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.

Saginaw County, located in the eastern part of the state of Michigan, has a rich history dating back to pre-colonial times. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Ojibwe and Potawatomi before European settlers arrived in the 19th century.

The first permanent settlement in Saginaw County was established in 1819 when Louis Campau built a trading post on the Saginaw River. The fur trade flourished in the region, attracting more settlers, and the county was officially organized in 1835. The city of Saginaw became the county seat and quickly grew as a shipping hub for timber and other natural resources.

In the mid-19th century, the lumber industry boomed in Saginaw County, making it one of the leading lumber producers in the nation. The county's vast forests were harvested extensively to meet the growing demand for wood, leading to rapid economic development. Sawmills, logging camps, and other related industries prospered in the county during this period.

As the lumber industry declined in the late 19th century, Saginaw County underwent a transition. The arrival of railroads in the region sparked the growth of manufacturing, particularly in the automotive sector. Companies like General Motors established factories in the county, providing employment opportunities and fueling population growth.

Today, Saginaw County is a diverse and thriving community. While it still faces challenges, such as revitalizing the downtown area and attracting new industries, the county remains an important center of commerce and culture in Michigan. Its history as a trading post, lumber powerhouse, and manufacturing hub continues to shape its identity and contribute to its ongoing growth and development.

  • 1831 - Saginaw County is organized and established
  • 1835 - First permanent settlement, Saginaw City, is established
  • 1847 - The Michigan Central Railroad arrives in Saginaw County, boosting economic growth
  • 1853 - Saginaw County's population reaches over 12,000
  • 1865 - Saginaw County suffers a devastating fire, destroying much of the city
  • 1867 - The Saginaw Valley State Normal School (now Saginaw Valley State University) is founded
  • 1886 - The Saginaw County Courthouse is completed
  • 1910 - Saginaw County's population reaches its peak at around 102,000
  • 1929 - The Great Depression negatively impacts Saginaw County's economy
  • 1941 - General Motors establishes a major manufacturing presence in Saginaw County
  • 1959 - Saginaw County's population begins to decline due to industrial restructuring
  • 1990 - Saginaw County's population drops to around 230,000
  • 2007 - The Saginaw County Mosquito Abatement Commission is established