Founded by Quakers in 1824, Tecumseh was the first settlement in Lenawee County.

The first structure was a log cabin that was used as a communal dwelling. Eventually, some of the people moved out and into their own homes and the town began to grow.

Original settlers Joseph Brown, Musgrove Evans, and Austin Wing chose this area next to the Raisin River for water power, which also supplied them with timber and rich soil. But what to name their new Shangri-la? They kicked around a few names until Musgrove suggested 'Tecumseh'. The others pooh-poohed the suggestion, claiming Tecumseh was a 'British Indian' who sided with the Brits. Musgrove pointed out that Tecumseh was against the U.S. moving into Indian territory and pushing them out – and fought only for the freedom of his people and therefore was “nature's Indian.”

Well, okay. 'Tecumseh' it is.

1768: Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh is born
1813: Tecumseh is killed during the Battle of Thames in Ontario
1824: First post office
1824: The town is platted
1826: Becomes the first county seat
1837: Stops being the county seat; title given to Adrian
1837: Incorporated as a village
1894: Masonic Temple built
1911: Uncle Sam's Macaroni Company built
1953: Incorporated as a city

Tecumseh was also an important stop on the Underground Railroad. A good many of the residences were equipped with tunnels, passages, and secret rooms to hide runaway slaves. A couple of those safe homes were the Beardsley House and the Hamilton House. The house of original settler, Musgrove Evans, still stands with its own historical marker on Logan Street.

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The gallery below has fifty photos showing images of Tecumseh from 1879 thru the early 1920s.

Vintage Photos of Tecumseh: 1879-1920s


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