Back a few hundred years ago in an area that is now located in Ionia County, there was an Indian village by the name of Chigaumishkene. The first caucasians to infiltrate this Indian land was the Libhart family from New York in 1833.

Then, in 1836, another man boasted to a relative in a letter, “The place is called Arthursberg but we will change the name, I own the whole town site. It will become one of the most important towns in Michigan.” When Chigaumishkene was re-named Arthursburg - or who it was named after - is not known. But the question remains: did this town really become one of Michigan's most important towns? Quite a boast made by this man, whose name was Lucius Lyon.

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That same year, Lucius platted the land and called 'his' town “Lyons” after himself. One of Lucius family members, Truman Lyon, became the town's first postmaster in December. So who was Lucius and why should a town be named after him? Lucius was the first person from Michigan to become a senator and House Representative. There's another important history tale about Lucius that you can read HERE....Just a little something he did up on Bois Blanc Island near Mackinac Island.

Unfortunately for Lucius, Lyons didn't meet his expectations. It got off to a good start, but as the 1900s rolled in, it was obvious Lyons was not going to became a major city like Detroit, or even Lansing. Fortunately, though, it did turn into a pleasant little town along the Grand River, east of Ionia. Lucius himself went on to have a successful political career, becoming a member of the House of Representatives and Senator. He died in Detroit in 1851 at the age of 51.

The town of Lyons still has a few of it's old downtown structures, with another handful gone. The photo gallery below show some photos of the old downtown Lyons, and some how it looks today.

Lyons, Michigan: Then and Now

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