National Register Listings in
Mecosta County, Michigan

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.
Mecosta County, located in the state of Michigan, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area that is now Mecosta County was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi tribes. These tribes utilized the abundant natural resources of the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering.

In the early 1830s, European settlers began to arrive, attracted by the fertile land and natural resources. Mecosta County was officially established in 1840, named after Chief Mecosta, a significant local Native American leader. The county started to develop rapidly, with the logging industry gaining prominence. Logging was an essential economic activity, with numerous sawmills operating along the rivers, utilizing the vast forests of pine and hardwood for timber.

With the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century, Mecosta County experienced even greater growth. The railroad made transportation of goods and people more accessible, fostering economic development and attracting new industries. Agriculture also played a vital role, with farmers cultivating crops, such as corn, wheat, and potatoes, and raising livestock.

Throughout the 20th century, Mecosta County continued to evolve and diversify its economy. The establishment of Ferris State University in 1884 brought higher education opportunities to the county, further contributing to its development. Today, Mecosta County is a thriving community, offering a blend of rural charm and modern amenities, with a strong focus on education, agriculture, and tourism.

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

  • 1831 - Mecosta County is originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ottawa and Chippewa.
  • 1840 - European settlers begin moving into the area, attracted by the rich timber resources.
  • 1859 - Mecosta County is officially established and named after Chief Mecosta, an Ottawa Indian chief.
  • 1870 - The first railroad, the Toledo, Saginaw and Muskegon Railway, is completed in the county.
  • 1880 - The population of Mecosta County surpasses 10,000 as more settlers arrive and establish towns and farms.
  • 1910 - The city of Big Rapids, located in Mecosta County, becomes the county seat.
  • 1922 - Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University) is founded in Big Rapids, bringing educational opportunities to the area.
  • 1950 - Mecosta County experiences significant growth in agriculture, particularly in dairy farming.
  • 1970 - The Muskegon River, which runs through Mecosta County, becomes a popular recreational destination for fishing, boating, and camping.
  • 1990 - The population of Mecosta County reaches over 40,000, reflecting continued growth and development in the area.
  • 2005 - Mecosta County celebrates its 150th anniversary with various events and activities.