Vintage Photos of Carson City, Michigan: 1900-1940
Okay – what can we say about Carson City?
Sitting in Montcalm County, Carson City is approximately 50 miles north of Lansing and 53 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. The land was entered in part in 1850, platted in 1866, and recorded in 1871. The first piece of land was bought in 1867 by Thomas Scott, who, along with his nephews – the LaDue brothers – built the first sawmill in 1868. A post office kicked off that year and a grist mill followed in 1870.
It was Scott who gave the town its name, as he was enamored with Carson City, Nevada after visiting there during the discovery of gold and silver in 1859. Both Carson Cities owe its name to famed frontiersman Kit Carson.
Thanks to the sawmill and the booming lumber trade, the town grew fast. Businesses kept popping up and finally the town got its first newspaper in 1875: The Coral Enterprise. With many Michigan towns and cities, once the lumber trade dwindled, the metropolis seemed to refuse future growth. As of 2023, the population is still significantly small: 1,139...but Carson City still survives after all this time.
Carson City still hosts the annual Frontier Days every June, a tradition that began decades ago and features canoe races, carnival rides, country-western music, dances, hot air balloons, magic shows, pageants, parades, picnics, rodeos, and tractor pulls.
The gallery below holds a good number of old photos to show you what Carson City was once like over one hundred years ago...
Vintage Photos of Carson City
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