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Rapid City, Michigan is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in the northwestern part of Clearwater Township, Kalkaska County, in the northwestern Lower Peninsula.

In Michigan, unincorporated communities are dots on the map without defined boundaries. As a CDP, Rapid City has boundaries, but they are for statistical purposes only, and are without legal status.

Rapid City is along the Rapid River, with Torch Lake to the north and Lake Skegemog to the southwest. The community is concentrated at the place where Rapid City Road, Torch Lake Road, Aarwood Road, and Valley Road come together.

Cities and villages within twenty-five miles of the community include Kalkaska, Elk Rapids, Bellaire, Mancelona, Central Lake, Traverse City, and Fife Lake, while the unincorporated communities of Torch River, Alden, Barker Creek, Mabel, Leetsville, Kewadin, and Skegemog Point are within ten miles of Rapid City.

Like many other Michigan communities, Rapid City was founded as a railroad town. When the Chicago & West Michigan (Pere Marquette) Railroad came through in 1891, a station was opened, and named Van Buren, for local landowners, Charles E. and Carrie J. Van Buren.

The following year, the Van Burens platted and recorded the village site, although it was never incorporated. On November 22, 1892, a post office was established, with Mr. Van Buren as postmaster. On January 18, 1895, its name was changed to Vanburen, then changed again, to Rapid City, on April 20, 1898, for its location along the Rapid River.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the Clearwater Township locality known as Rapid City. Appropriate topics include online resources for any government entities based in the community, as well as local businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities.



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