The Village of Pinckney was platted in August 1837 around a central Township square north of the mill and on the main trail. In spite of the lack of rail transportation and periodic economic ills, the town continued to grow. By 1859, most of the businesses were located along either side of Main and Howell Streets. By 1860, the rush to settle in southern Michigan subsided and life settled down to that of a rural agricultural community. Continuing attempts to secure a railroad finally succeeded when the Grand Trunk came through in 1883. This resulted in a minor business boom for Pinckney and spelled disaster for the other small towns, which were passed by.

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