Lapeer, Michigan

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Lapeer, Michigan
Lapeer County Courthouse
Location of Lapeer, Michigan
Location of Lapeer, Michigan
Coordinates: 43°3′7″N 83°18′59″W / 43.05194°N 83.31639°W / 43.05194; -83.31639Coordinates: 43°3′7″N 83°18′59″W / 43.05194°N 83.31639°W / 43.05194; -83.31639
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • MayorDeborah G Marquardt
 • Total7.51 sq mi (19.46 km2)
 • Land7.34 sq mi (19.02 km2)
 • Water0.17 sq mi (0.44 km2)
856 ft (261 m)
 • Total9,023
 • Density1,228.79/sq mi (474.43/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)810
FIPS code26-46040[2]
GNIS feature ID0630146[3]

Lapeer (/ləpɪr/ lə-PEER) is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and is the county seat of Lapeer County.[4] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 8,841. Most of the city was incorporated from land that was formerly in Lapeer Township, though portions were also annexed from Mayfield Township and Elba Township. Lapeer is in southern Michigan, east of Flint, on the Flint River.


By an ordinance of the Congress of the United States passed on July 13, 1787, the area lying northwest of the Ohio River, though still occupied by the British, was organized as the Northwest Territory. Lapeer County was once part of the Northwest Territory. In January 1820, the county of Oakland was formed, which served the area now known as Lapeer, until the County of Lapeer was formed in 1837, when Michigan became a state. The first elections were for county officers, with 520 persons voting in 1837.[5]

Folklore claims Lapeer was derived from the naming of the south branch of the Flint River, which flows northwestward in Lapeer County. French and Indian traders frequently passed over this section of the county and through the river, ultimately naming the city for the stone that lay at the river bottom. In French, stone is called "la pierre";[6] the English pronunciation of these words gives Lapeer. The river was named Flint, synonymous with stone.[7] (See List of Michigan county name etymologies.)

It is also believed that the first settlers who came from New York State may have brought the name Lapeer from a similarly named city in their home state. A third supposition is that French missionaries named the city Le Pere, meaning The Father.

The first settlers in Lapeer were a group of men named Alvin N. Hart, Oliver B. Hart, and J.B. Morse.[5] The most prominent of the three, Alvin N. Hart, was born in Cornwall, Connecticut, on February 11, 1804. He came to Lapeer in 1831 and platted the Village of Lapeer, November 8, 1833. The plat was registered in Pontiac on December 14, 1833, in the County of Oakland; four years before Michigan became a state and Lapeer became a county. Alvin N. Hart became a State Senator in 1843, representing Lapeer, Oakland, Genesee, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Saginaw Counties and the entire Upper Peninsula. He was instrumental in having the State Capitol relocated from Detroit to Lansing. Hart died on August 22, 1874, and is buried in Lapeer.[7]

The second group of settlers were Enoch J. White and his family.[5] He was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1814. He came to Lapeer in 1833. Of pioneer stock, Alvin N. Hart and Enoch J. White both had the initiative to start new communities. Mr. Hart formed Lapeer and Mr. White formed what was then known as Whitesville, which now consists of the western portion of Lapeer. A tamarack swamp once separated these two settlements.[7]

Other distinguished natives include John T. Rich, former governor of the state of Michigan; L. S. Cramton, known as the Father of the National Park System; Charles Potter, whose son became a U.S. Senator; William Reed, Big Ten Football Commissioner and Marguerite deAngeli, internationally known writer of children's books.[7]

At one time, there were two courthouses. The White family erected one at the present site of the Old Lapeer High School at Main and Genesee Streets, while the Hart family erected one at Nepessing and Court Streets. The Board of Supervisors purchased the Hart courthouse for $3,000, which is now the oldest continuously running courthouse in the state of Michigan and one of the oldest 10 courthouses in the United States. White's courthouse later became the first school in Lapeer called Lapeer Academy.[7]

Over time, it became evident that the business district would be near the Courthouse, so the city's founders moved the Opera House piece-by-piece to its present location at the southeast corner of Court and Nepessing Streets in 1879. The building is now known as the White Block.[7][5]

Lapeer's first church was the Congregational Church; organized in 1833, the same year Lapeer was platted. The Methodist Episcopal Church opened its doors a year later, followed by the Baptist Church in 1858, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in 1866, the Universalist Church in 1873, the Methodist Protestant Church in 1877 and the Grace Episcopal Church in 1882.[7]

