Ogemaw Springs is one of the oldest settlements in Ogemaw County. Lumbering operations in Ogemaw county began in 1871 in Ogemaw Spring. In 1872 the railroad was constructed as far as Ogemaw Springs.

Ogemaw Springs had one of the first post offices in Ogemaw County in the early 1870s and was in operation until 1893. In 1871 a mill was built on the Rifle River. By 1873 Ogemaw Springs had a grocery, story, a few sawmills and a fresh water supply for residents use. The town was thriving as a lumber town and was supplying wood to the state and beyond. The Panic of 1873 hit and an economic depression lasting twice as long as the Great Depression of the 1930s followed. Lumber companies were sold people moved and the once vibrant community was struggling people moved to West Branch.

Big FlowTrying to survive they ran to be the county seat of Ogemaw County in 1876. They lost the election to West Branch by one vote. West Branch had more people voting.

On January 28, 1879 the plat of Ogemaw Springs was recorded. The well and Mineral Springs Park were platted out. Ogemaw Springs is now an unincorporated community in Ogemaw Township.

The Spring is now part of the 3 acre Ogemaw Township Park. About a quarter mile east is what the locals call The Big Flow. It is a 9’ pipe once full of water from the artesian spring below. Sediment and rocks have restricted the flow and it is a small reminder of what it once was. It is drinkable and safe as is the Ogemaw Springs.

 Ogemaw Springs

Ogemaw Springs - Ogemaw SpringsCivil War and After (1860 – 1875) – Registered in 2012 and erected in 2012 – ID # L2235

Located at Maes Road and Spring Street – Lat: 44.30367300/Long: -84.29009600

Ogemaw Springs is the oldest village in Ogemaw County. The spring that gives the town its name provided the sole supply of water for early settlers. It also supplied water for the boilers of the railroad steam engines that served the area’s lumber industry. In 1888 the local Board of Health sought to protect the springs with an ordinance against the placing of “any rubbish or unclean thing within the spring.”

The arrival in Ogemaw Springs of the Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw Railroad in 1872 opened up the region’s rich timber resources. By 1873 two hundred people lived in the growing community that included several saw mills, a post office and a grocery. In 1875 Ogemaw Springs nearly became the county seat, losing to West Branch by only one vote. In the 1890s the depletion of timber in the area led to the town’s decline.

Learn more about the rich history of the Northeast Lower Peninsula.