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Jackson, Michigan
City
City of Jackson
71downtown.jpg
Nickname(s): The Rose City, JAC, Prison City, J-Town, Jacktown, The Jack,
Location of Jackson within Jackson County, Michigan
Location of Jackson within Jackson County, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Jackson
Area
 • City 10.99 sq mi (28.46 km2)
 • Land 10.87 sq mi (28.15 km2)
 • Water 0.12 sq mi (0.31 km2)
Elevation 932 ft (284 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 33,534
 • Estimate (2012) 33,411
 • Density 3,085.0/sq mi (1,191.1/km2)
 • Metro 159,748 (US: 251th)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
ZIP codes 49201-49204
Area code(s) 517
FIPS code 26-41420
GNIS feature ID 0629165
Website www.cityofjackson.org

Jackson is a city located along Interstate 94 in the south central area of the U.S. state of Michigan, about 40 miles (64 km) west of Ann Arbor and 35 miles (56 km) south of Lansing. It is the county seat of Jackson County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 33,534. It is the principal city of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Jackson County and has a population of 160,248.

It was founded in 1829 and named after President Andrew Jackson.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.99 square miles (28.46 km2), of which 10.87 square miles (28.15 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.31 km2) is water.

History

71jackson tower
Jackson County Tower, Jackson's tallest building.

On July 3, 1829, Horace Blackman, accompanied by Alexander Laverty, a land surveyor, and an Indian guide forded the Grand River and made camp for the night at what is now Trail and N. Jackson Street. They arrived in Jackson on a well-traveled Indian trail leading west from Ann Arbor. Blackman hired Laverty and Pewytum to guide him west. Blackman returned to Ann Arbor and then Monroe and registered his claim for 160 acres (65 ha) at two dollars an acre. Blackman returned to Jackson in August 1829, with his brother Russell. Together they cleared land and built a cabin on the corner of what would become Ingham and Trail streets. The town was first called Jacksonopolis. Later, it was renamed Jacksonburgh. Finally, in 1838 the town's name was changed to simply Jackson.

Birthplace of the Republican Party – "Under the Oaks"

Jackson is one of the birthplaces of the Republican Party. Undisputed is the fact that the first official meeting of the group that called itself "Republican" was held in Jackson Under the Oaks on July 6, 1854. A Michigan historical marker at what is now the northwest corner of Second and Franklin streets in Jackson commemorates an anti-slavery county convention on July 6, 1854. Meeting outside to avoid a hot, over-crowded hall, the group ultimately selected a slate of candidates for state elections. The marker identifies this as the birth of the Republican Party. The site, an oak grove on "Morgan's Forty", then on the outskirts of town, became known as "Under the Oaks".

Auto industry

Jackson was an early home to the moped parts industry. Even before Detroit began building cars on assembly lines in 1910, Jackson was busy making parts for cars and putting them together. By 1910, the auto industry became Jackson's main industry. Over twenty different cars were once made in Jackson, including: Reeves, Jaxon, Jackson, CarterCar, Orlo, Whiting, Butcher and Gage, Buick, Janney, Globe, Steel Swallow, C.V.I., Imperial, Ames-Dean, Cutting, Standard Electric, Duck, Briscoe, Argo, Hollier, Hackett, Marion-Handly, Gem, Earl, Wolverine, and Kaiser-Darrin. The Ye Ole Carriage Shop in Spring Arbor displays over 60 antique and classic cars including 5 one-and-onlys and 16 made in Jackson including a 1902 JAXON. Today the auto parts industry remains one of the largest employers of skilled machine operators in Jackson County.

Birthplace of the Coney Island hot dog

In 1914 George Todoroff founded the first Coney Island restaurant and created his famous Coney Island hot dog topping. His Coney Island restaurant was located directly in front of the railroad station located on East Michigan Avenue and was open 24 hours. The restaurant proved to be a popular dining option for rail passengers, and over the course of 31 years Todoroff sold over 17 million Coney Island hot dogs. Today two Coney Island restaurants unaffiliated with Todoroffs sit in a building near the train station on East Michigan Avenue, Virginia Coney Island and Jackson Coney Island. In addition to this several area restaurants throughout the Jackson area offer their own version of the Coney Island hot dog, or just "coney" as referred to by local residents. Jackson's version of the coney dog is distinctly different from what one will find at Detroit area Coney Island restaurants as well as other Coney Island restaurants throughout Michigan and the Midwest. In 2014 Todoroff's Coney Island celebrated its centenary.

