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The Upper Peninsula of Michigan was once a major center for copper mining. The Keweenaw Peninsula was home to the largest concentration of copper mines in the world in the mid-19th century, and copper was an important natural resource for the state's economy.
Isabella County, Michigan has a rich history that traces back to the 19th century. The county was officially established in 1831 and named after Queen Isabella I of Spain. Prior to European settlement, the area was home to several Native American tribes, including the Chippewa and Potawatomi.

The first European settlers arrived in the area in the 1850s, attracted by the abundance of natural resources and fertile land. The lumber industry quickly gained prominence as vast forests covered the county, leading to the establishment of sawmills and logging camps. With the advent of the railroad in the late 1800s, the timber industry flourished, allowing for the rapid expansion of towns and communities.

As the timber resources began to dwindle, agriculture became the primary industry in Isabella County. The fertile soil was particularly suited for farming, and fields of corn, wheat, and other crops soon covered the landscape. Agriculture remains a vital part of the local economy to this day, with farming operations ranging from crop cultivation to dairy farming.

Isabella County is also home to Central Michigan University, which was founded in 1892. The university has had a significant impact on the county's history, shaping its development and contributing to its economic growth. Today, Isabella County is a vibrant community that blends its rich historical heritage with a modern and thriving economy, making it a desirable place to live, work, and study.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Isabella County, Michigan.

  • 1831 - Isabella County is established by an act of the Michigan Legislature.
  • 1855 - The county seat is relocated from nearby Salt River to the newly established village of Mount Pleasant.
  • 1862 - The first newspaper, titled "The Mount Pleasant Times," is published in the county.
  • 1866 - The first railroad, known as the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad, is completed through Isabella County.
  • 1875 - The first public high school, later known as Mount Pleasant High School, is built.
  • 1887 - Central State Normal School (now Central Michigan University) is established in Mount Pleasant.
  • 1889 - The Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel opens, becoming a popular attraction in the area.
  • 1900 - The population of Isabella County reaches over 18,000 people.
  • 1941-1945 - Isabella County residents actively participate in World War II, contributing to the war effort.
  • 1974 - The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is federally recognized and becomes an important part of the county's culture.
  • 1998 - The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, owned and operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, opens in Mount Pleasant.
  • 2010 - Isabella County experiences significant growth and has a population of over 70,000 people.