About This Place
Lake Odessa is a village in Ionia County of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 2,272. It is located in the southern portion of the county in Odessa Township on the northeast shore of Jordan lake which is the county boundary with Barry County.
Since 1987, Lake Odessa has been named a "Tree City USA" by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Several brothers in the Russell family began settling here around 1839 and it became known as the "Russell Settlement". It later became known as "Bonanza" and a Post Office with that name was established in 1880. When the Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad (later the Pere Marquette Railroad) was built through the area in the 1880s, the village was moved about a mile southwest. At that time the name was changed to "Lake Odessa", derived from the nearby Jordan Lake and the name of Odessa Township, which had been established in 1846. The township had been named for the city of Odessa in Ukraine, reflecting an interest of one of the founders in Ukraine as well as a desire for a distinctive name. Investor Humphrey Wager purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) of farmland on Jordan Lake and platted the village in 1887. With the advantage of a station on the new railroad, the new village quickly eclipsed the former settlement at Bonanza. The village incorporated in 1889. Historian, author, and community leader John R. Waite has been credited for significant historical research and development for the city of Lake Odessa. John Is also recognized as the President of the Lake Odessa Historical Society and involvement with the Train Depot Museum and community church relations.