Lapeer, Michigan is a historic town, nestled in the heart of the state's Lower Peninsula. It has a rich past, with many prominent events occurring nearby that have shaped both the state and the country. Here are seven historical events that have taken place in Lapeer and the surrounding area:
1. The creation of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge - In 1953, the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge was created just 40 miles from Lapeer. The refuge was established to provide a breeding ground and habitat for migratory birds, as well as conserve the wetlands and prairie grasslands of the area.
2. The Underground Railroad - During the 19th century, Lapeer served as a stop on the Underground Railroad - a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom. The home of Charles Stewart, a prominent abolitionist and member of the Underground Railroad, still stands in nearby Goodrich.
3. The Flint Water Crisis - In 2014, officials in Flint, Michigan, just 29 miles from Lapeer, changed the city's water source to the Flint River, in an effort to save money. Soon after, residents started to report illnesses and discolored water. It was later revealed that the new water source was contaminated with lead, sparking a national outcry and investigation.
4. The Treaty of Detroit - The Treaty of Detroit was signed in 1807 between Governor William Hull of the Michigan Territory and several Native American nations. The treaty established the border of the state of Michigan and ceded much of the territory to the US government, paving the way for Anglo-American settlement.
5. The Michigan Fair - In the late 19th century, the Michigan Fair was held at the Lapeer County Fairgrounds annually. The fair showcased the agricultural industry of the state and drew crowds from across the Midwest.
6. The War of 1812 - During the War of 1812, British and Native American forces attempted to invade Detroit, but a group of Lapeer soldiers, known as the Lapeer Independents, helped turn the tide of the conflict. Historians credit their bravery with helping to secure the American victory.
7. The Flint Sit-Down Strike - In 1936-1937, the General Motors Sit-Down Strike occurred just 29 miles from Lapeer at the Fisher Body Plant in Flint. The strike, which lasted for over a month, was a pivotal moment in the history of organized labor in the US and led to the creation of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.
In conclusion, Lapeer and the surrounding area have been witness to many historical events that have shaped the state, the country, and even the world. From the formation of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge to the Flint Water Crisis, these events serve as a reminder of the important role that Lapeer has played in our nation's history.
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