Michigan's first state prison (1838–1934)

Michigan's first state prison was approved by the legislature in 1838. A temporary wooden prison, enclosed by a fence of tamarack poles, was built on sixty acres donated for that purpose inside the city limits of Jackson. In 1839 the first thirty-five prisoners were received. A permanent prison was built three years later. Beginning in the 1850s under Warden H.F. Hatch a greater emphasis was placed on the education and rehabilitation of prisoners. By 1882, Michigan’s First State Prison (1838–1934) was the largest walled prison in the world. Within its walls, the factories and surrounding farms, manned by cheap inmate labor, turned Jackson into one of the leading industrial cities in the nation. After 1934 the inmates were housed in the new prison just north of Jackson's city limit in Blackman Township. The historic building is now used as an artists’ resident community, known as the Armory Arts Village. Tours of the original prison site on Cooper St. inside the city limits are available through the Original Jackson Historic Prison Tours. A closed fully intact cell block on the site of the modern functioning prison in Blackman Township is now open as the Cell Block 7 Prison Museum. Independently operated by the accredited Ella Sharp Museum, this is the only museum that you can visit a closed cell block on the grounds of an active prison for a self-guided tour.

Corset industry (1860s-1920s)

Jackson’s numerous railroad connections and the local invention of the duplex corset by Bortree helped make Jackson a hotbed of corset manufacturing. By the early 20th century, Jackson was home to as many as 16 manufacturers of women’s corsets, the majority of which were located on Cortland and Pearl streets. As elastics came into manufacturing and fashions changed, the corset industry quickly declined. The majority of the corset manufacturers in Jackson closed their doors by 1920. Only three of the original corset companies survived past the 1920s, surviving by changing to the production of therapeutic and prosthetic support garments and devices.

“The First” Moses Bortree founded the Bortree Corset Company, the first corset manufacturer outside of New York, in 1868 at 112 W. Cortland. Founded to make crinoline skirts and bustles (hoop skirts!), they began manufacturing Bortree’s newest creation, the Duplex Corset in 1875. Within five years, production rose from 50,000 to 300,000 corsets per year.

“The Biggest” Founded in 1884, the Jackson Corset Co. became the largest manufacturer of corset and waist garments in the US. Located at 209-215 W. Cortland St., they employed almost 300 people by 1895. Inside Right:

“Woman-Owned” The Coronet Corset Manufactory opened in 1880 at 146 W. Main St. and later moved to 131-133 W. Pearl St. Coronet had the distinction of being run by the first and only female president, Mrs. C.A. McGee, who invented and patented the Coronet Corset.

Sources: The History of Business and Industry in Jackson, Michigan by the Ella Sharp Museum, 1993 (available at Jackson District Library)and recent Jackson Citizen Patriot stories (available at http://www.mlive.com/jackson/).

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,363
1860 5,000 111.6%
1870 14,447 188.9%
1880 16,105 11.5%
1890 20,798 29.1%
1900 25,180 21.1%
1910 31,433 24.8%
1920 48,374 53.9%
1930 55,187 14.1%
1940 49,656 −10.0%
1950 51,088 2.9%
1960 50,720 −0.7%
1970 45,484 −10.3%
1980 39,739 −12.6%
1990 38,303 −3.6%
2000 36,316 −5.2%
2010 33,534 −7.7%
Est. 2015 33,133 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
2011 estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 33,534 people, 13,294 households, and 7,872 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,085.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,191.1/km2). There were 15,457 housing units at an average density of 1,422.0 per square mile (549.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.4% White, 20.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 5.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.3% of the population.

There were 13,294 households of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.7% were married couples living together, 22.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.8% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.14.

The median age in the city was 32.2 years. 28.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.7% were from 25 to 44; 23.1% were from 45 to 64; and 10.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 36,316 people, 14,210 households, and 8,668 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,274.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,264.4/km2). There were 15,241 housing units at an average density of 1,374.4 per square mile (530.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 73.87% White, 19.70% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.65% from other races, and 3.67% from two or more races. 4.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,210 households out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 19.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,294, and the median income for a family was $39,072. Males had a median income of $31,957 versus $23,817 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,230. About 15.2% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.9% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Jackson was a major railway hub from the late nineteenth century into the mid-twentieth century, and for over a century has been known as the crossroads of Michigan. Today the Michigan Central Railroad Jackson Depot is the nation's oldest train station in continuous active use, located on East Michigan Avenue. It was placed on the national register of historic places in 2002.

Major highways

Jackson is at the junction of I-94 and US 127.

  • I-94
  • BL I-94
  • US 127 is a north–south highway providing access northerly toward Lansing and Clare and southerly into Ohio. In the Jackson area, US 127 runs concurrently with I-94 for approximately four miles (6.4 km). It is freeway from Jackson northerly past Lansing, while the freeway south of Jackson quickly transitions to a two-lane, uncontrolled access highway.

  • BUS US 127 is a loop route running through downtown, connecting with US 127 at either end.
  • M-50 enters Jackson from the northwest, and exits southeast of town.
  • M-60 approaches Jackson from the southwest, ending at I-94 west of the city.
  • M-106 enters Jackson from the northeast and ends downtown.

Airport

Reynolds Field at Jackson County Airport is the main airport for the city. It hosted commercial service, primarily under the North Central Airlines banner, until 1984. With the "Blue Goose" aircraft now gone, the airport today operates as a general aviation facility. The Jackson Blues Festival is held there annually in June. The 700-acre airport, equipped with an ILS system, is located just south of I-94 ( Airport Road exit #137) and is home to over 100 general aviation aircraft ranging from single engine planes to business/corporate jet aircraft. The Airport is home to many businesses including the Jackson College Flight School, a restaurant, bar, and car rental.

