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Michigan Counties
Michigan County map
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Michigan Counties

The boundaries of the eighty-three counties in Michigan have not changed substantially since 1897. Wayne County was the sixth county in the Northwest Territory, formed 15 August 1796 and organized in 1815. Wayne County was created 21 November 1815 as an original county of Michigan.

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Otsego County, Michigan

Otsego County Education, Geography, and HistoryOtsego County, Michigan Courthouse

Otsego County is a county located in the state of Michigan. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 24,164. The county seat is Gaylord. The county was founded in 1840 and organized in 1875. Otsego is may be a Native American name meaning "place of the rock". However, an alternative theory is that it derives from a lake and a county in New York state, which are said to bear the name derived from a Mohawk Iroquoian word meaning either "clear water" or "meeting place."

Etymology - Origin of Otsego County Name

Otsego may be a Native American name meaning "place of the rock". However, an alternative theory is that it derives from a lake and a county in New York state, which are said to bear the name derived from a Mohawk Iroquoian word meaning either "clear water" or "meeting place." It may be a neologism coined by Henry Schoolcraft, who was a borrower of words and pieces of words from many languages (including Arabic, Greek, Latin, and various American Indian dialects). The county was initially created in 1840 as Okkuddo (meaning "sickly water," although the reason for using a name with such a negative meaning is lost). The name was changed to Otsego in 1843. It was organized in 1875.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Otsego County History

Otsego is may be a Native American name meaning "place of the rock". However, an alternative theory is that it derives from a lake and a county in New York state, which are said to bear the name derived from a Mohawk Iroquoian word meaning either "clear water" or "meeting place."

Set Off: 1840 as Okkuddo County. Name changed to Otsego in 1843

Organized: 1875.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 526 square miles (1,360 km2), of which 515 square miles (1,330 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.1%) is water.] It is the fifth-smallest county by total area in Michigan. The county is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

Otsego County has more than 370 lakes. Most of the lakes are in the southern part of the county. Three miles south of Gaylord, Otsego Lake, is the county's largest, and has a surface area of 1,972 acres (7.98 km2). Other large lakes in the southern part of the county include Big Lake, Big Bear Lake, Buhl Lake, Crapo Lake, Dixon Lake, Douglas Lake, Guthrie Lake, Heart Lake, Lake Tecon, Manuka Lake, Opal Lake, Pencil Lake, and Turtle Lake. The larger lakes in the northern part of the county are Five Lakes, Hardwood Lake, Lake Twenty Seven, and Pickerel Lake. Many of these are so-called 'kettle lakes,' formed by the melting of blocks of glacial ice, left as the glacier retreated, which created a depression in the soil.

Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.

Headwaters of the Au Sable, Black, Manistee, Pigeon, and Sturgeon Rivers are in Otsego County. The Au Sable River watershed is the largest watershed in the county. These watersheds drain large portions of the county, and are significant to the environment and a foundation of its habitat

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Cheboygan County - north
  • Montmorency County - east
  • Oscoda County - southeast
  • Crawford County - south
  • Kalkaska County - southwest
  • Antrim County - west
  • Charlevoix County - northwest

Education

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