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Newaygo County, Michigan

Newaygo County, Michigan
Seal of Newaygo County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Newaygo County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1851[1]
Seat White Cloud
Largest city Fremont
 • Total 862 sq mi (2,233 km2)
 • Land 813 sq mi (2,106 km2)
 • Water 48 sq mi (124 km2), 5.6%
 • (2010) 48,460
 • Density 57/sq mi (22/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .com.countyofnewaygowww

Newaygo County is a Ojibwe leader who signed the Saginaw Treaty of 1819[1] or for a Native American word meaning much water.[4]


  • Geography 1
    • Rivers 1.1
    • Major highways 1.2
    • Adjacent counties 1.3
    • National protected area 1.4
  • Demographics 2
    • Religion 2.1
  • Economy 3
    • Notable Companies 3.1
  • Government 4
    • Elected officials 4.1
  • Festivals and events 5
  • Historical Sites 6
  • Communities 7
    • Cities 7.1
    • Villages 7.2
    • Unincorporated communities 7.3
    • Townships 7.4
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 862 square miles (2,230 km2), of which 813 square miles (2,110 km2) is land and 48 square miles (120 km2) (5.6%) is water.[5] The county is considered to be part of West Michigan.

The county contains more than 230 natural lakes. The combined total of all the rivers and streams is longer than 350 miles. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, there are three huge dams: Croton, Hardy and Newaygo. The Hardy Dam is the largest earthen dam east of the Mississippi.[6] Over half of the county is in the Manistee National Forest.


Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area


As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 47,874 people, 17,599 households, and 12,935 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 23,202 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.80% White, 1.12% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.63% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. 3.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.5% were of English ancestry, 20.5% were of German ancestry, 14.4% were of Dutch ancestry, 8.1% were of Irish ancestry and 5.0% were of Polish ancestry according to the 2010 American Community Survey.[13] 95.7% spoke English and 3.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 17,599 households out of which 35.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.20% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.50% were non-families. 22.20% 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 2.68 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county the population was spread out with 29.10% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 99.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,130, and the median income for a family was $42,498. Males had a median income of $35,549 versus $22,738 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,976. About 9.00% of families and 11.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.


The greatest Protestant church is the Christian Reformed Church in North America with 7 congregations and 2,056 members, followed by the United Methodist Church with 1,600 members in 6 churches the third is the Reformed Church in America with 1,000 members and 3 congregations. The Catholic church had 3,242 members.[14] Newaygo County is considered to be part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.[15]


Tourism is the most important economic activity in Newaygo County. Secondly is a blend of agricultural and small manufacturing. International baby food manufacturer Gerber Products Company is currently the county's largest employer with approximately 1,300 employees.[16]

Newaygo County also has a large number summer cottage residents. Fishermen can find many steelhead in the spring and salmon in the fall within the county's rivers and streams. Camping, hunting, cross country skiing, bicycling, birding and ORVing is common in the Manistee National Forest.[6]

Notable Companies


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.

Elected officials

(information as of July 2010)

Festivals and events

  • City-Wide Yard Sales - Grant
  • Frontier Festival - Grant
  • Harvest Festival - Fremont
  • Logging Festival - Newaygo
  • Bitely Home Coming - Bitely
  • National Baby Food Festival - Fremont
  • Pow Wow - White Cloud
  • Santa Parade - Fremont
  • Trout Fest - Newaygo
  • West Michigan’s Longest Yard Sale - Grant, Newaygo, White Cloud, Bitely
  • Winterfest - Newaygo

Historical Sites

In Newaygo County there are 16 locations that the Michigan's State Historic Preservation Office has designated as historical. Two of the sixteen sites have been listed with the National Register of Historic Places.[17]

  • Big Prairie Grange Hall No. 935 - Goodwell Twp
  • Birch Grove School - Lincoln Twp
  • Croton Congregational Church - Croton Twp
  • Croton Hydroelectric Plant - Croton Twp
  • Ensley Windmill Tower
  • First Christian Reformed Church (Demolished) - Fremont
  • Gerber, Cornelius, Cottage - Sheridan Charter Twp
  • Grant Depot and Water Tower - Grant
  • Hardy Hydroelectric Plant - Big Prairie - Twp
  • Lilley District No. 5 School - Lilley Twp
  • Oak Grove District No. 3 Schoolhouse - Croton Twp
  • Penoyer's Sawmill - Newaygo
  • Saint Mark's Episcopal Church - Newaygo
  • Weaver, Daniel, House - Denver Twp
  • White Cloud Village Hall (Demolished) - White Cloud
  • Woods, John F., Residence - Newaygo




Unincorporated communities


See also


  1. ^ a b "Bibliography on Newaygo County".  
  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 government on county names
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Newaygo County government
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ "2010 Data Release – Data & Documentation – American Community Survey – U.S. Census Bureau". 
  14. ^ "The Association of Religion Data Archives - Maps & Reports". 
  15. ^ Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  16. ^ Michigan Works! West Central
  17. ^ "State Historical Site Listings". Retrieved 2008-12-06. 

External links

"Bibliography on Newaygo County".

  • County of Newaygo
  • Newaygo County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Newaygo County Economic Development Office
  • Newaygo County Road Commission
  • Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency
  • District Health Department #10
  • Recycling for Newaygo County


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