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Ore Creek Homes - Brighton and Howell
Livingston County New Homes Builder Since 1974


Livingston County History

Livingston County has not developed overnight.

Centrally located within one hour of the major metropolitan areas of Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor, and Lansing, early settlers were attracted to the Livingston County area not because of its location (as is the case today) but rather because of the opportunity to receive free land.

Following the war of 1812, the Federal Government provided any veteran of that war with 160 acres of free land in Michigan. However, surveyors indicated that the land in and around Livingston county was extremely wet and poorly suited for farming. Since this caused many of the soldiers to accept free land in Missouri rather than in Michigan, the Governor requested a new survey. This second survey found much of the rolling hills and sparsely wooded land well suited for agricultural uses. Rather than give this exceptional land away, the State began to sell the originally free section parcels for $2.00 to $3.00 per acre.

The territory was originally part of Shiawassee and Washtenaw counties until 1833 when an act of the state legislature provided for the establishment of Livingston County. Named after Edward Livingston, the Secretary of State under President Andrew Jackson, the County began its slow settlement during the early 1830's in the areas now known as Green Oak and Hamburg Townships. Coincidently, these communities are now two of the fastest growing and most heavily populated in the county. As indicated by the second survey, the soils were excellent for farming. The land was also abundant with fish and game, including bear and wolf. It is interesting to note that both Chippewa and Pottawatamie Indians were seen on occasion. However, there is no recorded history of violence between the settlers and the Indians.

Indian trail ways through Livingston County formed some of the major transportation corridors of today, including Grand River Avenue and White Lake Road. The development of the Grand River Trail from Detroit to Lansing proved to be an impetus for growth. Livingston Center, now known as the city of Howell, was centrally located between the two cities, as on the stagecoach route connecting the cities, and was a natural rest stop for travelers making the long trip by foot and/or by horseback. As was the case one hundred years ago, the location of Howell and its surrounding communities combine with the natural rolling hills and lakes to continue to draw settlers to the County.