Gladwin County, Michigan

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Gladwin County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 26,023. The county seat is Gladwin[1].



Before there was Gladwin County

Gladwin County is a headwaters area. Most of the water that flows out of the county via the Tittabawasee river comes from Gladwin County, only a very small portion flows in from Clare or Roscommon counties. Native Americans crossed this area, and even spent summers here where the fishing was good and summer berries plentiful.

Research is underway to determine the importance of an ancient trail that was noted by the crew of the 1839 re-survey of Township 17 north Range 2 west, which later became Beaverton Township. The eastern terminus of the "Muskegon River Trail" was plotted at the confluence of the three branches of the Tobacco (Assa-mo-quoi-Sepe) River in the northwest corner of Section 12. It is possible that an early cross-country route from Saginaw Bay to Lake Michigan proceeded up the Saginaw, Tittabawasee and Tobacco Rivers to approximately the point west across Ross Lake from the Beaverton City Cemetery. At that point the canoes would be portaged along the trail to the Muskegon river, then floated down to Lake Michigan.

Many native artifacts have been found along that route that attest to seasonal occupation, but so far no signs have been found to indicate any permanent, year-around settlement.

Europeans Arrive

The earliest documented visitors to the area that later became Gladwin County were the surveyors who platted that land according to the provisions of the Northwest Ordinance. Most of the early work was completed during the 1830s. Unfortunately, parts of the first survey were actually done in a bar room in Saginaw. The surveyors had predicted it would be centuries before anyone would move to such a God-forsaken, mosquito-infested swamp.

The earliest census to mention residents in the area was in 1860.

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