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Charlotte is in the central portion of the county. It is on the boundary between Eaton Township and Carmel Township. It is however politically independent of both. Interstate 69 serves the city, and connects it to the state capital of Lansing. It is located 21.5 miles from downtown Lansing.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.50 square miles of which 6.45 square miles is land and 0.05 square miles is water. Charlotte is situated on gently rolling prairie. The Battle Creek River has its northern bend in the south part of the city. Entering from the southeast and exiting to the southwest. The northern part of the city is part of the Thornapple River watershed.
According to the book “Michigan Place Names” by Walter Romig, the area that would become Charlotte was owned by the U.S. Government until 1832. This is when George Barnes purchased the land. Barnes in turn sold the land to Edmond B. Bostwick, a land speculator from New York City three years later in 1835. Bostwick then sold a portion of the land to H.I. Lawrence, Townsend Harris and Francis Cochran. These four men can be credited for developing the village. They named the village after Bostwick’s wife, Charlotte. Jonathan Searles became the first postmaster on March 17, 1838.
Charlotte was incorporated as a village on October 10, 1863. It was incorporated as a city on March 29, 1871. It was designated as the county seat when Eaton County was organized in 1837. However, due to a lack of population and buildings, county functions were conducted at Bellevue until 1840.