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Sand Lake, Michigan is in northern Nelson Township in Kent County, at its border with Pierson Township in Montcalm County. A small portion of the village extends into Montcalm County.

The village was named for Sand Lake, a 440-acre body of water in the northwestern corner of the village. Its four miles of shoreline are filled with cottages and year-round homes, the only public access being a boat launch site on the southeast corner of the lake. Only a few of the lakeside cottages are available as vacation rentals.

22 Mile Road (Lake Street) intersects Northland Drive (3rd Street) in the eastern part of Sand Lake's downtown district.

Cities and villages within twenty-five miles of Sand Lake include Pierson, Cedar Springs, Howard City, Rockford, Kent City, Morley, Grant, Sparta, Casnovia, Lakeview, Greenville, Stanton, and Newaygo, while the unincorporated communities of Coral and Trufant are within ten miles.

Paralleling Northland Drive to the west, the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail is a 93-7-mile point-to-point trail extending from Grand Rapids to Cadillac, and used for road biking, running, and walking. The recreation trail follows the path graded for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad, which was later acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Sand Lake was founded by Civil War veterans, and the village hosted Civil War reunions and encampments for a few decades, usually at Old Settlers Park, which is now known as Salisbury Park. One of Sand Lake's early residents was A.H. Farnum, who enlisted in the 19th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in 1861, originally for a period of only three months. When his tour was up, he reenlisted, serving until the end of the war in 1865. Although he saw action in more than ninety engagements and forty battles, he was never wounded or captured. After the war, he operated a shingle mill in Sand Lake for several years before moving to the Upper Peninsula.

Like many Michigan communities, Sand Lake was founded as both a lumber town and a railroad town. Because of the white pine timber in the region, the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad extended its tracks to Sand Lake in 1869, bringing milling machinery to harvest the pine timber.

On January 31, 1870, a post office was established, with Robert L. Salisbury as postmaster. Along with Fred C. Whitmore, Salisbury acquired land, platted, recorded, and named the village in 1871. Additions to the village were platted in 1872 and 1876, and Sand Lake was incorporated in 1879.

Due to a depletion of local timber, the village experienced a slight decline during the late 1800s and early 1900s, but soon regained a slow increase, due in large part to agriculture, followed by tourism, and as a resort town.

The village is known locally for its multi-day 4th of July celebrations, featuring a number of activities which, although varying from year to year, have included parades, demolition derbies, car races, tractor pulls, tractor shows, a midway, and other family-friendly activities.

Never a large town, Sand Lake's population in 2020 was 522. The village is home to several local businesses catering to residents, tourists, vacationers, and passersby.

In 2009, Sand Lake's tax rates were the highest of the five villages in Kent County, and a petition was circulated calling to have the village disincorporated. However, this proposal was defeated and Sand Lake remains an incorporated village.

Due to its location in Kent and Montcalm Counties, and its proximity to Newaygo County, businesses and organizations in Sand Lake often use that descriptive name, Tri County.

This part of our guide is focused on the Village of Sand Lake, Michigan. Online resources representing the municipal government, local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities are appropriate for this category.



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