed from Monroe to Petersburg and, ten years later, the village was platted on farmland belonging to Richard Peters, and named Petersburgh in his honor. On January 24, 1863, the post office's name was changed to Petersburgh, which was shortened to Petersburg in late 1893. Petersburg was incorporated as a village in 1869, becoming a city in 1967.

Like many Michigan communities, the railroad greatly influenced the development of Petersburg. Both passenger and freight services to Petersburg began in 1840, on what was originally known as the Southern Railroad. In 1846, it became the Michigan Southern Railroad Company, linking Monroe, Petersburg, and Adrian with southwestern Michigan. An 1855 merger expanded the line to Chicago, creating the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Company, commonly known as the Lake Shore Road. In 1930, the line was acquired by New York Central, and services were greatly cut back, as the significance of the railroad gave way to automobiles and trucks.

Petersburg's streets were paved in 1925, and work began on a sewer system in 1939.

Today, more than half of the city's land area is single-family residential, with much smaller areas of multi-family residential. Industrial uses comprise about thirteen percent of Petersburg's land area, while most of its commercial properties are along Saline, Railroad, Center, and Elm Streets, making up just over one percent of the land area. Although the city's industrial area is relatively small, more than twenty percent of Petersburg residents are employed in manufacturing, and more than twelve percent work in the construction trades.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the city of Petersburg, so appropriate resources include websites representing the city, any other governmental bodies located within the city, and local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities.



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