About Gladwin County
Gladwin County is located in the northeast central section of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The county was named in 1831 for British Major Henry Gladwin of Fort Detroit who led the only fort in the Midwest to withstand the assaults of Chief Pontiac’s 5-month siege in 1763, when Pontiac resisted the settlement of Michigan and Ohio. The first settlers to the area were Marvel Secord and his family who in 1861 canoed up the Tittabawassee River to the mouth of the Sugar River, just a few miles from where the city of Gladwin exists today. The county remained untamed until the 1880s, when many lumber towns were established here because of the thick white pine forests. Later, oil was discovered near the Beaverton area.
Today, Gladwin County’s economy includes auto parts manufacturing, thermoform, RV manufacturing, wood products, construction and agriculture. Tourism plays a special role in Gladwin County’s waterways, with several dams on the Tittabawassee, Sugar, Tobacco and Cedar rivers creating opportunities for boating, fishing, canoeing and sightseeing. The Tittabawassee State Forest to the east, almost a fourth of the entire county, offers plenty of opportunity for hiking, hunting and snowmobiling. This area also includes a large 35,000 acre game preserve, the Gladwin Game Refuge, in the northern part of the county.