Grand Traverse County, Michigan

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Grand Traverse County, Michigan
Logo of Grand Traverse County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Grand Traverse County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1851[1]
Named for Grand Traverse Bay
Seat Traverse City
Largest city Traverse City
 • Total 601.13 sq mi (1,557 km2)
 • Land 465.07 sq mi (1,205 km2)
 • Water 136.06 sq mi (352 km2), 22.63%
 • (2010) 86,986
 • Density 186/sq mi (72/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Grand Traverse County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 86,986.[2] The county seat is Traverse City.[3]

Grand Traverse County is part of the Traverse City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which also includes Benzie, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties.


In 1840 it was separated and originally named Omeena County. Grand Traverse County was established by an act of the state legislature on April 7, 1851.[1] Grand Traverse is derived from a French phrase meaning "long crossing" and the county is so named because it is situated at the Grand Traverse Bay.[4][1] The first permanent settlement in the county was the mission now known as Old Mission.

Historical markers[edit]

There are twelve recognized Michigan historical markers in the county:[5] They are:


  • According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 601.13 square miles (1,556.9 km2), of which 465.07 square miles (1,204.5 km2) (or 77.37%) is land and 136.06 square miles (352.4 km2) (or 22.63%) is water.[7]
  • Grand Traverse County is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Air service[edit]

Lakes and Ponds[edit]

  • Arbutus Lake
  • Bartlett Lake
  • Bass Lake x3
  • Bissell Pond
  • Boardman Lake
  • Brewster Lake
  • Bridge Lake
  • Brown Bridge Pond (Boardman River)
  • Bumphrey Lake
  • Cedar Lake
  • Cedar Hedge Lake
  • Chandler Lake
  • Coffield Lake
  • Cox Pond
  • Dollar Lake
  • Downs Lake
  • Lake Dubbonnett
  • Duck Lake
  • Dyer Lake
  • Ellis Lake
  • Elk Lake
  • Fern Lake
  • Fife Lake
  • Fish Lake
  • Fuller Lake
  • George Lake
  • Green Lake
  • Headquarters Lake
  • Hidden Lake
  • High Lake
  • Huellmantell Lake
  • Indian Lake
  • Island Lake
  • Keystone Pond(Boardman River)
  • Long Lake
  • Lyons Lake
  • Mickey Lake
  • Mud Lake x2
  • Muncie Lake
  • No Name Lake x7
  • North Twin Lake
  • Page Lake
  • Parsons Lake
  • Pickerel Lake
  • Prescott Lake
  • Rennie Lake
  • Round Lake x2
  • Ruth Lake
  • Sabin Pond(Boardman River)
  • Sand Lake x3
  • Saunders Lake
  • Silver Lake
  • South Twin Lake
  • Spider Lake
  • Spring Lake x2
  • Stricker Lake
  • Tibbets Lake
  • Tonawanda Lake
  • Truax Lake
  • Tullers Lake
  • Twin Lake
  • Vandervoight Lake
  • Walton Marsh
  • Wethea Lake
  • Wistrand Lake
  • Yonkers Lake

Rivers and Creeks[edit]

  • Boardman River
  • Kids Creek
  • Mitchell Creek
  • Vandarali Creek
  • Four Mile Creek
  • Mason Creek
  • Parkdale Creek
  • Jaxon Creek
  • Swainston Creek
  • Williamsburg Creek
  • Bissell Creek


US Highways

  • US 31 Us 31 Enters from Benzie County on the west near Interlochen and exits near Elk Rapids into Antrim County in the north
  • US 131 It enters from Kalkaska County into Fife Lake and exits into Wexford. All of it is in Fife Lake Township.

