Fremont, Michigan

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Fremont is a city in Newaygo County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 4,224 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

The first inhabitants of the Fremont area were native Americans. A group of settlers led by Daniel Weaver first settled in the area in 1855. The Weaver homestead served as the first post office and public school in the area. Shortly after the arrival of this group, in November 1855, Fremont Township was established and named in honor of John C. Fremont, western explorer and Republican Party candidate for United States President. Weaver and his fellow settlers cleared the dense timber from the area in order to farm. Early in the 1870s, Dutch immigrant families began moving to the Fremont area from Holland and Muskegon. As a result, Fremont continues to recognize some of its early Dutch heritage in local festivals and pageants.

Due to the rich stands of virgin timber in the area, lumbering soon became a major industry in the town. To facilitate this emerging local industry, a railroad spur was completed, linking Fremont to the national railroad network. The growth of the lumbering industry was slowed in the 1860s by the American Civil War. In 1871, Fremont experienced a major forest fire with extensive damage to the area, especially the lumber mills, but the area was able to rebuild and even supplied some of the lumber that helped to rebuild Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1876.

Also in the mid 1870s the Gerber family had moved to Fremont and established a tannery, which became a major industry. In the 1890s, the lumbering industry, the source of a major raw material for tanning, ran out of trees and the Gerber family turned to processing area farm produce and formed the Fremont Canning Company. In 1928 the Gerber canning plant started to manufacture baby foods. The Fremont Canning Company soon became Gerber Products Company and Fremont became the home of the world's best known baby food. Gerber now controls over 80% of the U.S. baby food market. The Gerber Fremont plant produces baby food for over 20 foreign countries.

Fremont was also central to the plot of the 1966 Eurospy spy film, Secret Agent Super Dragon which was later featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K).

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles (11.9 km²), of which, 3.3 square miles (8.6 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.3 km²) of it (27.77%) is water.

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