Oscoda County, Michigan

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Oscoda County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Oscoda County
Location in the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded April 1, 1840 (created)
1881 (organized)[1]
Seat Mio
Largest community Big Creek Township
 • Total 572 sq mi (1,481 km2)
 • Land 566 sq mi (1,466 km2)
 • Water 5.9 sq mi (15 km2), 1.0%
 • (2010) 8,640
 • Density 15/sq mi (6/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.oscodacountymi.com

Oscoda County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,640,[2] making it the fifth-least populous county in Michigan. The county seat is Mio.[3]


The county was founded in 1840 and organized in 1881.[1] The name is a Henry Schoolcraft neologism thought to be a combination of two Ojibwa words, "ossin" (stone) and "muskoda" (prairie) -- hence 'pebbly prairie.'[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 572 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 566 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 5.9 square miles (15 km2) (1.0%) is water.[5] Oscoda County is part of Northern Michigan.

Geographic features[edit]

Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.[6]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 70
1880 467 567.1%
1890 1,904 307.7%
1900 1,468 −22.9%
1910 2,027 38.1%
1920 1,783 −12.0%
1930 1,728 −3.1%
1940 2,543 47.2%
1950 3,134 23.2%
1960 3,447 10.0%
1970 4,726 37.1%
1980 6,858 45.1%
1990 7,842 14.3%
2000 9,418 20.1%
2010 8,640 −8.3%
Est. 2015 8,251 [9] −4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2013[2]

As of the census of 2000, 9,418 people, 3,921 households, and 2,717 families resided in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 8,690 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The county's racial makeup was 97.82% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 30.2% were of German, 12.8% American, 9.6% English, 8.1% Polish, 6.8% French and 6.7% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 94.1% spoke English, 2.8% German and 1.5% Pennsylvania Dutch as their first language.

There were 3,921 households out of which 25.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 5.60% from 18 to 24, 22.80% from 25 to 44, 28.00% from 45 to 64, and 20.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,228, and the median income for a family was $32,225. Males had a median income of $30,013 versus $20,202 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,697. About 10.30% of families and 14.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.40% of those under age 18 and 8.80% 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 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.

Elected officials[edit]


The Michigan Au Sable Valley Railroad is in Fairview. It is 1/4 scale 16 gauge railroad, that offers rides on a passenger train through the scenic Northern Michigan landscape. It operates in jack pine country during the summer months. Riders travel through parts of the Huron National Forest and overlook the beautiful Comins Creek Valley.[14]

The gorgeous and clean AuSable River flows through Mio and offers some of Michigan’s best fishing and the opportunity to canoe, kayak, and tube. The M-33 Access Cite off of M-33 on the north side of Mio has a launch area, restrooms, and a picnic area. Kayakers, fishermen, and swimmers can also go to the Mio Dam Pond at the end of Mio Pond Drive where there is another launch area.

Oscoda County offers snowmobile trails, ATV trails, hiking trails, and cross country skiing trails. Snowmobile and ATV trails are located throughout Luzerne, McKinley, and Mio. In addition to the trails, there is a scramble area at Bull Gap in the Huron National Forest. As for hiking and cross country skiing, the Loud Creek Trail offers 7 different routes with varying difficulty levels. The trail’s total distance is 10 kilometers.

In Fairview, there is a horseback riding ranch and a golf course. Karefree Ranch Boarding Stables offers guided horseback rides through the beautiful, wooded Huron National Forest. The Fairview Hills Golf Club is a well-kept 9-hole golf course on M-33. [15]

Oscoda County is home to the annual OC Riverfest, which was designed to celebrate Oscoda County's most prize asset, the AuSable River. The OC Riverfest is a weekend full of fun for everyone. Activities range from a children's theatre, a carnival, and live music to a car show, food, vendors, and a beer tent for the adults. Each year the OC Riverfest hosts a 5K River Run. It is right on the hiking paths looking over the mighty AuSable River. This popular event brings in people from all over the state of Michigan coming to celebrate this most prize asset.

Another attraction that catches people's eyes is the Mio Pizza Shop. Many people come for the pizza, but the dots and cheese sticks are the most popular. Some people also may remember it or even come to see it because of the big pink elephant they have out front of the restaurant. All of these things and many more are all things people can do when visiting the small county of Oscoda.


Census-designated place[edit]

  • Mio (county seat)

Unincorporated communities[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bibliography on Oscoda County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Michigan History, Arts and Libraries on sources of County names.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "NPWRC :: Regional Landscape". usgs.gov. 
  7. ^ Oscoda County Park
  8. ^ History of Michigan highways.
  9. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Home". michiganausablevalleyrailroad.com. 
  15. ^ {www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/mio/}

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°41′N 84°08′W / 44.68°N 84.13°W / 44.68; -84.13