History of Lenawee County, Michigan

Site Overview
This site was developed as a way of publishing an early Lenawee County, Michigan history book. This book was titled "History of Lenawee County", and was published by The Western Historical Society in 1909. To get started, simply click here to begin reading the first chapter.

History of Lenawee Book Review
This book appears to be the embodiment of pretty much all that was known about Lenawee County by The Western Historical Society back in the first decade of the twentieth century. This includes an analysis and description of the local "mound building" Indians as well as historical accounts of the earliest surveyors. The real meat of this book starts in a chapter I'll call Early Lenawee History. It starts with the historic voyage by Musgrove Evans, General Joseph W. Brown, and others in 1824, and describes the very earliest known history of the area.
Lenawee County Facts:
First settled: May 1824
Current Population: 100,968  
Population in 1890: 48,448  

More Lenawee Background Information
The word Lenawee comes from the Shawnee Indian word meaning "Indian". Lenawee County contains several cities and towns, with the largest being Adrian and the second largest being Tecumseh. Other towns include Onsted, Hudson, Brooklyn, (home of Michigan International Speedway), and Britton. While most of Lenawee County is still farmland, some industry has popped up, and the area in Lenawee known as The Irish Hills, is a very popular tourist destination.

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Summer fun on the lakes
The northern part of the county is well known as "The Irish Hills", and includes many lakes which are perfect for summer fun. Some of the more popular lakes include

  • Wamplers Lake - Home of Jerry's Pub, and one of the largest lakes in the county. Built by the retreat of the glaciers which covered most of North America 10,000years ago, this lake has been a recreation hot spot since the 19th century.
  • Devils Lake - One of the best fishing lakes in the county as well as one of the best on the state of Michigan, this lake in Manitou Beach, MI is a favorite vacation spot for folks coming in from down south.
  • Sand Lake - This natural spring-fed lake isn't as sandy as you might expect, but it's been a summertime destination for many years. Nestled right up to US 12 on it's north side, it's hard to miss as you drive past.
  • Loch Erin - In the early 1960s, work was begun on digging what became known as Loch Erin, an artificial lake that is over 600 acres in size. After several early developers went bankrupt, a large portion of the undeveloped land was purchased by a developer who reportedly put $250,000 down in 1983 to purchase the south and western portions of the lake. While I can't recall what the exact purchase price was, I recall seeing in some old deeds that the total price was $2.2 million. While this lake is shallow (average depth 7.5 feet), and has murky water, it is one of the cleanest lakes in the county due to the fact that the surrounding land would not perk. This meant that in order to build homes on the lake, a sewer system needed to be installed. One of the first hybrid water treatment systems which combines a local sewage tank with a gray water treatment facility was then installed. After a slow start in the early 80's when lake front lots could still be purchased for only $5000, real estate values on this lake have continued to soar. In 2005, I note several lakefront lots being offered for over $160,000 each. Update - In 2017, similar lots can be had for $99,000 - 130,000.
If you plan on vacationing in this area, be sure to bring your boats and boating supplies so that you can advantage of all this area has to offer. There are quite a few golf courses to enjoy including Devil's Lake Golf Course, Raisin Creek Golf Course, Wolf Creek Golf Club, and Lenawee Country Club so plan on bringing your golf equipment as well.

Other fun things to do
If you are considering visiting the County, whether for the NASCAR races held every summer at Michigan International Speedway, or just to go camping in one of the many private and public campgrounds you may find your stay more interesting if you get some historical background from this web site.

Real Estate in Lenawee County
At this time, we are looking for real estate agents to sponsor this site. Contact terry at domsys dot com for details, or call 517-605-7338.

Related sites and web pages of interest
Lenawee County Government - Official site of Lenawee County Government
Len Connect - The Daily Telegram, the county's largest newspaper
Lenawee Intermediate School District - LISD Web site
Lenawee Chamber of Commerce
Lenawee County Library

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History of Lenawee County
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