Higgins Township

Higgins Township

Roscommon, Michigan

A Brief History of Higgins Township

Welcome to Higgins a township located in Roscommon County Michigan with population of 2061 people.

With the number of retirees projected to double in number, coupled with potential increases in tourism, vacationing, hunting, fishing winter sports, commercial retail and services needs and industrial manufacturing, including forest products, portends future growth that will become the areas future history.

The Higgins Township area was part of the original “Ordinance of 1787” although unknown to Higgins Township Roscommon County or the State of Michigan.  In fact the whole State of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and part of North Dakota, all parts of the Northwest Territory, were a part of the 1801 Indiana Territory which boasted of having one County in it—Wayne County.

It wasn’t until 1837 that  Michigan was extrapolated from the Territory and made a State.

The Indian Tribes inhabiting the area originally included the Sauk, Fox, Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwa Chippewa).

The initial economic base for the area was logging the extensive pine forests which were used primarily to build houses in the Midwest and New England

After the logging era in 1925, many 25 foot x 100 foot lots, particularly on the lake shores and along river banks were established.  Five (5) to ten (10) acre tracts were also popular.  This was the beginning of land division and pioneer settlement in the area.

Roscommon Village was a railhead. Excursions were by horse and buggy between the railroad, the plats, and small farms.  An early resort was located on the eastern shores of the Higgins Lake during this area.  Hunting was also an attraction to the area.  Organized clubs assembled large tracts of land, including many 640 acre Sections, for its member’s enjoyment– even to this day.

The early construction of US27, M76, M18, and M55 provided excellent access to the area from the heavily populated areas of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.  The era of tourism and vacationing followed. With the advent of the automobile industry in Michigan the opportunity for automobile related industries were established in the Roscommon village and Prudenville areas. The “Great Depression” started in 1929, it brought about high local taxes and the loss of property at tax sales, which resulted in over 4,500,000 acres being deeded from private ownership to the State of Michigan.  The land in Higgins Township was subjected to this State takeover because of the  lack of money by private owners to either retain it or purchase it or the owners simply no longer wanted and abandoned the property.  The tax default land became know as the “Land Nobody Wanted”.

Access to aid development in the Higgins Township area was further implemented with the construction of the divided lane limited access I75 and U.S. 27.  These modern highways greatly reduced the travel time further into Ohio and Indiana as well as making it even more conveniently accessible to Michiganders to get to and from the area.

With the aging of the population many retirees as well as tourists and vacationers will continue to cause increasing pressures for more and improved housing, tourist and vacationer facilities, and commercial businesses to serve them.  Industry too tends to decentralize and seek communities which provide excellent or at least the right kind of housing, education, goods and services and other individual, business and family amenities.

Recent- 1990-2000 population increases in Higgins Township as well as the Region generally are now experiencing the most rapid growth in their history.