There are quite a number of things to do in the area in & around Brooklyn, Michigan, located in the southeast corner of Jackson County. There’s Michigan International Speedway, the Irish Hills, Wampler’s Lake, and further down is Hidden Lake Gardens.

How did this little Michigan town begin?

New York Baptist minister Calvin Harlow Swain brought a group of settlers to Michigan in 1832. Arriving via the Old Chicago Trail thru Indiana that was made by the Native Americans, Swain and his entourage decided to settle in what is now Brooklyn, and he proceeded to build and set up his own sawmill.

In 1834, the community acquired its first post office but they needed a name. It was decided to call this new village “Swainsville” after Calvin Swain. Calvin also became the first postmaster.

Being a Baptist minister, it was inevitable that there would be some kind of religious conflict with those of different faiths. The church became split, and in doing so, the town members had a meeting and decided upon a new name in 1838 (some sources say 1836): ‘Brooklyn’ after one of the settlers’ favorite New York cities.

Brooklyn was also a station along the Detroit, Hillsdale & Southwestern Railroad, acquiring its own water tower in 1926.

Take a look at some photos of Brooklyn, some going back over 100 years!

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