It has the smallest standard gauge Pacific Standard locomotive ever built, one of the longest running opera houses in the state, and one of the few drive-in movie theaters in lower Michigan.

Coldwater in Branch County got its start when Joseph Hanchett and Allen Tibbits bought a good portion of land in 1830 and turned it into a village by 1832. They called their village 'Lyons' after the town that Tibbits came from.

The west side of Coldwater was platted as an entirely different village called 'Masonville' (after Governor Stephens Mason) in the early 1830s. In 1833 it was re-named 'Coldwater' after the river and township of the same name.

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1) Coldwater is surrounded by over 114 lakes within Branch County
2) Twelve miles away from Allen, Michigan's Antique Capital
3) Home of the Tibbits Opera House, one of the oldest, continuously operating theaters 4) US12 cuts thru town, home of Michigan’s Longest Garage Sale
5) The Capri Drive-in theater was named one of the "10 Best Drive-In's in America" by USA Today
6) Home of the Little River Railroad which houses the smallest standard gauge Pacific Standard locomotive ever built

Fortunately for historians and curiosity seekers, downtown Coldwater has retained many of its old original buildings and storefronts, making a visit or drive-thru very cool. Take a look at the gallery below to see over fifty vintage images of Coldwater, dating from 1865 to the 1920s!

Vintage Coldwater: 1865-1920s


Vintage Idlewild

Vintage Owosso 'Then-and-Now' Photos

More Vintage Mackinac Island Photos

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