Monroe County Michigan

Village of Petersburg

Petersburg, MI (E. D.  Russell Farmers Grocery - 1910) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

The village of Petersburgh is situated on the River Raisin a little north of the center of Summerfield township, on the Detroit branch of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad about midway between Adrian and Monroe. The village was originally the farm of Richard Peters (from whom it was named) and deeded by him to Thomas T. Cole and Austin E. Wing in 1836, by whom the village was platted.

The village is nicely laid out with broad streets, thickly shaded with evergreen trees, the streets crossing at right angles east and west. The corporation is laid out into blocks of about three acres each, and are uniformly graded and well provided with sidewalks. For communication with the outside world, the Lake Shore road runs three passenger trains each way daily on the Detroit division, while telegraph and express facilities are much better than in many places of greater pretensions. The post office was opened in 1826 and named Petersburgh after Richard Peters, the first postmaster, who held the office until 1845.

At the close of the war the only brick building in the village was a blacksmith shop on Center street, west of Saline street; now there are eight brick dwellings, two brick blocks of stores and offices, a brick church, a brick school house, and a brick grist mill, being an increase of from $300 in 1865, to upwards of $50,000 in 1888. During this time nearly one-half of the village has been built up, in fact all that portion on Center street, east of Division, and south of Walnut, with the exception of one house. At the present time the population numbers over six hundred.

During this time newspapers have been printed by several parties, the pioneer effort being the Avalanche, by Henry T. Gage and Co.,  which was started in June, 1871, continuity unitl the fire of September 4, 1872, when it was suspended. This was followed by J. O. Seeley with the River Raisin Clarion, which after about a year, was closed out by mortgage foreclosure. In May, 1880-, Ira D. Boardman issued the first number of the Bulletin, which to all appearances has come to stay, as its circulation is 700 and is increasing. Politically it is independent. The Journal was started November, 1883, by a stock company, consisting of John O. Zabel, Dr. Frank Willett, Eugene Cornell and Willey K. Gonsolus, February 25, 1884, fire suspended the issue for about three months, when O. C. Bacon & Brother, having purchased all that remained after the fire, resumed the issue, and continued until March, 1887 when the plant became the property of E. A. Gilbert.



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