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Chatham, Michigan
Village
Location within Alger County
Location within Alger County
Country United States
State Michigan
County Alger
Township Rock River
Settled 1896
Area
 • Total 2.45 sq mi (6.36 km2)
 • Land 2.45 sq mi (6.36 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
876 ft (267 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 220
 • Estimate 
(2019)
205
 • Density 83.7/sq mi (32.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
49816
Area code(s) 906
FIPS code 26-14940
GNIS feature ID 1619481

Chatham is a village in Alger County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located within Rock River Township. The population was 220 at the 2010 census.

The village is located along M-94 about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of the city of Munising. It was named after Chatham, Ontario, Canada, the town where the lumber company Sutherland Innis was headquartered.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.45 square miles (6.35 km2), all land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 246
1980 315 28.0%
1990 268 −14.9%
2000 231 −13.8%
2010 220 −4.8%
2019 (est.) 205 −6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 220 people, 97 households, and 61 families residing in the village. The population density was 89.8 inhabitants per square mile (34.7/km2). There were 120 housing units at an average density of 49.0 per square mile (18.9/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 88.6% White, 0.9% African American, 7.3% Native American, and 3.2% from two or more races.

There were 97 households, of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.1% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the village was 44.3 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.1% were from 25 to 44; 32.7% were from 45 to 64; and 15.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

History

The first settler came to Chatham in 1896, when the Munising Railway Company (later Lake Superior and Ishpeming) established a line through the town. The railroad company, along with the lumber company Sutherland Innis, platted a village where the railroad intersected the township road.

Logging was the major economic activity in the area throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with Sutherland Innis, Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, Northwestern Cooperage and Lumber Company (Buckeye Company) and T.G. Sullivan having camps scattered throughout the area.

Recreation

There are a variety of recreational opportunities available in and around the Chatham area. For winter sports enthusiasts, a major snowmobile trail (Trail 8) passes through, just north of the village along the old Soo Line railroad grade. The Chatham Ski Hill is located northeast of the village near the Pine Grove Cemetery and provides for downhill and cross country skiing. The Eben Ice Caves are a popular tourist destination located in the nearby community of Eben Junction and provide picturesque ice formations.

During the summer months, ATVs are quite popular for exploring the area's trail system. Mountain biking, hiking, and walking are other activities. The Chatham area is also home to a variety of different streams, rivers and lakes which are locations for canoeists, kayackers and fishermen to enjoy. The village is also close to excellent state hunting land.

Chatham Homecoming & Alger County Fair

Every summer, Chatham plays host to the annual Alger County Fair and Homecoming celebration held at the Rock River Township Recreation Area. It is usually held the first weekend of August and features numerous agriculture, homemade, and livestock exhibits as well as popular events such as the Homecoming Parade, horse shows, chicken barbecue, antique car show, and much more. The event draws thousands of people from throughout the Upper Peninsula and Midwest.

Climate

This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Chatham has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

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