Midland, Michigan, is located mid-section of the Michigan mitt, near the crook of the thumb.
Together, Saginaw, Midland and Bay City make up the area commonly referred to as the "Tri-Cities," although Midland is considered a micropolitan, according to U.S. Census data. As far as population numbers, Midland is the second largest of the three cities. Saginaw is the largest; Bay City is the smallest.
History of the Area
Midland has evolved from an Indian village to the "City of Science and Culture." If you visited Midland 150 years ago, you would have discovered that the riverbanks were lined with many Chippewa Indian Wikkiups, round huts made of bent saplings covered with skins and bark. Perhaps you would have come across an Indian hunting or fishing while others worked crops of corn, squash, gourds and pumpkins. The thousand acres now known as the Chippewa Nature Center originally were within the 6,000 acres retained by the Chippewa under the Treaty of Saginaw in the year 1819. Following the era of Indian hunters, fishermen and white fur-traders were farmers and loggers. The second largest sawmill in the Saginaw Valley was located in Midland. What is now Main Street began as a series of businesses along a dirt road constructed of timber cut from the surrounding forests.
Midland County was organized in 1850. By 1874, the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad extended through the heart of Midland to Averill, three miles west. The City of Midland was incorporated in 1887.
In 1890, a young man by the name of Herbert Henry Dow arrived in Midland and subsequently founded The Dow Chemical Company. His success enabled Midland to survive the end of the logging era and to grow to its present size.
A Center for Industrial Innovation
Now the heart of Michigan's technology basin, Midland is the global headquarters of two Fortune 500 companies, Dow Chemical and Dow Corning Corporation, and home to the Midland Cogeneration Venture, the largest gas-fueled, steam recovery cogeneration facility in North America. Midland has become a center for industrial innovation.
In addition to the strong economic base, Midland is also proud of its quality education programs. The Midland Public Schools were rated as one of the top 44 school districts in the country by Expansion Management magazine. Offering many opportunities for higher education, Midland is the home of Northwood University and is located within 20 minutes of Davenport University, Saginaw Valley State University, Central Michigan University and Delta College.
Residents and tourists alike enjoy Midland's abundance of cultural and recreational facilities. The Midland Center for the Arts, Herbert H. Dow Historical Museum, Dow Gardens, the Herbert D. Doan Midland County History Center, and the architecture of Alden B. Dow are several attractions which reflect the culture and heritage of Midland.
Midland's 30-mile-long, paved Pere Marquette Rail-Trail, the Midland Community Tennis Center, a soccer complex, a brand-new 107,000-square-foot Civic Arena with three skating rinks, a Community Center, 72 different parks and the Emerson Park and Redcoat softball complexes provide residents with many recreational opportunities.
Midland's K-12 public and private school systems enjoy a long-standing tradition of excellence. Graduation rates at the five local public high schools are above the statewide rate and the Midland Public Schools teachers consistently meet the state's guidelines as “highly qualified.” In fact, Expansion Management magazine recently rated Midland Public Schools in the top 17% of school districts nationwide. Several excellent colleges and universities are located within a 20-mile radius of Midland including Delta College, Northwood University, Davenport University, Saginaw Valley State University and Central Michigan University.
City Recreational Facilities