SMALL TOWN MICHIGAN: Arenac, in Arenac County
In Arenac County, residing in Arenac Township lies the small village of Arenac on Arenac State Road. It was settled around 1865 and over the years the town contained a dry goods store, hotels, a couple of general stores, sawmill, schools, shingle mill, and other various stores & shops. Nowadays there's only ONE store left. Some people call Arenac a 'ghost town' due to it being a shadow of it's former self...but it's still a charming place to visit!
Arenac County became organized in 1883 and named by U.S. Indian Agent Henry Rowe Schoolcraft; "aren" after the Latin 'arena' and an Native American term, "ac". Combined, the word 'arenac' means “a sandy place for a good footing."
A post office in the village of Arenac was established in 1877 with J.G. Payne as first postmaster. As with most northern Michigan lumber towns, it began to decline and business travelers were routed elsewhere.
By 1905, the population was 150 and in 1910 it had dwindled to 130. By 1918, the mail was Rural Free Delivery, Standish.
The original cemetery, now called Pine River Cemetery, is located a few miles south of town. The second cemetery is located right at the end of Main Street in Arenac.
Arenac is located five miles east of Standish and welcomes all visitors & travelers; so why not make this a drive-thru on your next Michigan roadtrip? Stop at the one & only store and get some road goodies!
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