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Why Marshall has a Governor's Mansion
In the early 1830’s and 1840’s there was much discussion about Marshall becoming the capital of Michigan. These expectations were based on certain arrangements by those in power whereby certain towns along the Old Territorial Road would each receive the following: Ann Arbor was to get the university, Jackson the prison and Marshall the capitol. A large area was on the south side of town that was determined to be the best location for the anticipated state capitol.
So sure was the town of it’s selection that an area was named Capitol Square and a Governor’s Mansion built. Lots in this section of town were sold for fantastic prices and it was expected that the Capitol would face Marshall Avenue in a location where the B.E. Henry Building is now located.
After a series of legislative votes, Marshall lost its bid for the state capitol to the village of Lyons by one vote. When certain politicians were not happy with the Lyons decision another series of votes were taken. Finally, the winning site was an undeveloped area in the central part of the state, which eventually became the city of Lansing.