Addison is a village in Lenawee County of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 605 at the 2010 census. The village is located on the boundary between Rollin Township on the south and Woodstock Township on the north.
In 1834, when John Talbot settled along a winding creek in the infancy of southeast Michigan’s history, the area was a vast forest, dotted with clear blue lakes and occupied by the Potawatomi. With the raising of a simple grist mill along Bean Creek around December 1835, Addison’s history was started, operating under the settlement name “Manetue”.
Having failed to secure a spot along the river that provided enough water power to run his mill, Talbot dismantled the settlement and moved to the present location of Addison, and by the fall of 1836, milling operations restarted. The town was renamed “Peru” by 1838, and over the next generation would be given several other monikers before the final name of Addison was entered onto plat maps in 1851. Addison J. Comstock, a banker from Adrian, Michigan, purchased a sizable plat of the pioneer town and changed the identity to reflect this acquisition. The village itself was incorporated as such in 1893.
The village grew sufficiently to attract the railroad in 1883, an event which contributed to a sudden expanse of Addison’s local economy. Businesses came to Addison in great numbers, as well as a three-story hotel, designed to cater to the visiting tourist. The Addison Courier newspaper started its 76-year run in 1884, and the economic upturn brought on by the railroad continued well after the line ceased to operate through Addison.
One of Addison’s last landmarks, the old grist mill built in 1848, was removed in 1980. Despite the economic downturn of the village in the last half of the 20th century, a large 3-day sesquicentennial celebration was held in 1984. Additionally, a 175th Anniversary celebration spanning only one day was held in the village on August 8, 2009.
Today, Addison is a quiet burg, comparable to the size it was in the 1860s. Around two-dozen businesses and institutions occupy the town limits.
In 1976, a small booklet on the town history was assembled by Addison historian Alice Slocum, followed in 1997 by a 225 page illustrated book by local author Dan Cherry. A follow-up companion volume is in the works and is expected to be released later in 2013.