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Interactive Timeline

In 1868 Seymour Coleman purchased 1000 acres of land from Ammi W. Wright. Mr. Wright had one of the largest lumbering spreads in Michigan. The Pere Marquette Railroad was extending its line westward through Midland County and had completed this section in 1870. Soon the first settler, Jonathan Pierce, arrived on the first construction train. Mr. Pierce built a mill and the Exchange Hotel. Mr. Coleman then surveyed and platted 160-acres into a village that would bear his name.

Between the years of 1870-1890 the area saw a boom with as many as 20-30 lumber mills in operation. There were three banks and numerous churches. The business district contained mercantile stores, blacksmith shops, several hotels and many other types of businesses, including 20 saloons.

When much of the lumber in the area had been removed, the town seemed destined to die. In 1879 the Pere Marquette built a spur to Mt. Pleasant, and other types of businesses began locating in Coleman.

Coleman was incorporated as a Village in 1887 and became a 4th Class City in 1905. Electricity came to Coleman in 1910 and a city water system in 1951. In 1969 Coleman voted to become a Home Rule City abolishing the system of wards for a Mayor and City Council. City wide sewer was installed in 1970 and a new water tower was added in 1987.

In recent years Coleman has seen the addition of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, completed in 1994, as well as a facelift to the City of Coleman with new streetscape and lighting project. In the northerly portion of the city is an industrial park added in 2001 awaiting occupancy. The Coleman Area Library housed in a beautiful new building was a much needed and welcomed addition to the city, completed in 2002. Pere Marquette Senior Estates, 60 unit independent senior living apartments, completed in two phases, with 30 units built in 1996 and an additional 30 units built in 2008.

Coleman has two parades each year celebrating Memorial Day and the Christmas season. The Memorial Day parade honors all veterans with a ceremony following the parade. The Christmas parade is an evening lighted parade, the second Saturday in December.