More information about the history of Lyons Township can be found at the Lyons Township District Library. The following notes (except as indicated) are found in a local history Lyons/Muir, Michigan, published in the 1970s and available at the library. The local historical society and museum is also headquartered in downtown Lyons.

Lyons Township

"The Township of Lyons, organized as Maple Township, is located on the eastern tier of townships in Ionia County; bounded on the north by North Plains; east by Dallas, Clinton County; south by Portland and west by Ionia. In 1837, when the township was organized, it embraced four surveyed townships and the first meeting was held in Lyons at the home of William Hunt. Not until 1840 was the name of the township changed from Maple to Lyons and the village bearing that name is the township seat.

"Settlers were lured to this valley by the rolling hills, lush with vegetation; the broad, fertile prairies and the sparkling river that ran with enough force to promise water power for mills and with depth enough for navigation."


"In [1830], William Hunt set up a trading post on the west bank of the river and began to traffic with the Indians for furs and skins in return for whiskey, guns, blankets, etc. ...In 1836, Lucius Lyon platted the land where the village now stands."

"The 1835 Michigan Constitution provided that the seat of government for this state shall be located at Detroit, or at such other place or places as may be prescribed by law, until the year 1847, when it shall be permanently located by the legislature."

"The bill providing for the relocation of the state capital was introduced on January 6, 1847. Immediately a bitter battle ensued. ... The Village of Lyons was such a strong contender for the designation as capital that it encouraged a Detroit area legislator to howl, 'What! Shall we take the capital from a large and beautiful city and stick it down in the woods and mud on the banks of the Grand River, amid choking miasma, where the howl of wolves and the hissing of massuagas and groans of bullfrogs resound to the hammer of the woodpecker and the solitary note of the nightingale!'"


"The Village of Muir proper was founded in 1854 by Ambrose L. Soule, Benjamin Soule, Judge Robinson and Byron Robinson. These four laid out the town and erected a saw mill. they owned great timber holdings, further north, as well as in the Muir vicinity. This raw lumber they sent down Fish Creek to the Maple and thence to the Grand, to get it into the steam-operated mill at Muir, and many thousands of feet of lumber were cut there. There was at one time eight mills in the village running day and night and it was a wide-open lumbering town. That was in the early '70's when the peak of the lumbering there was reached. It is recalled, though not boastfully by old residents of the village, that when the milling business was at its height there were 16 saloons in operation there to supply the gigantic thirst of the lumbering men. At one time, shortly after the lumbering days, Muir boasted a washing machine factory and a barrel and stave factory."


Like many towns in the area, Pewamo sprung up because of the expansion of the railroad across Michigan. The Detroit and Milwaukee railroad was moving westward in 1857. The chief engineer, Robert G. Higham decided to build a station near Stoney Creek in which there was an abundance of sturgeon. And so started a village. Higham purchased the land along with a group of men including W.C. Blanchard and J.C. Blanchard. Officially the land they purchased was the S 1/2 of section 12 and N 1/2 of section 13 in Lyons township. The land was surveyed in 1857, and the plots were recorded in 1859. Pewamo was born.

The name was suggested by J.C. Blanchard. Blanchard who had hunted with an Native American chief by the name of Pewamo along the Grand River. Literally the name Pewamo means "one who scattered in many parts a thing he struck." (information from a Michigan State University web page by Doug Klein which on Feb. 12, 2014 was found to be no longer available.)