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The City of Gladwin, Michigan is west of the center of Gladwin County and serves as the county seat.

Gladwin County is in the central northeastern part of the Lower Peninsula, and the city is thirty to forty miles from West Branch, Houghton Lake, Midland, and Mount Pleasant. Beaverton is about eight miles to the south, and Harrison is about fifteen miles east. Although it is administered independently, Gladwin straddles Sage, Gladwin, Buckeye, and Grout townships.

Beaverton is the only other city in Gladwin County. The remainder of the county is largely rural, with several small lakes, streams, marshes, and wildlife areas. The Cedar River runs through the city, feeding Ross Lake near Beaverton.

M-18 forms a small portion of the city's western boundary in the south before joining M-61, which run concurrently to the center of the city, where M-18 turns north, while M-61 continues east. These highways connect the city to US-127, US-10, and I-75.

Gladwin was founded in the late 1800s to serve the lumber industry. In 1875, it was platted and named Cedar, for the river. However, there was a conflict with a community in Leelanau County named Cedar, so when a post office was established on September 8, 1875, it took the name of the county, which had been named for Major Henry Gladwin, the British commander at Detroit at the time of Pontiac's War. Gladwin was incorporated as a village in 1885 and became a city in 1893.

The city began during the lumber era, and the Michigan Central Railroad built a branch line Pinconning to serve the lumber industry, with Gladwin on the west end of the line. However, when a large fire burned most of the timber in Gladwin County, agriculture became more important to the city's economy.

Oil was discovered between Gladwin and Beaverton in 1930, making Gladwin a convenient place for oil industry workers to live. The oil soon ran out, and the city's economy shifted toward the chemical and automotive industries.

The construction of power dams along the rivers in Gladwin County led to opportunities for recreation and tourism, and businesses opened in the city specializing in recreational products.

As a consequence, despite some heavy blows to the city's economy, it was able to leverage other alternatives, resulting in a stable population, with only a few decades of decline. Its peak population was 3,001 in 2000, but its current population is not far below that number.

The focus of this category is on the City of Gladwin, Michigan. Appropriate topics include online resources representing the city itself, or any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, and recreational and entertainment opportunities within the city.


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