Caro

Caro

Caro, Annibale, 1507-66, Italian poet, friend of Cellini, Varchi, and Bembo. He is best known for his translation of the Aeneid; for his poems in praise of opposing royal houses; and for his letters, which were among the finest of his age.
Caro or Karo, Joseph ben Ephraim, 1488-1575, eminent Jewish codifier of law, b. Toledo, Spain. He left Spain as a child when the Jews were expelled (1492) and finally settled in Safed, Palestine. His literary works rank among the masterpieces of rabbinical literature. Chief among them are the Bet Yosef [house of Joseph] and Shulhan Aruk [the table set], parts of which are still used as the authoritative code for Orthodox religious and legal disputes. This code owes its fame and popularity as much to the opposition it aroused and the many commentaries it inspired as it does to its merits. Caro was also a noted kabbalist (see kabbalah) who claimed to have had heavenly visitations. He recorded much of this in a diary later edited to appear as a commentary on the Pentateuch (Maggid Mesharim, 1646).

See study by R. J. Werblowsky (1962).

Caro is a village in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 4,145 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Tuscola County. Caro is located northeast of Flint and east of Saginaw in The Thumb region of Michigan. Caro is the largest community in The Thumb's tri-county region, based on both population and geographical size; it is an industrial and commercial center for the region as well.

Native People, the Chippewa and Ottawa, knew Caro both as the Indianfields and High Bank. The early English names for it were Podunk, Centerville, and Caro. Early on, Indianfields, or High Bank, was an Indian garden filled with a large stock of potates, corn, and squash. The area around Caro has always been known for its cultivated fields. William Sherman, a shantyboy who worked in the local lumber woods, advertised the area to his father, Samuel, who settled here in 1852. In 1859 the town's first store and second hotel was built by William Sherman and called the Centerville House because the building and community, which was growing, were at the center of Tuscola County. A state road was being installed in front of the hotel during this time connecting Watrousville to the west with Podunk. The community was soon named Centerville after the store and hotel. In 1868 the name Cairo was coined, also, by William Sherman for the small hamlet, which was shortened to Caro. Another town in Michigan was also using the name Centerville and kept that name. William Sherman was a student of Egyptian history. Caro, Michigan, soon, became the county seat of Tuscola County. Latin "cola" means a farm colony. The word is related to "colline" meaning a small hill. The Egyptian city Cairo was named for Mars, or Aries, the God of War and Agriculture. The name Cairo is connected with a quay or high bank near a river, and indeed Caro, Michigan, lies along the high bank of Michigan's Cass River.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km²), of which, 2.4 square miles (6.1 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.84%) is water.

Transportation

Michigan highways

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,145 people, 1,738 households, and 1,042 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,746.0 per square mile (675.3/km²). There were 1,899 housing units at an average density of 799.9/sq mi (309.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 94.62% White, 0.55% African American, 1.01% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.95% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.08% of the population.

There were 1,738 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the village the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 82.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.8 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $31,226, and the median income for a family was $39,432. Males had a median income of $36,307 versus $25,833 for females. The per capita income for the village was $17,152. About 5.1% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

Although Caro residents have long believed Caro to be the most populous village in the state of Michigan, the 2000 Census ranks it the 7th most populous. Although, Caro is ranked as the largest village county seat in Michigan.

According to the US Census, the 48723 zip code has 12,794 people residing within its bounderies. Therefore, Caro was recently named a Small Urban Cluster by the US Census due to Caro's village population, its immediate and surrounding population, and due to the fact Caro has an increasing amount of traffic and urbanization occurring.

Village traditions

Caro is the home of the Tuscola County Pumpkin Festival, an October tradition which was started in 1981 by a small group of local residents. Annually, the four-day festival attracts approximately 50,000 visitors. Local farmers grow pumpkins that are delivered to primary school youth who decorate the pumpkins and submit them for display on the courthouse lawn where they are judged in one of five competitive categories. In addition, the Pumpkin Festival Royal Court is selected based on the largest pumpkins grown.

The festivities begin each year with the annual Lip-Sync contest and various sports tournaments that have included 3-on-3 basketball, walleyball, tennis, and golf. The festival culminates with the Grand Parade. In 2003, nearly 200 units participated in the parade, including 14 marching bands from across the state of Michigan, local merchants, churches, other organizations and Miss Michigan.

In late summer, Caro also hosts the Cars and Crafts Weekend. State Street, the main road through town, is closed between Frank Street and the courthouse building. Local artisans sell handcrafted goods and many merchants sport sidewalk sales. Additionally, residents show-off historic automobiles.

In late July/early August, Caro hosts the Tuscola County Fair at the county fairgrounds. The fair has been a county tradition for over 100 years and includes games and rides, awards for skilled crafts and animal rearing, and grandstand events. Grandstand events include the tractor pull, harness racing, a rodeo, and a demolition derby.

Caro industry

Caro is the home of one of Pioneer Sugar Company's longest continually operating facilities. Local sugarbeet farmers retain joint ownership of the plant.

Recently, Michigan Ethanol, a partner of Broin Companies, opened a corn ethanol production facility in southwest Caro.

The Caro Center, a mental health facility operated by the State of Michigan, originally opened as a support center for individuals with epilepsy and operated as a self-supportive community, producing its own vegetables and maintaing live stock. Following, it converted to an institution for the developmentally disabled, then a home for the mentally impaired, and now operates as a facility for forensic patients.

The former Camp Tuscola, which was a state correctional facility until 2005, is now a Residential ReEntry Program.

Agriculture

Caro is a rural community that supports many cash-crop farms just outside the village limits. Local farmers harvest crops that include sugarbeets, corn, wheat, dry beans and soy beans. Recently, the agriculture of the area has seen an increase in the number of organically grown crops. Most of the farms are family-owned and operated and vary in size from couple hundred acres to 3,000 plus acres.

Caro in the News

Although it is a very small town, Caro has had some national media attention.

On November 12, 2001, 17-year old Chris Buschbacher, armed with a .22-caliber rifle and a 20-gauge shotgun, took one teacher and one student hostage at the Caro Learning Center before killing himself.

In August 2006, three men were arrested in Caro after 1,000 cell phones were found in their van. A Wal-Mart employee grew suspicious when the three men of Arab descent purchased 80 prepaid cell phones. Also found in the van was video and pictures of the Mackinac Bridge. And because of this, they were believed to be involved in a terrorist activity. When the case went to court, it was found that the men were innocent.

Terry Nichols had ties to the Thumb area. One of the co-founders of his brother's defense funds was from Caro. (Gillman, 1995)

Caro today

Caro has worked hard to maintain a small, hometown feel while striving to attract a more diverse population of visitors and residents. However, as large commercial retailers continue to move into the village, including big-box stores like Wal-Mart, locally owned businesses have had difficulty continuing operations.

On July 23, 2007 Governor Jennifer Granholm announced Caro as a community chosen by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to take part in the Blueprints for Downtowns program. Caro will receive a comprehensive, market-driven strategy toward developing an action-oriented downtown that will result in economic growth, job creation and private investments. The Blueprints for Downtowns award were also received by the communities of Clio and Ypsilanti. Scottville received a similar award to take part in the Cool Cities Michigan Main Street program.

References

Further reading

External links

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