Clare, Gladwin County and Surrounding Areas
Clare County is located a little northeast of the middle of Michigan's lower peninsula. It was organized in 1840, with Farwell as the county seat. At that time, its name was Kaykee, after Chippewa Indian Chief Pigeon Hawk , who signed the Treaty of 1826. In 1843, Irish immigrants renamed it after a county in their homeland. The first permanent community to settle here was in Dover in Grant Township, started by William Crawford, a Civil War veteran. The county grew rapidly in the 1850's and 60's due to its huge white pine forests and strategic position for floating lumber both east and west to Saginaw (down the Tobacco River) and Muskegon (down the Muskegon River). The rapid growth produced such lawlessness in the lumber camps and even local government that citizens burned down the courthouse in Farwell in 1877 and moved the county seat to Harrison for a fresh start.
Today, Clare county remains relatively rural, with a population of about 30,000. The area has been a paradise for sportsmen and fishermen, with many lakes, streams and woods ripe with fish and game. Places like Lake George and Lake Station have developed into popular resort areas, dotted with many summer cottages. Its largest community is Clare, where a diverse economic base consisting of small manufacturing and agriculture continues to develop.
Gladwin County is located in the central - northeastern section of Michigan's lower peninsula.
This county was named in 1831 for British Major Henry Gladwin of Fort Detroit who led the only fort in the midwest to withstand the assaults of Chief Pontiac's 5-month siege in 1763, when Pontiac resisted the settlement of Michigan and Ohio.
The first settlers to the area were Marvel Secord and his family who in 1861 canoed up the Tittabawassee River to the mouth of the Sugar River, just a few miles from where the city of Gladwin exists today.
The county remained untamed until the 1880's, when many lumber towns were established here because of the thick white pine forests.
Later, oil was discovered near the Beaverton area
Today, Gladwin County's economy includes auto parts manufacturing, thermoform, RV manufacturing, wood products, construction and agriculture. Tourism plays a special role in Gladwin County's waterways, with several dams on the Tittabawassee, Sugar, Tobacco and Cedar rivers creating opportunities for boating, fishing, canoeing and sightseeing.
The Tittabawassee State Forest to the east, almost a fourth of the entire county, offers plenty of opportunity for hiking, hunting and snowmobiling.
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