Spring Arbor is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Jackson County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population of the CDP was 2,881 at the 2010 census, up from 2,188 at the 2000 census. The CDP is located within Spring Arbor Township. Spring Arbor is the home of Spring Arbor University, a liberal arts university affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. Potawatomi Native Americans resided in present-day Spring Arbor in three known aboriginal villages until their removal to reservations near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Organized by Territorial Council in 1832, Spring Arbor Township has continued to exist with its present boundaries since 1837. Spring Arbor was first spelled Spring Arbour on all early maps.
During the mid-19th century, a Village of Spring Arbour had been planned along what is now the intersection of Cross and Hammond roads in the southwest portion of the township. The development of such a village began but ended with the departure of the Free Will Baptists’ seminary to what is now Hillsdale College. Remnants of this plot are clearly visible on an aerial view of the area: a portion of Matthews Road continues along a street directed at the intersections of Cross and Hammond. Falling Waters Park can be found at this former establishment with historical information about the area including the Potawatomi village, the founding of the village of Spring Arbor, the 1835 founding of what would eventually become Albion College.
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