Holt was founded on the Michigan Central Railroad between Jackson and Saginaw.

Wanna-be landowners began buying up property as early as 1836, but the first people to settle here were Frederick Luther and John Norris in 1837.

The first post office popped up in 1839 in the home of George Phillips; the first inn/saloon opened in the home of John Ferguson in 1848. From there, other businesses popped up: mills, wagon shops, general stores, blacksmith, livery stable, and more.

Residing in Delhi Township, the new community had a good handful of names: Delhi, Delhi Center, Delhi Station, Five Corners, Holt P.O., and North Holt before all were conglomerated to become just one entity. In 1860, the town fathers decided to call the community Holt, after postmaster general, Joseph Holt. This decision came about so travelers – and others – would not get it confused with the Washtenaw County community of Delhi Mills.

There is something else about Holt that makes it stand out: it contains an ancient glacial esker that ranges from Dewitt, through Lansing, through Holt, and winds up just south of Mason. The esker ranges from 20-22 miles long, the longest in Michigan.

As the dictionary describes it, an esker is “a long ridge of gravel and other sediment, typically having a winding course, deposited by meltwater from a retreating glacier or ice sheet.”

Take a look at the photo gallery below to see some old photos of Holt, the location of “Esker Landing” and more!


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