Michigan Highways

  • M‑22 M22 enters from Leelanau County with M72 and ends immediately on US 31 and M37.
  • M‑37M37 enters in Buckley from Wexford, reaches US 31, then reaches M72, and at Garfield Ave turns north on the penninsula and ends at a cul-de-sac.
  • M‑72 M72 enters with M22 from Leelanau county, joins US 31 and M37 on its journey east, and in Acme,turns east to ext into Kalkaska county.
  • M‑113 M113 begins in between US 31 and the county line off M37.As it continues east, it goes through Kingsley

and turns south, passes M186, and finally ends it's journey at US 131.

  • M‑137 M137 is short. It begins as S Long Lake Rd at US 31 and goes south through Interlochen, passes Interlochen Center for the Arts, and ends on near Grant Township.
  • M‑186 M186 is the shortest highway in Grand Traverse County. It begins on M113 near Kingsley, goes east, passes US 131, and ends on the shores of Fife Lake in the village of Fife Lake.

County Highways

  • County Road 633 (West Silver Lake Road) It begins on the county line, turns into West Silver Lake Road, and ends as 14th St in Traverse City
  • County Road 610 (North Long Lake Road) North Long Lake Road begins as Front St in Traverse City, goes west, passes Long Lake, and ends on the county line.
  • County Road 611 (Garfield Road/ Garfield Avenue) Garfield Ave begins at Pennninsula Dr and M37 and on the City Limit becomes Garfield Rd goes south, and ends in Kingsley on M113.
  • County Road 660 (Hammond Road/ High Lake Road/ Supply Road) It begins on Keystone Rd, turns into High Lake Rd, then goes east on Supply Rd and finally ends on the county line.
  • County Road 605 (Elk Lake Road/ Williamsburg Road) It begins on the county line, goes through Willamsburg, crosses M72, continues on Supply Rd, and goes down Fife Lake Rd and ends on US 131
  • County Road 137 (Karlin Road/ County Line Road)M137 turns into Karlin Rd,passes county rd 700,turns into County Line Rd, and ends on M37
  • County Road 700 (Nessen Road)It is short. It begins on Karlin Rd in Karlin, and ends on the county line.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,286
1870 4,443 245.5%
1880 8,422 89.6%
1890 13,355 58.6%
1900 20,479 53.3%
1910 23,784 16.1%
1920 19,518 −17.9%
1930 20,011 2.5%
1940 23,390 16.9%
1950 28,598 22.3%
1960 33,490 17.1%
1970 39,175 17.0%
1980 54,899 40.1%
1990 64,273 17.1%
2000 77,654 20.8%
2010 86,986 12.0%
Est. 2013 89,987 3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2012 Estimate[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 77,654 people, 30,396 households, and 20,730 families residing in the county. The population density was 167 people per square mile (64/km²). There were 34,842 housing units at an average density of 75 per square mile (29/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.51% White, 0.40% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.1% were of German, 11.3% English, 10.7% Irish, 8.4% American and 7.4% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.4% spoke English and 1.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 30,396 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.80% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,169, and the median income for a family was $51,211. Males had a median income of $34,796 versus $24,139 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,111. About 3.80% of families and 5.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.30% of those under age 18 and 5.90% of those age 65 or over.


The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Grand Traverse County elected officials[edit]

(information as of November 2008)


Grand Traverse County predominantly supports the Republican Party, particularly at the federal level.

In the 2008 presidential election, Republican candidate John McCain received 24,716 votes in the county (50.60% of the total) to Democrat Barack Obama's 23,258 (47.62%), even as Obama carried the state of Michigan by a double-digit margin.[11] McCain's margin of victory in the county was narrower than usual for a Republican candidate.

In 2004, Republican president George W. Bush received 27,446 votes in the county (59.42%) to Democrat John Kerry's 18,256 (39.52%).[12]

In 2000, Bush received 22,358 votes in the county (58.48%) to Democrat Al Gore's 14,371 (37.59%).[13]

Cities, villages, and townships[edit]





Other affiliations[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°44′N 85°33′W / 44.73°N 85.55°W / 44.73; -85.55