HISTORIC LANSING: Our Capitol City Might’ve Been Named “Pewanogowink”
Did you know the city of Lansing had "Pewanogowink" as a possible choice for the name?
When the legislature voted to move the state's capital from Detroit to this as-yet-unsettled Mid-Michigan area in 1847, they were planning to name the site as the "Town of Michigan." The site for the temporary capitol building was to be in the block surrounded by the roadways Allegan, Capitol, Washington and Washtenaw (see above photo). When the legislature next met in the capitol building, they batted around a few names for the town...among the names were El Dorado, Michigan (their original choice), Pewanogowink and Swedenborg...but they settled on Lansing, named after Revolutionary war hero John Lansing.
Lansing was finally incorporated as a city in 1859 and the old capitol was replaced in 1879 by the one we have to this day.....just across the west side of the street from the old one. Alas, the old one burned down in 1882.
After fighting off a spinal meningitis epidemic in mid-century, Lansing began developing itself as a successful manufacturing city....then in 1897, R.E. Olds founded his Oldsmobile company and the town was off and running.