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Sturgis, Michigan is in southern St. Joseph County, in the southern Lower Peninsula, a few miles north of the Michigan-Indiana border.

US-12 and M-66 intersect downtown, and I-80/90 run concurrently just south of the Sturgis border, connected to the city via M-66.

Michigan cities and villages within twenty-five miles of Sturgis include Burr Oak, White Pigeon, Bronson, Centreville, Colon, Constantine, Mendon, Three Rivers, Sherwood, and Coldwater, while Indiana localities within twenty-five miles include Lima, LaGrange, Bloomfield, Greenfield Mills, Mongo, Millgrove, Wolcottville, Topeka, South Milford, and Eden.

Although it is no longer a common stopping point for travelers making the journey, Sturgis is about halfway between Chicago and Detroit.

The Southern Michigan Railroad traverses the city carrying freight but no longer provides passenger service. The city owns and operates Kirsch Municipal Airport, situated in the northeastern corner of the city.

Sturgis first appeared on a US census roll in 1860 with a population of 1,020. Since then, it has experienced slight declines in 1900 and 2010, but has otherwise enjoyed steady growth, with a population of 11,082 in 2020.

The city is named after John Sturgis, who came to the area with his wife, Ardilacy, in 1828. They came with seven children, all under the age of eleven. That same year, George Thurston, George Buck, and Hiram Jacobs came. Built in 1843, Hiram Jacob's house still stands.

The road through Sturgis was a Native American path. Known as the Sauk Trail, it was surveyed as a national road in the 1820s, and eventually became the main travel route between Detroit and Chicago. Travelers often stayed at the Sturgis Hotel, situated on the northeast corner of Chicago and Nottawa streets. Built in 1836, the three-story structure was first owned by Frank Watson, and later by Judge John Sturgis.

Opened in 1830, the first public school in Sturgis held classes in an upstairs room of a log cabin owned by Philip H. Buck. The Union School opened on the corner of Nottawa and West Street in 1862.

In the 1880s, the railroads came through, greatly increasing the community's viability, as Sturgis had no river access. The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad rand east-west through the town, while the Grand Rapids & Central Railroad rang north-south. In 2014, the Sturgis Depot was moved across town to serve as the Sturgis Historical Museum.

The municipal electric department has served the Sturgis area since 1895. In 1909, the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the St. Joseph River, near Centreville, was approved by Sturgis city officials. In operation since 1911, the dam continues serving the city.

The first church building in Sturgis was a Methodist church built in 1843. Baptist and Methodist church buildings soon followed.

In the 1820s, mail was delivered to Sturgis once a week in the summer and every two weeks in the winter. John Winchell carried the mail from White Pigeon on horseback. Early post offices in Sturgis were located in the homes or businesses of the postmasters. In its current location, the post office was built in 1932.

Sturgis was incorporated as a city in 1896.

Funding for the first hospital in Sturgis came from William Grobhiser, who left $250,000 in his will for the construction of a hospital. A 35-bed hospital was completed in 1925.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the City of Sturgis, Michigan. Online resources representing the municipal government, and any other governmental bodies located within the city, are appropriate for this category, as are those of businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities within the city.


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