History of Antrim County

antrim1873_cropThe first known settler to venture into Antrim county was Abraham C. Wadsworth, a native of Connecticut, who reached the Grand Traverse Region in 1846. A year later, he brought his wife and family, and eventually settled near the present site of Elk Rapids Town Hall.

The unorganized county of Meguzee was created off in 1840, and the name was changed to Antrim in 1843. In 1863 the Legislature organized Antrim County, attaching the unorganized counties of Kalkaska, Crawford and Ostego; at the same time the name of the town of Meguzee was changed to Elk Rapids, the county seat.

In 1879 the county seat was moved to a tract of land in the geographical center of the county. Originally the post office at this point was called Keno, but was later renamed Bellaire. The Court House was built in 1905. The present county building was occupied in 1978.

Torch Lake, was called Was-Wah-gonink, or "lake of the torches" by the local Indians, reference being made to the use of torches in the spearing of whitefish and trout.

The first birth, death, and marriage records on file in the County Clerk's office are dated 1867; the minutes of the first meeting of the Board of Supervisors are recorded on October 12, 1863; the first election was held on April 6, 1863, when a total of 66 votes were polled.