Tecumseh is a small town of about 9,000 people1 nestled in the south-eastern corner of Michigan, along M-52 and M-50. Located in Lenawee County, you can find it fairly near to Adrian, the largest city in the county and itself not all that big. in terms of major cities, Tecumseh is situated in the (very) general area of Ann Arbor. Tecumseh itself is on first glance fairly unremarkable. However, it has a few interesting qualities.
Tecumseh - Town of History?
Founded by Musgrove Evans in the mid-1800s, Tecumseh was the first city established in Lenawee County - in fact, it established the county! Seeking to give his settlement the county seat and primary control over governing a very large portion of the state (from Monroe County all the way west to Lake Michigan), Evans and his co-founders first registered the new county, then the township, and finally the city (instead of the other way around, as was usual). The town maintained its dominant position until nearby Adrian later usurped the county seat; this has never been forgotten by either Adrian or Tecumseh.
In addition to a role in the early years of the state, some interesting historical facts are associated with the town. For example:
It is the site of the first house built in Lenawee County (by Musgrove Evans).
Tecumseh is the burial site of General Custer's horse, a friend of his from Tecumseh being bequeathed the horse in the General's will.
For a time, Tecumseh had the most millionaires per capita of any city in the United States. This is mainly due to Tecumseh Products, an extremely successful local company. To this day, the general income of people living in Tecumseh averages slightly higher than normal.
Other Aspects of Tecumseh
Though a town with amazing ties to history for its small size and reputation, Tecumseh has little else to offer the tourist. For those interested in 'small-town USA' it would be of some interest; the older parts of town practically serve to define the word 'quaint', and the downtown area has several unique local businesses, including Basil Boys, a small Italian restaurant known for its breadsticks, and The Chocolate Vault, a unique candy store in the old bank and using the old vault as a refrigerator.
Outside of these considerations, Tecumseh serves best as a way-station for the road traveller. The single hotel, the Tecumseh Inn, provides a fair quality of shelter, and the town is not without such modern amenities such as fast-food restaurants, a Busch's Value Land grocery store, and a Pamida2 with Wal-Mart rumoured to be on the way.
Despite its historical footnotes, Tecumseh is in every way a small town. Visitors remark on how quaint it is, and how it seems to have preserved the feel of the ideal small town. Its inhabitants, especially the younger ones, are apt to complain about those same qualities. While of no special interest to the average tourist, it offers a convenient way-station for the Michigan traveller, and a generally quiet atmosphere.