Rail

See also: Jackson, Michigan (Amtrak station)

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Jackson, operating its Wolverine three times daily in each direction between Chicago and Pontiac, Michigan, via Detroit. Baggage cannot be checked at this location; however, up to two suitcases in addition to any "personal items" such as briefcases, purses, laptop bags, and infant equipment are allowed on board as carry-ons. Jackson and Lansing Railroad (JAIL) owns a line from Jackson to Lansing. Norfolk Southern (NS) owns a yard in Jackson as well.

Public transportation

Jackson Area Transportation Authority operates ten routes Monday through Saturday out of a central station located downtown. Greyhound Lines provides service from the JATA station. In addition to the publicly funded JATA, there are four private taxicab companies operating in town.

Parks and recreation

The City of Jackson Parks and Recreation Department includes:

  • 1 18-hole golf course
  • 1 driving range
  • 1 horseshoe court
  • 1 miniature golf course
  • 1 outdoor swimming pool
  • 2 community recreation centers
  • 2 outdoor volleyball courts
  • 3 baseball fields
  • 7 picnic shelters
  • 11 soccer fields
  • 12 outdoor basketball courts
  • 17 softball fields – 4 lighted, 13 unlighted
  • 14 fully equipped playground areas
  • 26 parks, totaling 645 acres

Some of the parks include:

  • Blackman Park: a small city park on Michigan Avenue in the middle of the city of Jackson, contains a fountain in the middle of the park honoring soldiers from the Civil War, a few benches and some foliage.
  • Bloomfield Park: a small park in the Jackson city limits on Michigan Avenue. There are picnic tables, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball/softball fields and a small playground.
  • Falling Waters Trail: 10.5-mile asphalt rail-trail follows the old rail bed of the former Michigan Central Railroad from Weatherwax Road in Jackson to the village of Concord. The trail has been dedicated as a Jackson County Park. The trail is mostly rural, with only a few road crossings. It also crosses the Lime Lake County Park (5501 Teft Road) where you can drop a line for fish. The trail continues as the Intercity Trail for another 3.4 miles from Weatherwax Road to Morrell Street.
  • Sparks Park and The Cascades (AKA Cascade Falls Park): one of the larger parks in the country. The park contains the Cascades Championship Golf Course, one with 18 holes and a short course with 9 hole, as well as two large play structures, basketball court, baseball and softball fields and a popular paved walking path. It is famous for the Cascade Falls, which is one of the largest man-made waterfalls in the world, with 6 immense fountains, 3 reflecting pools and 16 falls. The Cascades Manor House hosts wedding receptions and corporate events. The park is also home to the Cascades Ice Cream Co. which opens when there is usually still snow on the ground and stays open until October. Every late August, the annual Cascades Civil War Muster is held there. There are some man-made ponds and wetlands with many types of water fowl. In 2012, the urban fishery opened, stocked with blue gill and large mouth bass. This pond features informative signs, a large picnic gazebo and a fishing pier, accessible by wheelchair. Part of it is in the city of Jackson, but most is in Summit Township.
  • Dahlem Environmental Education Center: is a nature center located in Summit Township in the southern part of the county. It has an educational center, five miles of trails, many ponds, wetlands, and a forest area. A resurfaced 3/8 mile trail has been specially redesigned for visitors with limited mobility. Dahlem is also known to have one of the largest eastern bluebird trails.
  • Ella Sharp Park: the largest city park located on 562 acres along the banks of the southwest branch of the Grand River in the city of Jackson. It consists of a golf course, a miniature golf course, a golf learning center, flower gardens, miles of hiking & biking trails, a basketball court, soccer fields, softball fields,the Peter Hurst Planetarium, and the Ella Sharp Museum. The Ella Sharp Park is the host to the annual Jackson Hot Air Jubilee in July.
  • Loomis Park: a small park in the Jackson city limits. It consist of picnic tables, two outdoor basketball courts, two outdoor tennis courts, baseball/softball fields and a large wooden playground. The park also contains the Boos Recreation Center which hosts a variety of classes, events and workshops year-round.
  • Martin Luther King Center: a full service community center part of the Howard Charles Woods Recreational Complex, a small park in the Jackson city limits. It has picnic tables, a playground, two outdoor basketball courts, a tennis court, two baseball/softball fields and a recreation area with some trees and foliage.
  • William Nixon Memorial Park: a small park in the middle of the city of Jackson. It has skateboard ramps, a public water park, including two large water slides, a full-size inline hockey rink as well as four softball fields, playground equipment and a picnic shelter.

Sister cities

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, Jackson has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

Coordinates: 42°14′45″N 84°24′05″W / 42.24583°N 84.40139°W / 42.24583; -84.40139

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