The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States. It was founded in 1817, 20 years before Michigan became a state, and its alumni include President Gerald Ford, Google co-founder Larry Page, and actor James Earl Jones.

Crawford County, Michigan, located in the northern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi, who lived off the abundant natural resources of the area. European settlers began arriving in the early 19th century, attracted by the area's timber and mining opportunities.

The establishment of Crawford County came in 1840, named after Michigan politician and future Secretary of War William H. Crawford. The county was carved out of parts of the neighboring counties and initially covered a vast area, including what is now Roscommon and Kalkaska counties. The village of Grayling, named after the abundant grayling fish found in the nearby Au Sable River, became the county seat.

The logging industry played a crucial role in the development of Crawford County. Vast forests covered the area, attracting timber companies and sawmills. Logging camps were established, and the timber was transported via rivers and railroads. However, over time, with the depletion of timber resources, the logging industry declined, and many sawmills shut down.

In the 20th century, Crawford County's economy diversified, with a focus on tourism and recreational activities. The area's natural beauty, including lakes, rivers, and forests, became a draw for outdoor enthusiasts. Today, Crawford County is known for its excellent fishing, hunting, hiking, and snowmobiling opportunities, attracting visitors from around the state and beyond. The county continues to embrace its natural heritage while adapting and evolving to meet the needs of a changing world.

  • 1800: The area that is now Crawford County is primarily inhabited by Native American tribes.
  • 1840: European settlers begin to establish permanent communities in the region.
  • 1843: Crawford County is officially organized and named after Col. William Crawford, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1880s: The lumber industry booms in Crawford County, leading to rapid growth and economic development.
  • 1900s: Agriculture becomes an important industry in the county, with farming and dairy production playing a significant role in the local economy.
  • 1940s-1950s: The region's natural resources, such as timber and minerals, continue to be exploited for economic gain.
  • 1970s: The tourism industry starts growing as people visit the county to enjoy its natural beauty and recreational activities.
  • 1980s-present: Crawford County continues to thrive as a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, and canoeing.