Potterville is a city in Eaton County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,617 at the 2010 census. Potterville is named after Linus Potter, who settled his family in the area in November, 1844. Linus was elected supervisor of Benton Township in 1846. In 1830, Linus and his wife Diantha came from Cayuga County, New York, by way of the Erie Canal, to Buffalo and then by way of Lake Erie steamboat to Detroit. From there, Linus and Diantha walked to Plymouth, Michigan, a journey of about thirty miles, before walking on to Saline. The pair carried their three-year-old son, George, and their infant daughter, Louisa.Potterville incorporated as a village within Benton Township in 1881, and as a city in 1962 withdrawing it completely from the township.
On July 6, 1994, a lightning strike at Fox Park injured 22 beach-goers. The lightning struck the water and “walked up the beach.”A rare Michigan earthquake on September 2, 1994, had its epicenter just east of the city. The shock had a body wave magnitude of 3.5 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of V (Moderate). It could be felt through most of Mid-Michigan.The city experienced a massive train derailment of 35 Canadian National railroad cars over Memorial Day weekend 2002. Due to leaking propane from the cars, the entire city was evacuated. The cause of the derailment was found to have been a faulty rail. A second Canadian National train derailment occurred in May 2006, though no evacuation was necessary.
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