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Imlay City, Michigan facts for kids

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Imlay City, Michigan
Location of Imlay City, Michigan
Location of Imlay City, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Lapeer
 • Type Commission-Manager
 • Total 2.45 sq mi (6.35 km2)
 • Land 2.45 sq mi (6.35 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
827 ft (252 m)
 • Total 3,597
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,456.14/sq mi (562.19/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 810
FIPS code 26-40320
GNIS feature ID 0628928

Imlay City is a city in Lapeer County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 3,869 at the 2000 census and 3,597 in 2010.


Imlay City was founded on April 1, 1850. Charles Palmer, the chief engineer of the Port Huron and Lake Michigan Railroad, bought 240 acres of land along the railroad's route at a location he anticipated would be a likely produce center between the towns of Capac and Lapeer. Palmer named the city for the Connecticut-based capitalist William H. Imlay, who had invested heavily in the region after moving there in 1828. Within a year and a half, the newly established city had attracted 500 residents with over 120 buildings including two hotels, 20 stores and a school.


  • According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.37 square miles (6.14 km2), all land.
  • It is considered to be part of the Thumb of Michigan
  • Imlay City intersects two major Michigan highways, Interstate 69 and M-53 (also known as Van Dyke Rd).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 971
1890 1,251 28.8%
1900 1,122 −10.3%
1910 1,174 4.6%
1920 1,211 3.2%
1930 1,495 23.5%
1940 1,446 −3.3%
1950 1,654 14.4%
1960 1,968 19.0%
1970 1,980 0.6%
1980 2,495 26.0%
1990 2,921 17.1%
2000 3,869 32.5%
2010 3,597 −7.0%
Est. 2019 3,569 −0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,597 people, 1,356 households, and 841 families living in the city. The population density was 1,517.7 inhabitants per square mile (586.0/km2). There were 1,600 housing units at an average density of 675.1 per square mile (260.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.9% White, 0.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 12.1% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 29.0% of the population.

There were 1,356 households, of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.0% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.43.

The median age in the city was 33 years. 30.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26% were from 25 to 44; 21.7% were from 45 to 64; and 12.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.


Imlay City is home to the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds, which holds a fair every year that includes rides, a rodeo, a demolition derby, and a farm animal competition. Also occurring at the fairground is a car show and Imlay City's "Woods and Water", a hunting and fishing extravaganza. An American Cancer Society Relay for Life is also held in Imlay City, with two different walks: the survivor walk and the team walk. Imlay City also has its own city pool, a number of parks, a portion of the Polly Ann Trail, and a farmer’s market.


Imlay City has five public schools, which are all part of Imlay City Community Schools, and one private school. The public schools include Weston Elementary for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, Borland Elementary for 3rd through 5th grade, Imlay City Middle School for 6th grade through 8th grade, and Imlay City High School for 9th through 12th grade. There is also Venture High School, an alternative school for students who do not succeed at the traditional high school. The private school in Imlay City is the Imlay City Christian School, which is a non-denominational, private Christian school located just outside town; it was established in 1952 by parents of the local area.


The Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library was first opened on January 27, 1990. It was constructed on the funds Ruth E. Hughes left for the Township Library through her will upon her death in March 1985. The library is governed by a seven-member board of trustees, with representation from Imlay City, Imlay Township and Attica Township.


The Imlay City Historical Museum was established in 1978 and is run by a private, non-profit organization. While its historical records primarily showcase Imlay City, Imlay Township, Attica Township, Arcadia Township, Goodland Township and the surrounding areas, it also has had such items as a World War I handgun exhibit. In front of its building is an historical caboose that was decommissioned some time ago. The building was a train station for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, until the Imlay City Historical Commission wanted to lease the building from Grand Trunk Western after they decided to bulldoze it in 1971. Grand Trunk Western decided to lease the land to Imlay City, and from Imlay City, the Historical Commission leased the building for a museum. Work was started on restoring the building, and in 1978 it was completed. The open house ceremony and dedication was held on November 9, 1979.

Notable people

  • Bob Burman, race car driver
  • James Paul Churchill, United States federal judge
  • Al Dorow, National Football League quarterback
  • David Kircus, National Football League wide receiver
  • Chester Marcol, National Football League placekicker
  • Carl Pursell, United States Congressman
  • John Philip Wernette, President of the University of New Mexico
  • Lee Weyer, National League umpire
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