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Milan is a city in Monroe and Washtenaw counties in Michigan. The population was 5,836 at the 2010 census. About 60% of the city’s area and 75% of its residents are located on the Washtenaw County side adjacent to York Township in Washtenaw County. While 40% percent of the city’s area and 25% of its residents are located on the Monroe County side adjacent to Milan Township.
The city was founded in 1831 by John Marvin, Bethuel Hack, and Harmon Allen. Hack was the first postmaster. He named the community “Farmer” since everyone there was a farmer. Drug store owner Henry Tolan took over as postmaster and renamed the community “Tolanville” after himself. Next, David Woodard became the post master, with the post office in his flour mill. He renamed the community “Woodard’s Mills.” The postmaster in Washington D.C. noticed the confusion caused by this swift change in names and decreed that it would henceforth be called “Milan” after the neighboring Milan Township. French settlers in the area named the township “Milan”. This was because they once hoped to produce grapes and wine in the area. At that time Italian city by that name seemed appropriate, given Italy’s reputation for wine-making. The river going through Milan and Milan township is the Saline River, part of the River Raisin watershed. “River Raisin” refers to Raisin, the French word for grape. Small wild grapes were growing on the banks of the river, so early French settlers in the Monroe area hoped that this area would be wine country. Just southeast of Milan, along Plank road, is an old community by the name of “Grape” which is a reflection of this desire to create a wine producing area. Milan became a village in 1885. It continued as a village until 1967, when it was incorporated as a city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.40 square miles. out of that, 3.32 square miles is land and 0.08 square miles is water. Milan is located 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Ann Arbor and 37 miles northwest of Toledo.
Home to one of the oldest family owned and operated automobile dealerships in Michigan, Schultz Motors was established in 1945 and is currently operated by the third generation of Schultz family members. The original dealership building still stands as the current Fire Station. Schultz Bottled Gas is the oldest continuously family-owned retail business in Milan and has been family owned and operated 1939-2015. The families that own Schultz Motors and Schultz Bottled Gas are entirely different and not related to each other.