Settling Haslett

The Haslett we now know is located in mid-Michigan just East of East Lansing. It resides in Ingham county and is often times blended with the larger neighboring city, Okemos.

A map of Haslett.
A map of Haslett.

Haslett was first settled because of the lake located in the area known as Pine Lake. The lake brought in several Indians. The first Indians to settle here were the Chippewa Indians, and more specifically, Chief Okemos. The date that the Indians first settled is unknown to our history but it is estimated to be around the early 1800’s. Eventually the first white man settled in the tiny village in 1836. His name was Obed Marshall. Obed’s unnamed brother also traveled with him and they were very wealthy men. The two bargained for the land with the Indians and Obed eventually bought 160 acres of land south of Pine Lake. Eventually the Marshall brothers brought in more people and the white man started to take over the land while the Indians moved more North towards the land we now know as Okemos.

Above is the well known Chief Okemos. This is a well known photo of him that was taken in 1850.
Above is the well known Chief Okemos. This is a photo of him that was taken in 1850.

As the territory progressed, Haslett became a place that most people wanted to travel to in their spare time. Part of this had to do with conveinence, but also because of tourism. Several┬ápeople traveled to Haslett to visit because it was easy access to Chicago because of the railway that ran right through Haslett from Flint. Many settlers would often stop in Haslett on their way one way or the other and would sometimes stay for good. Pine Lake also brought in a lot of tourism, which influenced people to stay. Settlers felt that they could live off of the water. The lake was described as “clean and shallow” and many people were keen on fishing and relaxing in the lake.

As the village progressed it still had no known name. James Haslett was a prominent leader in the summer camps that Haslett would put on from an early start to the village. He and his wife (Sarah) were such influential people that eventually the village was named after him, or he named the village after himself. It is unclear which situation is the case.

This is a picture of what Pine Lake looked like in the early 1800's.
This is a picture of what Pine Lake looked like in the early 1800’s.