Potterville was settled in 1844 when Linus Potter, his wife, and seven children arrived. Being a founding father, Linus was elected the Benton Township supervisor in 1846. A sawmill and other business buildings were constructed in 1868, and the village was on its way.

It became an official village in 1881 and incorporated as a city in 1962.

Potterville remains a pleasant place to visit, have a basket of deep-fried gizzards, and soak up some small town atmosphere. But the town has had its share of calamities.

It starts out with a tornado in 1991 which ravaged through Potterville. It was part of the Great Tornado Outbreak that caused extensive damage in many Michigan towns.

On a July afternoon in 1994, a lightning bolt shot down, hitting the water at Fox Park, where 22 people were injured. The official sheriff's report said the bolt “walked up the beach”.

Two months later in September, an earthquake hit mid-Michigan, with Potterville suffering the worst of it...the epicenter was just a couple miles out of town.

Fast-forward to Memorial Day, 2002. One of our country's worst train wrecks happened in Potterville when 35 railroad cars jumped the track at the station. If that wasn't bad enough, all the cars contained a cargo of propane, causing the town to be evacuated.

Four years later in 2006, another train derailment happened at the same location, by the same train company. The fault was pinpointed to a bad wheel bearing in the 82nd car.

But the hand of fate wasn't through with Potterville yet...in August 2008, another tornado hit the town – not just any tornado, but the worst one in that part of Michigan since 1991.

Finally, in January 2010, many of Potterville's historic, classic buildings were destroyed by a fire that blazed through Main Street. It took twelve hours and extra water tankers to tame it down...so firemen believed. There was still some embers burning under the ashes, and a couple of days later, another fire broke out causing another moment of chaos & confusion until it was extinguished for good.

Potterville has been through enough calamity. Pay 'em a visit sometime, and do a little shopping or have a meal. Who knows...you may decide to move there!

Check out their website HERE.

POTTERVILLE, THEN-AND-NOW

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The Post Calvin

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