County: Antrim (05)

Antrim County, Michigan was formed in 1843 from Cheboygan County. The county was originally named Megesee County after a Chippewa Chief who signed treaties in 1821 and 1826. In 1843, the name was changed to Antrim after the county in Ireland.
The first non-Native American settlement was established by Abram S. Wadsworth at Elk Rapids in 1846. The county seat was originally located in Elk Rapids, but was moved to Bellaire in 1904.
Antrim County was attached to Grand Traverse County for governmental purposes in 1851. In 1863, a separate county government was organized. [GGAI]

Created from: Michilimackinac County (Meegisee) (1840)

Boundary finalized: 1881

Population: 1900 = 16,568  | 2000 = 2,050

Antrim County was first organized in 1863 in northwest Michigan.


The population of the county initially peaked at 16,568 in 1900, then went back down to 9,979 in 1930. From there, it gradually increased to 23.431 today. [Wiki] The county has no cities, and five villages (Bellaire, Central Lake, Elk Rapids, Ellsworth and Mancelona). Bellaire is the county seat.

Time Line 

  • 01 Apr 1840 - MEEGISEE (now ANTRIM) created from MICHILIMACKINAC (now MACKINAC); MEEGISEE not fully organized, attached to MICHILIMACKINAC "for judicial purposes." (Mich. Acts 1840, ann. sess., no. 119, secs. 21, 35/pp. 198, 200)
  • 08 Mar 1843 - MEEGISEE renamed ANTRIM. (Mich. Acts 1843, ann. sess., no. 67/p. 145)
  • 03 Feb 1853 - ANTRIM detached from MACKINAC, attached to GRAND TRAVERSE "for judicial and municipal purposes." (Mich. Acts 1853, reg. sess., no. 34/p. 43)
  • 11 Mar 1863 - ANTRIM fully organized, detached from GRAND TRAVERSE. CRAWFORD detached from IOSCO, attached to ANTRIM; KALKASKA detached from GRAND TRAVERSE, attached to ANTRIM; OTSEGO detached from ALPENA, attached to ANTRIM. All attachments were "for municipal and judicial purposes." (Mich. Acts 1863, reg. sess., no. 78/p. 119)
  • 18 Mar 1865 - ANTRIM gained from GRAND TRAVERSE. (Mich. Acts 1865, reg. sess., no. 254/p. 528)
  • 02 Apr 1869 - ANTRIM lost to re-creation of CHARLEVOIX. Result of this change: area attached to ANTRIM was reduced when OTSEGO also lost to re-creation of CHARLEVOIX. (Mich. Acts 1869, reg. sess., no. 390/p. 1091)
  • 27 Jan 1871 - KALKASKA fully organized, detached from ANTRIM; CRAWFORD detached from ANTRIM, attached to KALKASKA "for municipal and judicial purposes." (Mich. Acts 1871, reg. sess., no. 294/p. 8)
  • 12 Mar 1875 - OTSEGO fully organized, detached from ANTRIM. (Mich. Acts 1875, reg. sess., pub., no. 32/p. 28)
  • 12 Mar 1881 - ANTRIM gained small area from KALKASKA. (Mich. Acts 1881, reg. sess., loc., no. 315/p. 102)
Source: [NL]


The following sources are utilized in this website. [SOURCE-YEAR-MMDD-PG]:

  • [AAB| = All Aboard!, by Willis Dunbar, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids ©1969.
  • [AAN] = Alpena Argus newspaper.
  • [AARQJ] = American Association of Railroads Quiz Jr. pamphlet. © 1956
  • [AATHA] = Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association newsletter "The Double A"
  • [AB] = Information provided at Michigan History Conference from Andrew Bailey, Port Huron, MI

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