Historical Markers in
Cheboygan County, Michigan

Alexander Henry 1739 - 1834 Alexander Henry Park Kiosk Anchors and their retrieval / Capstan for pulling up the anchor Auto Ferries Before the bridge Breaking the ice British Colonial Farm 1774 - 1780 British Colonial Shipbuilding Yard, 1761 - 1781 Building Mighty Mac Cheboygan's Beginnings Cheboygan's Beginnings Cheboygan's Beginnings Cheboygan's Beginnings Cheboygan's Beginnings Chief Wawatam Chief Wawatam Commercial Fishing Crossroads of the Great Lakes Edgar Conkling 1812-1881 Fog Signal Station Fort Michilimackinac / Michilimackinac State Park French House Ruin, 1765-1781 Graveyard of the Deep Hattie Stimpson 1875-1948 Historic Mackinaw City Historic Mackinaw City Historic Timeline Ice Harvesting Inland Waterway Iron Horse Island-Hopping the Straits Jail and Sheriff's Residence John L. (Jack) Staffan • Chief Wawatam Lake Level Research on the Great Lakes Lighthouses of the Mackinac Straits Mackinac and the Water Highway Mackinac Island Passenger Ferries Mackinaw Boat - Mackinaw Coat Mackinaw City Mackinaw City Railroad Dock / USCG Cutter Mackinaw WAGB 83 Mackinaw Woman's Club, Inc. Mackinaw, Mackinac or Michilimackinac? Mackinaw's Civil War Cannons Mackinaw's First Business District Marine & Weather Reporter Michigan Central Depot Michigan Central Railroad Michigan State Ferry System / Michigan State Car Ferries Mill Creek Old Cheboygan County Courthouse Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse Old Mill Creek Perry B. Darrow 1939 - 1995 Railroad Ferries Shipwrecks in the Straits The Algomah The Dixie Highway The Lumbering Era The Meneely Bell Tourism at Mackinac Winter at Mackinac
The name "Michigan" comes from the Ojibwe word "mishigamaa," which means "large water" or "large lake." This refers to Lake Michigan, which is one of the five Great Lakes that border the state.
Cheboygan County, located in northern Michigan, is rich in history and has a diverse past. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ojibwa and Ottawa, who used the land for fishing and hunting. The first European settlers arrived in the early 19th century, primarily French voyageurs and fur traders. This led to the establishment of fur trading posts along the Cheboygan River, which played a pivotal role in the area's development.

In 1844, Cheboygan County was officially established. The county's economy thrived on the timber industry, as vast forests in the region provided ample resources for logging. Lumber mills began to spring up along the rivers, which fueled the local economy and attracted more settlers. The town of Cheboygan, the county seat, became a bustling hub for logging activities and shipping timber to larger cities.

With the advent of railroads in the late 19th century, Cheboygan County experienced further growth and prosperity. The rail networks allowed for easier transportation of goods, leading to the expansion of industries such as fishing, agriculture, and tourism. The abundance of fish in Lake Huron attracted commercial fishing companies, while fertile soils supported the growth of agriculture, particularly fruit orchards.

In the early 20th century, Cheboygan County became a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. The county's numerous lakes and rivers provided opportunities for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities, attracting visitors from across the state and beyond. Today, Cheboygan County continues to thrive as a popular tourist destination, preserving its rich history while embracing its natural resources and charming communities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Cheboygan County, Michigan.

  • 1840: Cheboygan County is organized and established as a county in the state of Michigan.
  • 1853: The village of Cheboygan is incorporated and becomes the county seat.
  • 1880s: The timber industry booms in the county, leading to significant economic growth and the establishment of sawmills.
  • 1881: The Cheboygan County Courthouse is built, becoming an iconic landmark in the area.
  • 1882: The Michigan Central Railroad reaches Cheboygan, boosting transportation and trade opportunities for the county.
  • 1889: Cheboygan County Historical Museum is established to preserve and showcase the county's history.
  • 1897: The U.S. Coast Guard station is established in Cheboygan, marking the beginning of its long-standing presence in the county.
  • 1900s: Tourism begins to play a significant role in the county's economy, with visitors attracted to its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
  • 1948: The Big Y Sportsmen's Club is founded, becoming a popular destination for hunting and fishing enthusiasts.
  • 1972: The Cheboygan Opera House is restored, becoming a cultural and performing arts center for the county.
  • 1990s: Cheboygan County experiences population growth and development in various sectors, including manufacturing and healthcare services.