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Pinckney, Michigan is surrounded by Putnam Township in southern Livingston County.

The chief routes through the village are M-36 (Main Street), Toma Road (Howell Street), Dexter-Pinckney Road (Dexter Street), Pinckney Road (Pearl Street), Darwin Road, and Patterson Lake Road,

Cities and villages within twenty miles of Pinckney include Dexter, Howell, Brighton, Stockbridge, Chelsea, South Lyon, Barton Hills, Fowlerville, and Ann Arbor, while the unincorporated communities of Hell, Anderson, Pettysville, Dover, Lakeland, Chalkerville, Gregory, Unadilla, Hamburg, and Williamsville are within ten miles.

Honey Creek flows through, widening to form Mill Pond in the central-western part of the village.

With a current population above 2,400, Pinckney has experienced a great deal of growth since 1930, when it's population was 433, the biggest growth years being from 1970 to 2010. European-American settlement of the area began in 1828 when Colonel Solomon Peterson acquired a 160-acre parcel of land in what was then Putman Township (later changed to Putnam), and later purchased additional property in what was to become Pinckney. In the first decade, only a few families had moved to the area, but by 1836 there were nearly four hundred residents. An earthen dam across Honey Creek and a gristmill were built.

Around that time, William Kirkland purchased the Sanford Marble Company and 1,400 acres of land from Colonel Peterson and others. Mr. Kirkland was married to Caroline Stansbury, an author who wrote under the pen name of Mary Clavers. Mr. Kirland and his brother-in-law, James W. Stansbury, organized the William Kirkland Company, and platted a townsite, which he named for his brother, Charles Pinckney Kirkland, a New York attorney. On February 25, 1837, a post office was established with James Stansbury as the postmaster. Pinckney was incorporated as a village in 1883.

In 1860, most of the businesses in Pinckney were along Main and Howell Streets, and the community had a population of 244 people. In the next decade, Pinckney's population soared to 446, an increase of 82.8%. However, around that time, Michigan's settlement slowed, and the village's population declined to 384 by 1920, and was only 456 at the time of the 1940 census.

Nevertheless, after several attempts to persuade a railroad to come through the village, the Grand Trunk Western Railroad came through in 1883, building a wooden passenger and freight station in Pinckney. The railroad helped keep the village afloat in a time when nearby small towns were declining by greater numbers. A grain elevator and lumberyard were built near the railroad and, after a fire on Main Street in the 1920s, old wooden buildings were replaced by brick structures.

Henry Ford proposed building a factory in Pinckney as part of his village industries program. To that end, he purchased the mill, the dam, land, and flowage rights up until 1940. As a result, the old mill was dismantled, and the level of the millpond was lowered, but the Ford plant was never built.

By the 1940s, farming was no longer a major economic force in the area. Several farms were turned into summer homes for residents of nearby cities, while land around surrounding lakes was sold for camps or summer cottages, and the state acquired nearby properties as public lands. Beginning in the 1940s, Pinckney residents began to commute to urban areas, such as Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Detroit, and this is a trend that continues today, particularly with the benefit of better roads and expressways.

Although the railroad closed the railroad line in the 1970s, Pinckney's population soared. Older buildings were dismantled or remodeled, and new schools were built. Although the village's business district declined, the village's population rose dramatically. Further development came in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Despite a major economic downtown in the economy of Southeast Michigan in the 2000s, Pinckney's population has remained stable.

Although the area around Pinckney is largely rural, the village has higher density residential and commercial development. Approximately thirty percent of the village is single-family residential.

The Pinckney Police Department provides law enforcement services for village residents, while fire protection is provided by the Putnam Township Fire Department. Pinckney Community Schools provides a K-12 curriculum for the village and township.

Loy Bond Memorial Park features a volleyball court, a playground, and an open field, while its Town Square, owned by Putnam Township, includes a playground, gazebo, and open grass areas, with space for a number of community events. The former Pinckney Depot includes a trailhead area for the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail, a twenty-mile point-to-point trail from Munith to Hamburg Township, that is designated as a state park.



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