The city of Hastings sits in the upper center of Barry County and is the only city in the entire county.

The land on which the future city stood was owned by Eurotas Hastings, a banker from Detroit. Probably wanting to make a few extra bucks, in 1836 he sold the land for $3,000 to three guys by the names of Dibble, Kendall, and Kingsbury.

In 1843 the state legislature made Hastings the County Seat. From then on, the population steadily grew and a stagecoach line became necessary.

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When the Civil War hit in the early 1860s, 1,632 men and boys from Barry County ended up going to serve. The county only had a population of 15,000 at the time, so this was a pretty remarkable number. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, not all made it back home. If you visit Hastings, go to Tyden Park; there you will find a statue of a Union Civil War soldier standing on a one hundred-ton stone monument honoring those Barry County guys who fought in those battles.

In 1869 after the war, the first railroad service made its way through Hastings. It had a good run and finally ended in the 1970s.
The Barry County courthouse sits downtown and is only one of a few 1800s public buildings in Michigan that still operates as it originally did when it was built in 1893.
In 1947 Hastings acquired its own airport.

If you drive thru downtown Hastings these days, it’s refreshing to see that the town has retained a good many of their old original storefronts. Take a drive over and do some Mom & Pop shopping soon!

Vintage Photos of Hastings: 1900-1950s



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