Michigan played a significant role in the Civil War. Over 90,000 Michigan men served in the Union Army, and the state's contributions to the war effort included manufacturing weapons and supplies, providing food and clothing for soldiers, and supporting the Underground Railroad.

Grand Traverse County, located in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, has a rich and interesting history. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ottawa and Ojibwa. In the early 19th century, European settlers began to arrive, attracted by the region's natural beauty and resources.

In 1840, the government surveyed the area, and Grand Traverse County was officially established in 1851. The county's name comes from the French words "grande traverse," meaning "long crossing," referring to the Grand Traverse Bay. The county seat, Traverse City, was founded in 1852 and quickly became a hub for the lumber industry.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the logging boom brought prosperity to Grand Traverse County. Huge pine forests covered the region, providing abundant timber for construction and wood products. However, this era also led to deforestation and environmental challenges, as well as the decline of the logging industry in the early 20th century.

In the 20th century, Traverse City transformed into a center for agriculture, tourism, and cherry cultivation. The sandy soil and favorable climate proved suitable for tart cherries, making the region one of the leading producers in the country. Today, Grand Traverse County is known for its scenic beauty, vibrant culinary scene, and thriving tourism industry.

  • 1839 - Grand Traverse County is established by the Michigan Legislature.
  • 1847 - The county's first permanent settlers arrive, including Harry Boardman and his family.
  • 1851 - The county's first school is built in Boardman Township.
  • 1852 - Grand Traverse County's first sawmill is constructed.
  • 1853 - The county's first courthouse is built in Old Mission.
  • 1860 - The population of the county reaches over 2,000.
  • 1870 - Railroad service is introduced to the county, improving transportation and trade.
  • 1881 - Grand Traverse County's first newspaper, the Traverse City Herald, is established.
  • 1885 - The county's first electric streetlights are installed in Traverse City.
  • 1895 - The Traverse City State Hospital (now known as the Village at Grand Traverse Commons) opens its doors.
  • 1915 - The county's first automobile bridge, the Seventh Street Bridge, is constructed.
  • 1953 - Cherry Capital Airport opens and becomes an important transportation hub.
  • 1967 - Northwestern Michigan College is established, providing higher education opportunities in the county.
  • 1982 - The Traverse City Film Festival is founded, boosting the county's cultural scene.
  • 2001 - The county's population surpasses 80,000 residents.