Belleville is a city in Wayne County in the state of Michigan. The population was 3,991 at the 2010 census.As a western suburb of Metro Detroit, Belleville is 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Ann Arbor and 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Detroit. Belleville is located just south of Interstate 94 and is surrounded by Van Buren Township. Belleville Lake is the principal geographic feature, and the city is also home to the National Strawberry Festival. The community was named in honor of landowner James Bell by adroitly choosing the French word for “beautiful town”. The hamlet was platted in 1847 with the main thoroughfares still used today designated Main, Liberty, and High Street.
About 1881, the Belleville depot on the Detroit line of the Wabash Railroad began serving travelers from across the region and the country. Belleville was established as a village in 1905, when its governance separated from Van Buren Township by an act of the State Legislature. Located on the Huron River which was a natural trade route, the village had long been a thriving center for lumber businesses with saw mills located along the shores of the river. The large expanses of woodlands were removed to make way for farmland, industry and increasing population. To generate more electrical power in the region, in early 1926 the Detroit Edison Company built the French Landing Dam on the river east of Belleville, thereby creating Belleville Lake.
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