In 1872 Almon Ruggles and Germain St. John platted the village of Highland Centre beside the new railroad. They named two streets after themselves, while a third honored late Governor Henry H. Crapo. The Crapo family was active in the Flint & Pere Marquette, which had helped complete the Holly, Wayne & Monroe Railway through Highland in 1871. The village grew quickly and on January 1, 1874, the Spring Mills post office was relocated here and renamed Highland Station.
In 1880 John B. Crouse and Henry A. Tremaine built the Highland Pickle Works on Livingston Road just east of the tracks, while in 1881 Mary Ann Needham began making pickles at her home at the north end of town. Her business became the Domestic Pickle Works, later owned by her son Charles E. Needham. Another son, William Needham, Jr. started producing his own "U-Need-Um" brand pickles in the early 1910's. While the Highland Pickle Works burned in 1896, the Needham family made pickles until the 1960's.
In 1882 Crouse platted an addition southwest of the original village. McPherson and Clark streets were named for Highland pioneer families. King Street honored Thomas F. King, manager of the Highland Pickle Works, while John Street was named for Crouse and his son.
By 1900 Highland Station had a township hall, depot, elevator, stockyard, pickle works, woodworking mill, hotels, stores, churches and a school. Construction of M-59 in 1936 bypassed the village to the north, sparing the original downtown. The post office was renamed simply Highland in 1903, but Highland Station is still used to refer to the historic portion of the village.