Michigan played a key role in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom in the 19th century. Detroit was an important hub for the movement, and Michigan was the first state in the Northwest Territory to outlaw slavery in 1837.
Iosco County, located in the northeastern part of Michigan's lower peninsula, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The county was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Ojibwe and the Huron. European settlement began in the early 1830s when fur traders and lumbermen arrived in the area, taking advantage of the region's vast natural resources.

The lumber industry played a significant role in shaping Iosco County's history. Throughout the 19th century, vast forests of white pine covered the area, making it an ideal location for logging. Sawmills were built along the rivers, and the lumber industry boomed. As a result, many towns and communities, such as East Tawas, Tawas City, and Oscoda, were established.

By the late 1800s, the depletion of the forests led to a decline in the lumber industry. However, Iosco County's proximity to Lake Huron made it an attractive destination for tourism and recreational activities. Fishing, hunting, and camping became popular pastimes for visitors, and tourism remains an important industry in the county to this day.

In the 20th century, Iosco County witnessed economic diversification. While still known for its natural beauty and tourist attractions, the area developed other industries such as manufacturing and agriculture. Today, the county strives to balance its heritage as a vacation destination with its aspirations for economic growth and community development.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Iosco County, Michigan.

  • 1831 - The county of Iosco is organized and named after the Native American term meaning "water of light."
  • 1835 - The first permanent settlement, Bell's Bay, is established.
  • 1850 - The county seat is moved from Alcona to Tawas Village.
  • 1863 - The county courthouse is built in East Tawas.
  • 1882 - The Detroit and Mackinac Railway is completed, connecting Iosco County to the rest of Michigan.
  • 1910 - The Tawas Point Lighthouse is constructed to guide ships on Lake Huron.
  • 1957 - The Boardman No. 2 oil well is drilled, marking the discovery of oil in Iosco County.
  • 1962 - Huron National Forest is established, providing recreational opportunities for locals and visitors.
  • 1984 - The Tawas Point Birding Festival is founded, highlighting the county's diverse bird population.
  • 1990 - The Iargo Springs interpretive site is developed, showcasing natural springs and Native American history.