I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Concord…rich with history and a great small-town feel. Plus, some old friends of mine reside in the cemetery.

Concord was settled in 1831 along the Kalamazoo River, southwest of Reynolds Lake, Jackson County. John Acker was one of the first settlers to arrive and soon, thanks to his raves, more families came to settle, work, and raise families.

According to Michigan Place Names, another early settler, William Van Fossen, was the first to build a home in 1832; the community became known as 'Van Fossenville'. When a post office was applied for, the name ‘Concord’ was deemed a term that would accurately describe the atmosphere and bring more settlers. Many people think it was named after the grape or a person by that name, but no; it was so-named because of the unity of the community and their peaceful environment. Look up synonyms for ‘concord’ and you’ll find words like amity, calmness, friendship, goodwill, harmony, peace, serenity, understanding….now those were things that perfectly described this community of residents. No wonder it didn’t take long for the town to grow!

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Concord didn’t just sit around complacently. There was lots of activity here…not just farming and milling.

In 1906, who should come to town but world-famous Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show, featuring crack shot Annie Oakley. There was a field behind the church on Union Street and that’s where ol’ Buff set up his tents and had his extravaganza. Nowadays, the field is gone, replaced by homes. Bill and his bunch arrived by train which was right next to the field, making easy on-and-off access.

Concord was also an instrumental part of the Underground Railroad, with its most famous hiding spot being the ‘Taylor the Tailor’ shop with a hiding spot thru a trap door and another under the stairs.

Then, in 1917, the Great Concord Reign of Terror, where thugs basically held the town and its residents hostage, while they plundered stores, robbed the bank, and continuously threatened the townsfolk. And they got away with it. There’s a lot to this story that you can read HERE.

Concord really is a cool little town that won’t disappoint. Drive thru, pay a visit to a couple of mom & pop shops, and enjoy its history some afternoon.

Concord, Then-and-Now

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