Since Michigan became a state in the early 1800s, towns have been named, renamed...and sometimes renamed again. Many settlers of Michigan were from New York. Migrating westward became much easier for them following the opening of the Erie Canal. Some of the cities, noted below, have names inspired by settlers from New York, while others are derived from Michigan's rich Native American heritage & history.

How did Flushing, Michigan get its name?

Locals will joke about "the land of toilets," but that's not the case at all. The original Flushing is a borough in Queens, New York. Another is in the Netherlands -- its name was chosen based on settlers migrating from NY.

Flushing, MI Main Street Historic 1983 Photo Credit Public Domain via Wikipedia
Flushing, MI Main Street Historic 1983 Photo Credit Public Domain via Wikipedia
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How did Hell, Michigan get its name?

According to Michigan.org, there are two theories on Hell, MI

  1. The most popular involves a man in the 1840’s named George Reeves who, when asked by officials what he wanted to name the settlement he helped start, replied, “Call it Hell for I care!”
  2. People traveling to settle Michigan passed through awful wetlands with terrible mosquitos and considered it passing through "hell."

If anything, naming a business or making jokes is certainly easy. Truthfully, it's a beautiful area.

Photo Credit Google Street View
Photo Credit Google Street View
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How did Christmas, Michigan get its name?

First, you'd think Frankenmuth would have this name, right? The story of Christmas, Michigan is somewhat tragic. A guy from Munising built a factory to make Christmas gifts -- he even erected a giant Santa around 1938. Shortly after the factory burned, but the Santa remained. Below is Kewadin Casino with the giant Santa off M-28.

Photo Credit Google Street View
Photo Credit Google Street View
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How did Holland, Michigan get its name?

Your first thought is "it has to be Dutch." And you'd be right. Settlers escaping economic turmoil in Europe during the 1840s originally called it "Holland Kolonie." It's a beautiful area on the west side of Michigan -- Make plans for a road trip during Holland's Tulip Festival.

Photo Credit Michigan.org (No Changes Made)
Photo Credit Michigan.org (No Changes Made)
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How did the village of Clarkston, Michigan get its name?

The Clark brothers from New York began settling in Detroit in 1831. They moved north and each had family. More of their relatives moved from NY to MI and built homes. Some becoming prominent in the area. Eventually the village was named Clarkston.

Photo Credit Google Street View
Photo Credit Google Street View
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See more from all around Michigan, here.

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