Lumbering was the sole industry in the early days of Lapeer. The flourishing lumber business attracted the New York Central Railroad and Grand Trunk Railroad. Lapeer later became the intersection to two state trunk lines: M-21 and M-24. Adequate supplies of water, fuel and electricity, and many various forms of recreational facilities, provided the foundation for our growing community. Our industries today supply our state's high-tech automotive industry with gray iron casting, molded plastics, plastic fabrics, electrical harnesses and stamping.[7]

On October 26, 2010,[8] Lapeer became a founding member of the Karegnondi Water Authority.[9]

On August 15, 2012, the fourth-largest Powerball jackpot was won from a ticket sold at a Sunoco station in Lapeer. The jackpot had an annuity value of $337 million.[10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.38 square miles (19.11 km2), of which 7.13 square miles (18.47 km2) is land and 0.25 square miles (0.65 km2) is water.[11] It is considered to be part of the Thumb of Michigan, which in turn is a subregion of the Flint/Tri-Cities.


Climate data for Lapeer WWTP, Michigan (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1949–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
Average high °F (°C) 30.0
Daily mean °F (°C) 22.5
Average low °F (°C) 15.1
Record low °F (°C) −26
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.25
Average snowfall inches (cm) 10.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11.5 9.2 8.3 10.5 11.1 9.5 8.6 9.6 9.0 10.9 9.9 10.8 118.9
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 7.5 6.3 2.7 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.9 5.6 23.9
Source: NOAA[12][13]


2010 census[edit]

As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 8,841 people, 3,446 households, and 1,927 families living in the city. The population density was 1,240.0 inhabitants per square mile (478.8/km2). There were 3,956 housing units at an average density of 554.8 per square mile (214.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.6% White, 7.6% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 3,446 households, of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.1% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.1% were non-families. 39.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.97.

The median age in the city was 36 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 11% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.2% were from 25 to 44; 24.2% were from 45 to 64; and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.5% male and 48.5% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 9,072 people, 3,443 households, and 1,979 families living in the city. The population density was 1,635.5 per square mile (631.1/km2). There were 3,658 housing units at an average density of 659.5 per square mile (254.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.91% White, 5.95% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.33% of the population.

There were 3,443 households, out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% were non-families. 36.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.6% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 36.5% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,526, and the median income for a family was $42,872. Males had a median income of $36,731 versus $24,552 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,608. About 8.5% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.3% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The city levies an income tax of 1 percent on residents and 0.5 percent on nonresidents.[15] Lapeer is a member of Karegnondi Water Authority[9] and of the Greater Lapeer County Utilities Authority.[16] Lapeer is served by the Lapeer District Library.[17]

Notable people[edit]


Major highways[edit]

  • I-69 - runs east and west south of the city
  • M-24 - runs north and south through the city
  • M-21 - previously ran through Lapeer but its designation was removed east of Flint after the completion of I-69.

Rail and bus[edit]

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Lapeer, operating its Blue Water daily in both directions between Chicago and Port Huron.

Greater Lapeer Transportation Authority (GLTA) is the local public bus system serving Lapeer and the surrounding area.



The thumb area is an unranked radio area. Local radio in Lapeer includes WLCO AM, WQUS FM, WMPC AM, and online radio Solid State Radio



Lapeer is in the Detroit and Flint television markets; Lapeer also receives most stations from the Flint-Saginaw-Bay City market. Charter Communications in Lapeer carry most Detroit channels and most major Flint/Tri-Cities channels.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ a b c d County, Michigan History of Lapeer (1884). History of Lapeer County, Michigan: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. H. R. Page. ISBN 978-0-608-34216-0.
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 181.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Welcome to Lapeer, MI". Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  8. ^ Thorne, Blake (October 27, 2010). "Karegnondi Water Authority sets course for cutting ties with Detroit water". Flint Journal. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  9. ^ a b Fonger, Ron (October 23, 2010). "Years in the making, Karegnondi Water Authority is ready to set new course for water". Flint Journal. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  10. ^ "$337 Million Powerball Winner Told Whole Family to Retire". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  12. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  13. ^ "Station: Lapeer WWTP, MI". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  15. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (August 16, 2017). "Michigan State University, city of East Lansing at odds over proposed income tax". MLive Lansing. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  16. ^ Hogan, Jeff (June 16, 2010). "Lapeer signs onto water authority". The County Press. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  17. ^ "Library Board". Lapeer District Library website. Lapeer County. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  18. ^ "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922-Present".
  19. ^ "Solid State Radio - Home".
  20. ^ "Sanilac Broadcasting - Home".

External links[edit]