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Lansing & East Lansing, Michigan

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Lansing or East Lansing, Michigan.

Lansing is the state capital of Michigan.

Lansing Official Website

East Lansing Official Website

Timeline of Lansing

Wikipedia

  • 1825 – Lansing Township is surveyed.
  • 1836 – A pair of New York speculators plot and market a non-existent city known as "Biddle City". The New Yorkers that bought into the idea arrive in Lansing to discover that the plots they had bought are located in a marsh, and are underwater. Some of the pioneers stay, but develop a village in what is now Old Town Lansing a mile north of the non-existent "Biddle City".
  • 1843 – Construction of the first house in Lansing Township is completed by pioneer settler James Seymour and his family.
  • 1847 – The state capital moves from Detroit to Lansing Township.
  • 1848 - The town of Michigan, Michigan is renamed Lansing by the Michigan Legislature.
  • 1855 – Michigan State University is founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan.
  • 1859 – The city of Lansing is officially incorporated with about 3,000 citizens inside 7.5 square miles.
  • 1879 – New State Capitol dedicated. The structure cost $1,510,130.
  • 1881 – Michigan Millers Insurance Company founded.
  • 1883 - Judge Rollin H. Person begins his private law practice in Lansing after serving as a district judge. The firm, known today as Fraser Trebilcock, plays an integral role in the development of the Lansing business community, when firm attorneys assist Ransom E. Olds in obtaining property for the first Olds Motorworks in a facility in Lansing.
  • 1896 - A group of local women form the Women's Hospital Association, the organization that will go on to found Sparrow Hospital.
  • 1897 – Ransom E. Olds drives his first car down a Lansing street. Later that year he founds the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, which would become the Oldsmobile division of General Motors in 1908. He was also the founder of the REO Motor Car Company in 1904, both headquartered in Lansing.
  • 1901 – Oldsmobile Curved Dash (first mass-produced car) introduced.
  • 1904 – The "most extensive flood in 135 years of local history" causes the Grand River to overflow its banks on March 24–27, leading to major damage and one death. Bridges at Logan Street, Kalamazoo Street, Cedar Street and Mt. Hope Road are all washed away. The Kalamazoo Street bridge lodges against the Michigan Avenue bridge; it is later salvaged and re-erected at Kalamazoo Street.
  • 1910 – The population of the city nearly doubles from the 1900 census to 31,229.
  • 1912 – The Accident Fund Insurance Company of America founded.
  • 1916 – Auto-Owners Insurance Company founded.
  • 1928 - Eastern High School opens.
  • 1929 – The Lansing Symphony Orchestra founded.
  • 1931 - The Boji Tower was completed, (originally Olds Tower) the tallest building in Lansing.
  • 1934 - The Kern's Hotel in downtown burns. It remains to this day Lansing's deadliest fire.
  • 1936 - Quality Dairy Company, Lansing's Only Dairy (now operating 31 stores in the area) is founded.
  • 1940 – Lansing's population stagnates, only rising by 356 over the decade to 78,753.
  • 1954 – Frandor Mall opens – first in the area, and second in the state.
  • 1956 – The city reaches 15 square miles in size.
  • 1957 – Lansing Community College founded.
  • 1959 - New City Hall and Police Department buildings are opened; Lansing's Centennial is celebrated.
  • 1960 – The city's population finally breaks the 100,000 mark at 107,807.
  • 1961 – Jackson National Life Insurance Company founded.
  • 1965 – The city reaches 33.3 square miles in size.
  • 1970 – Lansing reaches its peak population of 131,546.
  • 1972 – The Thomas M. Cooley Law School founded.
  • 1978 - The Great Blizzard of 1978 hits Lansing in February.
  • 1980 – Lansing's population declines for the first time, losing 989 to hit 130,414.
  • 1989 – The Library of Michigan and Historical Center near the Capitol Complex are dedicated.
  • 1992 – The Michigan State Capitol completes an extensive renovation to restore it to its original grandeur.
  • 1996 - Oldsmobile Park, now Cooley Law School Stadium is completed
  • 1998 – Mayor David Hollister signs a 425 Agreement with Alaiedon Township in September to facilitate the development of the headquarters of Jackson National Life Insurance Company.
  • 1999 – Mayor David Hollister signs a 425 Agreement with Meridian Township in November to facilitate the development of the Governor's Collection/College Fields upscale housing development and golf course.
  • 2000 – Lansing's population experiences its greatest drop in its history, falling over 6% over the preceding decade to 119,128.
  • 2001 – GM opens a new assembly plant, the Lansing Grand River Assembly. It manufactures the Cadillac CTS, STS, SRX and V-Series. The architecture of the assembly plant resembles a high-tech research facility instead of a traditional factory.
  • 2002 – The Hall of Justice (Michigan Supreme Court building) at the west end of the Capitol Complex is dedicated.
  • 2004 – Last Oldsmobile rolls off the assembly line at Lansing Car Assembly on April 29. This same year the Thomas M. Cooley Law School becomes the largest law school in the nation.
  • 2005 – Mayor Tony Benavides signs a series of three 425 Agreements with Delta Township and General Motors facilitating the development General Motors' Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant.
  • 2006 – GM opens a state-of-the-art facility in nearby Delta Charter Township. As with the 2001 assembly plant built in Lansing, the Delta plant resembles a high-tech research facility and not a traditional factory; Lansing's Potter Park Zoo becomes regionalized after a ballot proposal passed to transfer the zoo's operation and maintenance to Ingham County.
  • 2007 – Mayor Virg Bernero's Southside Citizen Action Team conducts a comprehensive destination search for the Southside Community Center, which was established at the Lansing School District's Hill Center. (In 2012, it was re-dedicated as the Alfreda Schmidt Southside Community Center, in honor of a well-known community advocate/former councilmember.)
  • 2008 – Accident Fund Insurance Company of America announces the renovation of the Ottawa Street Power Station and addition of modern buildings connected by an atrium for their new headquarters.
  • 2009 – Lansing's Sesquicentennial (150 Years) is celebrated; Auto-Owners Insurance Co. announces it will invest $105.3 million into expanding its Lansing headquarters and adding 800 new jobs.
  • 2010 – The Eyde Development Company announces they will be spending $22–$24 million to renovate the landmark Knapp's Building in downtown Lansing; Kiplinger names Lansing one of the "10 Great Cities for Young Adults".
  • 2012 – Parade Magazine ranks Lansing as one of America's hardest-working towns. Lansing was noted for a long average work week and scored several points above the national average in workers giving up their personal time and weekends for work.
  • 2015 – GM's Lansing Grand River Plant begins producing Chevrolet Camaros, the first Camaros built in the U.S. since 1992. The plant made $175 million in upgrades and hired 500 new workers to make these Camaros.

