LANSING | Village residents on Sunday will celebrate the history of their community and also prepare a display to give future residents a feel for what life is like in Lansing these days.
Sunday is the day that village officials and the Lansing Chamber of Commerce are preparing a birthday celebration for Lansing, which was incorporated on March 4, 1893.
“We’re off by a day, but we felt it important to celebrate as close to the actual date as possible,” said Village President Norm Abbott. “It’s 120 years, we think that’s a significant number.”
Some 120 years later, the village has grown significantly from the community of a couple of thousand people named for its postmaster, Henry Lansing, whose brother, John, laid out the village’s original land plot.
Sunday ceremonies will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the American Legion hall at Ridge Road and Henry Street. A bus tour of downtown Lansing beginning at noon will take place. Historian Paul Schultz will provide the tour, beginning at Gayety’s Chocolates and Ice Cream, 3306 Ridge Road.
“People will be able to see our local landmarks, or places where important things happened even if the actual structures aren’t there anymore,” Abbott said.
There will be a reading that day of the original document of incorporation that was approved 120 years ago, with Village Trustee Mikal Stole and Lansing Historical Society Vice President Carrie Steinweg doing the honors while wearing period costumes.
Others also will wear 19th century styles of clothing, although Abbott said he declined to do so even though he will partake in the ceremonies.
There also will be a photo booth for people visiting the ceremony who wish to have their photographs taken in an old-fashioned style.
Also giving a historic feel to the event will be a tribute to the U.S. military, depicting re-enactors wearing the uniforms of soldiers from every military conflict in which Lansing residents would have participated, from the Spanish-American and two World Wars to the more recent conflicts in Iran and Afghanistan.
The Chamber of Commerce is doing its part to celebrate the event. The chamber’s executive director, Renee Hale, said the group will arrange for more than 100 gold bows to be tied to light poles and trees along the Ridge Road downtown business district.
But Sunday will also see a step ahead to the future, as Lan-Oak Park District officials are arranging for a time capsule showing contemporary life in Lansing.
If things go as planned, that capsule will be sealed Sunday and will not be opened again until March 4, 2043, which would be the 150th anniversary of Lansing’s incorporation.