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The Arenac County village of Sterling, Michigan is in Deep River Township, which surrounds it.

M-76 (Saginaw Street) intersects Sterling diagonally, intersecting Sterling Road (State Street) downtown. Other routes to and from the village include School Road and Ellison Road, which forms most of its southern boundary.

Cities and villages within twenty-five miles of Sterling include Standish, Omer, Pinconning, Twining, Prescott, Au Gres, Turner, Whittemore, and West Branch, while the unincorporated community of Alger is within ten miles.

First appearing on a census roll in 1930 with a population of 279, Sterling's peak population was 533 in 2000. It dropped to 474 by the time of the 2020 census.

The village was built around a sawmill opened by Norn & Kent in 1871. The Michigan Central Railroad established a station there the following year, which later came under the ownership of the New York Central Railroad, Penn Central Railroad, Detroit & Mackinac Railroad, and Lake State Railroad. A wig-wag railroad crossing signal installed under New York Central ownership was one of the last, if not the last, wig-wag signals in Michigan when it was removed in the late 1990s.

A post office was established in Sterling on January 30, 1872, with William S. Perkins as the first postmaster, although the office was then named Perkins, for the postmaster, and it was then part of Bay County. The name was later changed to Sterling, for William C. Sterling, who operated a lumber mill, and the area came under the jurisdiction of Arenac County.

Sterling was incorporated as a village in 1917. Today, Sterling is still a small, largely rural, community. It has several small businesses, stores, restaurants, bars, an elementary school, and a park. The Detroit & Mackinac Railroad still runs through town, although it doesn't stop in Sterling.

In this portion of our web guide, we will focus on the village of Sterling, Michigan. Topics related to the municipality and any other governmental bodies within the village, as well as local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities, are the focus of this category.



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