Lapeer is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and is the county seat of Lapeer County. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 9,072. Most of the city was incorporated from land that was formerly in Lapeer Township, though portions were also annexed from Mayfield Township and Elba Township. The city government is politically independent of all three townships. Lapeer is located in southern Michigan, east of Flint, on the Flint River. The name is an Americanization of the French la pierre, which means 'stone'. To the right, is a picture of the Lapeer County Courthouse. The Lapeer County Courthouse is the oldest working courthouse in the State of Michigan. This is located right in Downtown Lapeer, Michgian.
IN THE BEGINNING - THE EARLY SETTLERS
Chippewa Indians were the earliest settlers of Lapeer's countryside. Few Indians were to be found though as the first white man settled in this rich forest area with it's rolling countryside. That first settler arrived in 1828. Real growth of the area did not happen until the 1830's and then there were 2 settlements separated by a taramack swamp along the Flint River. A. N. Hart called his village Lapeer, while Jonathan White called his Whitesville. In 1835 the county was organized and
Mr. White hoping to overturn that decision built a courthouse as did Mr. Hart. From 1846 to 1853 Lapeer County Supervisors moved back and forth from one court house to the other. They ended up buying Mr. Hart's impressive colonaded building, which today is Michigan's oldest courthouse. Mr. White's court house ended up being Whites Opera House, and is in part of what is now downtown Lapeer. Surrounding communities of Imlay City, Almont, Dryden, were also founded about 1830's.
There were 10,000 people living in the Lapeer County area by the mid-1850's.There were deadly forest fires in 1871, and 1881 clearing the cut over lands, and making way for the farming settlers to move in to the area. Crops at the turn of the century were barley, oats, wheat, and potatoes. About 1940's the Dairy farming came into it's own, with Lapeer's 46 cows per square mile making it the highest concentration of dairy cattle in Michigan. Along comes the 1970sand also an increase inpopulation by 34% from those people moving here from the bigger cities like Flint, Pontiac, and Detroit. While here in the 1990's farming still goes on it has been reduced to only half as many as there were in the early 1900's . There are 159 lakes in Lapeer County making fishing, boating , and water sports major attractions.
THE HISTORIC FARMERS MARKET OF LAPEER IS CELEBRATING FARMING, FRESH FOOD, BACK TO BASICS, LOCAL HISTORY, MADE-IN-MICHIGAN ALL IN DOWNTOWN LAPEER!