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Lansing is Michigan's state capital and one of its largest cities, with a diverse population that has begun to grow again after a brief pause. The greater Lansing metropolitan area is often referred to as "Mid-Michigan" and serves as a hub for industry, commerce, education and government. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and is home to many museums, theaters, restaurants, shops and more.
The History of Lansing
In 1835, two New York City brothers plotted what would become a small portion of Lansing, naming it Biddle City. Even though the area was a floodplain and underwater for many months of the year, the brothers still managed to sell land plots in their imaginary town that had not even broken ground. Their fellow New Yorkers were told that the area was a well-established town stretching over 65 city blocks, home to a church and a town square. Several businessmen purchased land in the fabricated town, only to discover when they finally traveled to the area that it had all been an elaborate scam.
The majority of these investors were too upset to stay in the so-called Biddle City, moving to the area that's now Lansing's downtown district. With fewer than 20 people, the community was more of a small settlement than an actual town. However, all of that changed in 1857. Michigan's constitution declared that the state's capital needed to be moved to a location that was safer than its current base in Detroit. Several cities made passionate appeals, hoping to be chosen for the honor. The House of Representatives became frustrated at the political circus that followed, finding it impossible to make a legitimate decision. They randomly elected Lansing in a private meeting, even though the settlement had not even applied for the position.
Within a few short years, Lansing had grown significantly. It earned incorporation in 1859, continuing to grow at a steady pace throughout the next century.
Living in Lansing
In Lansing, you'll find everything you need to make your life convenient and enjoyable, from great jobs and schools to fun entertainment options and everyday amenities. The town has a number of medical facilities — several dialysis facilities as well as hospitals, hospice centers and home health care facilities — so health care is easily accessible. Seven colleges or universities are located within the city, and another seven are within a 50-mile radius, so higher education is also well within reach.
As a major metropolitan area, Lansing is home to a thriving arts and cultural scene. The Lansing City Orchestra has been performing since the 1920s, while a handful of local music festivals draw tens of thousands of visitors every year. During the summer, you can find several farmers markets throughout the city, offering fresh produce, baked goods and items made by local artisans. You can also enjoy one of Lansing's many museums year-round, like the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame or the Michigan Library and Historical Center.
Lansing School District operates the public elementary, middle and high schools in the city. Magnet school options, immersion studies and even a technology-focused high school are available through the Lansing School District.
Resources for Moving to Lansing
Here's some basic information to help you get established in Lansing:
- Utilities: The primary energy provider in the city is the Lansing Board of Water & Light.
- Garbage and Recycling: On a weekly basis, the city collects trash, recyclables and yard waste.
- Transportation: Your public transportation options in Lansing include the CATA bus system and the Entertainment Express trolley.
In a metropolitan area as large as Lansing, the housing market provides you with a wide variety of options. Combine that with the affordability of Lansing homes, and you'll easily be able to find something that's a great fit. Homes range from compact apartments to spacious, single-family estates and include everything in between.