The History of Gagetown

Taken from The History of Tuscola County, Biographical Sketches and Illustrations, H. R. Page Co., Chicago, 1883. Thanks to Bonnie Petee.


In 1869 Joseph Gage built a mill and store on his land in section 1, of the town of Elmwood. In 1871 he platted a village near the center of the section, on the west side of the north and south quarter line, to which William Cleaver subsequently platted an addition. Mr. Gage also, the same year, built a hotel and years after a grist-mill, which burned in 1876. Trade came in and a gradual increase of population and business.

Two years ago a grist-mill was built by Randall Bros. But the village lived a rather retired life until 1882, when the prospect of a railroad and finally its coming, gave renewed life to the place.

The following description of Gagetown was given in January 1882: "Sixteen miles northeast of Caro is a village of 200 inhabitants, with one church, one school-house, one grist-mill, with three run of stone, and one saw-mill, one sash, door and blind factory, one shoe shop, two blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, one shingle-mill, one livery stable, one planing-mill, one drug store, one hotel, four general stores, one hardware store, with tin shop in connection, post office, mail three times per week, one doctor, William Morris, one minister of the gospel, Rev. T. B. Krebs, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church. There is a new church under construction, which will be completed in the spring. It will be known as Grace Church and will be erected by the Episcopalian Society.

Gagetown is located in the town of Elmwood, or, according to United States survey, township 14 north, range 10 east. Five highways center at this point; the Cass River and Bay City road running east and west, the Wild Fowl State road running north to the bay, and the Caro, Gagetown, and Bad Axe Road running northeast. The village is located on a fine elevation, 200 feet above the level of Saginaw Bay. The summit of the Pontiac, Oxford, & Caseville Railroad is at this point. The railroad is now under construction, and will be ironed from Caseville to Gagetown within sixty days. There is a good opening for all branches of business; a good iron foundry is much needed; and there is plenty of water for steam purposes, as there are two never failing springs, free from lime.

"This part of the county is being rapidly filled up with a good class of citizens from the Canadas and the United States. The land is generally rolling, with a good soil and a growth of beech, maple, etc. Wheat, corn, oats, peas, potatoes and grass do well. Wheat, ten to forty bushels per acre: oats, thirty to fifty bushels; potatoes, 100 to 200 bushels; hay, one to three tons. Apples, plums, pears, peaches, cherries and small fruits of all kinds so well. Wild land can be bought from $5 to $10 per acre. The richness and durability of the sail cannot be surpassed in the State."

Since the above was written, considerable additions have been made. Another drug store, meat market, hotel, brewery, planing-mill, general store, harness shop, hardware store and another physician. Of stores, shops, dwelling-houses, etc., about twenty have been added to the buildings of the town. And a considerable number are now in course of construction. The population is about 300. There is a tri-weekly mail to Elmwood, connection with the mail between Caro and Cass City. It is expected that regular trains will soon be running on the railroad, when mail and travel facilities will be materially improved.


March 1998

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