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The Village of Saranac, Michigan is situated along the Grand River in northeastern Boston Township, Ionia County, in the interior portion of the Lower Peninsula.

Flowing through the northern part of the village, the Grand River is the longest river in the state, and one of three major tributaries to Lake Michigan, running more than two hundred and fifty miles from its headwaters in Hillsdale County to Lansing, then west to its mouth at Grand Haven, where it empties into Lake Michigan. The river flows into the village from the north and forms a loop as it exits in the northwest, creating about two miles of river frontage within the village.

Lake Creek enters the village in the south, flows through downtown Saranac, and then empties into the Grand River west of Bridge Street in the northwest quadrant of the village.

The chief route to and from Saranac is M-21 (Bluewater Highway). Although it does not enter the village limits, it is just north of Saranac. Routes that enter the village include Morrison Lake Road (Bridge Street), which connects with M-21, as well as David Highway, Morrison Lake Road, and Riverside Drive.

Cities and villages within twenty-five miles of Saranac include Lowell, Clarksville, Ionia, Lake Odessa, Belding, Muir, Freeport, Lyons, Portland, Pewamo, Woodland, Westphalia, Greenville, Sunfield, Hastings, Sheridan, Kentwood, East Grand Rapids, and Caledonia, while the unincorporated community of Berlin Center is about six miles southeast of Saranac.

Saranac is largely a residential community, although it also supports commercial and industrial businesses.

Most of the residential properties in Saranac are traditional, detached single-family homes, although some larger homes have been converted into duplexes, and there are a few apartment complexes.

Most of the commercial properties in the village are in its downtown district along Bridge Street, from the north side of Main Street on the north to Lake Creek on the south, as well as along Division Street, from the east side of Bridge Street to Lake Creek, along Main Street from Erv Taylor Avenue to about one-third of the block east of Bridge Street, and along Church Street to the mid-block point east of Bridge Street.

As no major highways go through Saranac, the city does not attract highway-dependent businesses, so its commercial businesses sell general and specialty merchandise with market demand.

Currently, Saranac has only one active industrial site, which is at the corner of West Main Street and Erv Taylor Avenue.

The Saranac Public School District covers all of the village and a surrounding area that includes most of Boston Township and parts of Berlin, Easton, and Keene townships.

Law enforcement services are provided by the Ionia County Sheriff Department, while the village and Berlin, Boston, Easton, and Keene townships cooperate in the maintenance of a volunteer fire department, which is headquartered in downtown Saranac.

Judge Jefferson Morrison acquired land in the area in 1836. He sold a part of his land to Dwight & Hutchinson, who arranged to have the village platted as Saranac.

A post office was established on March 14, 1839, with Cyprian S. Hooker as postmaster. On June 24, 1841, the post office was closed. The name of the community was changed to Boston in 1851, and the Mercer addition was recorded in 1856. On February 12, 1859, the post office was reopened under the name of Saranac.

In 1847, there was a tavern and an Indian trading post at the river crossing. A bridge was constructed in 1850, after which two saloons and a dry goods store were added to the village. A hotel was built in 1854, and the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad came to Saranac in 1856 and was later operated by the Grand Trunk & Western Railroad. Passenger service ceased in 1961, and the rail line has since been abandoned.

By the time Saranac was incorporated as a village in 1869, it had a population of 777.

Until 1980, the village enjoyed fairly steady population growth. This slowed between 1980 and 1990, declined between 1990 and 2000, dropped by one person by the time of the 2010 census, but gained one person in 2020, with a population of 1,326.

This portion of our guide is focused on the Village of Saranac, Michigan. Online resources representing the municipal government, or any businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities within the village are appropriate for this category.



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