Village of St. Charles

A bit of History....

In 1849 Hiram Davis settled on a pleasant plot which came to be known as "The Forks of the Bad River" and later just "The Forks".  Davis was the first white man to permanently settle in the area which was to become St. Charles.  He built the first home and helped cut a road through to Chesaning enabling more settlers to move into the area.

Although Davis was the first actual settler, in 1848 Charles S. Kimberly had made a land purchase from the U. S. government which was to play a major role in the development of St. Charles.  Kimberly built a store and began business in the settlement.  Although he actually only lived in the village from 1863 to 1868, he had a great understanding and sympathy for his fellowman.  He became endeared to the populace, and out of respect and love for him the people decided to name their town St. Charles.

The Township was organized in 1853, the same year the big log hotel was built.

Since the location on Beaver Creek was not suitable for the town due to high water, another plotting was made west of Beaver Creek and the north branch of the Bad River, and here the village growth began.

The first school marm, Miss Joslin, lasted only three weeks and was followed by C.J.E. Bixby in 1855.

Adventists erected the first church in 1867.

The village was incorporated in 1869 and the first officers were:  George C. Goodrich, Marshal; Frank Oliver, Postmaster; and James McCauly, Undertaker.  The first cemetery was located on the west side of North Street.

Early street lights in the village were gasoline lights placed on posts about eight feet high and located along the streets.  Angel of Light was the name of the first newspaper, founded and edited by Daniel Griggs in 1877.

Basic modes of transportation up until 1867-68 were foot, horse, oxen, and boats.  Railroad service began in 1867 and Charles M. Butterfield was the first telegraph operator and ticket agent.

During the late 1800's several saw mills were in operation in St. Charles. However, the late 1880's saw the lumber industry steadily decline so that it was with great excitement and thanksgiving that the news of the discovery of coal came.  Alonzo Adams, a well driller, made the find.  The Somers Coal Company of Cleveland was the first large mining company to operate in St. Charles with eight to ten mines.  Fifteen years later they sold their interests to Robert Gage Coal Company.

Many families moved to St. Charles during the mining era.  The heyday of the mines was from 1914 to the 1920's. The Swan Creek Mine was the last in the state.  It opened as a co-operative in 1941, producing 100 tons a day until it closed in 1949.


A railroad history entitled Along the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail can be found here.


Annual Water Quality Analysis (Consumer Confidence Report)

St. Charles Area Recreation
Plan for 2013-2017

Master Plan 2010 - 2020

Hartley Outdoor Education Center

Community State Bank

Mercantile Bank-St. Charles Branch

Haunted House

The Saginaw Valley (information about Saginaw, Bay & Midland Counties)

Mid-Michigan Waste

Mosquito Control

The Village of St. Charles is earth-friendly, and offers weekly recycling for all Village residents.  Pickup is on Friday mornings during regular refuse pickup.  Recycling bins should be out by 7:00 a.m. on pickup day, but not before 7:00 p.m. the night before.  Following is a guide detailing the items that can be recycled and how they should be prepared for pickup.

Sorting Eliminated

Plastics Expanded

Bins Not Required


New Guidelines January 1, 2015




Any problems or complaints arising from material (yard waste, trash, or recycling) not being picked up should be called to the attention of Mid-Michigan Waste Authority by calling 989-781-9555 or visit their website at