East Lansing

East Lansing is located on land that was an important junction of two major Native American groups: the Potawatomi and the Fox. By 1850, the Lansing and Howell Plank Road Company was established to connect a toll road to the Detroit and Howell Plank Road, improving travel between Detroit and Lansing, which cut right through what is now East Lansing. The toll road was finished in 1853, and included seven toll houses between Lansing and Howell.

Michigan State University was founded in 1855 and established in what is now East Lansing in 1857. For the first four decades, the students and faculty lived almost entirely on the college campus. A few commuted from Lansing, and that number increased when a streetcar line was built in the 1890s, but there were few places to live in the then-rural area surrounding the campus.

That started to change in 1887, when professors William J. Beal and Rolla C. Carpenter created Collegeville, along what is now Harrison Road and Center and Beal Streets, north of Michigan Avenue. Few faculty were attracted to the location, and the first residents were "teamsters and laborers".[8] In 1898, the College Delta subdivision (including what is now Delta Street) had the support of the college itself, which provided utilities, and several professors built homes there (one of which survives today at 243 W. Grand River Ave.). Other subdivisions followed.

At that time, the post office address was "Agricultural College, Michigan." A school district encompassing the nascent community was created in 1900. In 1907, incorporation as a city was proposed under the name "College Park"; the legislature approved the charter but changed the name to "East Lansing." The first seven mayors, starting with Clinton D. Smith in 1907 and Warren Babcock in 1908, were professors or employees of the college.

The city charter in 1907 prohibited the possession, sale, or consumption of alcoholic beverages, and East Lansing was a "dry" city until voters modified the charter provision in 1968. In the 21st Century, downtown East Lansing has enjoyed a construction boom. Multiple city center complexes have resulted in the redevelopment of large parts of the historic downtown area, at a greatly increased population density.