VICKSBURG, Mich. (WOOD) — In addition to celebrating its 150th anniversary, the village of Vicksburg’s entire district has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the National Parks Service, the National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s historic places that are worth preserving. Since beginning discussions as early as 2015, the village submitted a formal nomination earlier this year.
“Part of the draw for our community is our historical parks, our historical buildings,” said Village President Pro Tempore Carl Keller. “The lake we have here in town, the old paper mill we have that is coming back to life… This being added to it is the cherry on top of everything.”
Some of the more than 3,500 residents of Vicksburg live in the historic district, which includes the entire downtown and surrounding areas. It totals 176 properties, and follows the boundaries on the oldest known maps of the area.
According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, historic integrity, with thorough research and presentation, is one of the key requirements to be at least considered as a candidate for the register. Keller says you don’t have to look far to see that in the village, where preservation and modernization go hand-in-hand.
“A lot of the homes in the area have continued their historical appeal over the years. There haven’t been any drastic changes,” Keller explained. “We had grants to do façade upgrades and that … but they have to be within the framework of being historical so that you don’t make massive modern changes.”
“There is a diverse range of architecture in the historic buildings in Vicksburg and it’s clear that people here take pride in their history and architecture,” Cheri Szcodronski, a historical consultant with Firefly Preservation Consulting, said in a press release. “Village leadership, residents, and business owners were supportive of the historic district designation and eager to share the history of this place.”
“To be on the National Register is not only a point of pride but a tool for economic and community development. This is a wonderful designation for Vicksburg and a great way to celebrate its local history,” Martha MacFarlane-Faes, deputy state historical preservation officer, said in a press release.