Mikado, Michigan

loonsEstablished by Daniel D. Bruce, who was born in King Center, Ontario, Canada in 1850, the son of Scottish emigrants. Once he found that a railroad ran west of Greenbush, he purchased land from the U.S. Government and built a hotel. The land he purchased was known as “West Greenbush.” After obtaining a train stop from railroad officials, Bruce wrote the Postmaster General in Washington D.C. suggesting the name “Bruce Crossing” for the newly founded village. Postal authorities informed him that a town of that name already existed in the Upper Peninsula. It was the assistant Postmaster General who named the town Mikado because he recently enjoyed the Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta “The Mikado.” However, the translation was lost as locals pronounce it “My Kay Doe.” But that is how the town, founded by a Scotsman in 1886, came to have a Japanese name!

Today Mikado has a rural population just over 1,000 with its own volunteer fire department with over 20 members. It is a zoned double-township and adopted its Master Plan in 2002. Mikado Township has 13 bridges. It has a township hall known as the Mikado Civic Center, complete with an Independent League ball field located behind the building. There are also two Little League/softball fields located at the Mikado Recreation Area site by Barlow Road.