Our NameGladwin County was named for British Major Henry Gladwin of Fort Detroit. He
was known for defending the fort at Detroit during the 1793 several month long
siege, lead by Chief Pontiac while resisting the settlement of Michigan and
As a part of Michigan’s lower
peninsula, it is in the central-northeastern location in which Gladwin County
The forests of magnificent pines and
oaks were numerous. The first people of the area were Native Americans of the
Ojibway, Sauk, and Menominee tribes. They lived by hunting, fishing, and
collecting wild rice.
The First Settlers
The year was 1861. And what is now called the city of Gladwin (being just a few
miles out) was about to receive its first American settlers. The settlers were Marvel
Secord and his family, whom by means of the Tittabawassee River came upon the
mouth of the Sugar River by canoe. And henceforth, the settlement of Gladwin
It wasn’t until the 1880’s, that the county began further development. It
was the thick white pine forests that began to draw the establishment of many
lumber towns in the area.
The Oil Boom
The oil boom of the 1930’s, both
helped to finance the building of their new county courthouse in 1939, and also
began the lead to an increase in population for the county.
Gladwin County, the “Thermoforming Capital of the World”, in addition to its
plastic industry, has an economy including: Auto parts suppliers, tool and die,
wood products, RV manufacturing, construction, and agriculture.
The county’s many waterways, with several dams on the Tittabawassee, Sugar,
Tobacco and Cedar rivers create many opportunities for tourism in area
(including: boating, fishing, canoeing and sightseeing). Not only do the rivers
bring tourism, but the beautiful state land as well. To the east, and residing
on nearly a fourth of the entire county, lies the Tittabawassee State Forest.
This adds hiking, hunting and snowmobiling to the list of many activities to do
here in Gladwin County.