Old Town (Lansing, Michigan)

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Old Town
Dickens Village 2008 019 (Small).jpg
Coordinates: 42°44′49″N 83°8′35″W / 42.74694°N 83.14306°W / 42.74694; -83.14306Coordinates: 42°44′49″N 83°8′35″W / 42.74694°N 83.14306°W / 42.74694; -83.14306
Country United States
State Michigan
County Ingham
 • Total 0.44 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 860 ft (262 meters) ft (228 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 1,654
 • Density 3,708.5/sq mi (1,431.9/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 48906
Area code(s) 517
FIPS code 26-80700[1]
GNIS feature ID 1615125[2]
Website http://www.iloveoldtown.org/
North Lansing Historic Commercial District
Location E. Grand River Ave. and Turner St.,
Lansing, Michigan
Area 11 acres (4.5 ha)
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian, Vernacular Commercial
NRHP reference # 76001029[3]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 30, 1976
Designated MSHS June 18, 1976

Located in the northern end of Lansing, Michigan, Old Town overlooks the Grand River and a winding bike trail. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the North Lansing Historic Commercial District, the district was established in the mid-19th century.


The first settler in North Lansing, later known as Lower Town and now Old Town, was John W. Burchard, an attorney from Mason. He built the first log cabin in Lansing in 1843 on land purchased from James Seymour. He built a dam across the Grand River later that year and hoped to build a mill, but drowned at the dam in 1844 while inspecting a break. A mill was built there later by James Seymour.[4]

The North Lansing area grew when Lansing became the capital of Michigan in 1847, adding commercial and industrial businesses. By the 1870s, North Lansing was thriving. Franklin Street, now Grand River Avenue, was the "main street" of the commercial district, sporting banks, shops, groceries, churches, mills, a passenger and freight railroad station, manufacturing, and a sturdy middle class to support the commerce. By the mid 1900s, however, Upper Town and Middle Town were attracting more people and business; North Lansing lost its status as a commercial/industrial powerhouse. The North Lansing Historic Commercial District, which included 44 buildings, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[4]

In more recent years, the area now known as Old Town has sought to revitalize itself through programs like Michigan Main Street.[5]

Cultural events[edit]

Old Town hosts a number of annunal culteral events, including:


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Old Town (Lansing, Michigan)
  3. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ a b Community Design Center (August 11, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Places Inventory - Nomination Form: North Lansing Historic Commercial District" (PDF). The National Archives Catalog. National Park Service. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Old Town". Michigan Main Street Center. Retrieved January 28, 2016. 

External links[edit]