Just how important is southwest Michigan to the history of the state? When Michigan joined the union in 1837, there were only 16 incorporated cities and villages. Half of them were in the southwest corner of the state.
Michigan borders some of the largest inland bodies of water and the Great Lakes are capable of producing storms that are the equivalent of tropical storms and hurricanes as was the case in September of 1996.
One of the most infamous great fires in American history is the conflagration that swept through Chicago for three days in October of 1871. But that year, many other great fires left destruction in other parts of the Midwest including Michigan.