The Michigan Town Named After the Founder of an All-Girls’ School
East of Saginaw and a tad northeast of Frankenmuth is the town of Vassar in Tuscola County. According to USGenNet, Vassar's beginnings kicked off on March 1, 1849, when James Edmunds, Joseph Grovenor, Townsend North, and James Saunders ended up here while searching for a place to create their own city.
But what to name this new community? It easily could've been named after one of those four men, but they decided to dub the town 'Vassar' after James Edmunds' Uncle Matthew. Proud of his uncle for many reasons, Edmunds was more than pleased to name his new town after him.
Why name it after Matthew Vassar?
The Vassar Encyclopedia says Matthew Vassar was born in England in 1792, and his family sailed to New York soon afterward. As an adult, Matthew started running his own brewery and was a successful philanthropist, with his fingers in many other businesses. In 1861, after the town was already named after him, Matthew founded one of the first all-female colleges, Vassar, after being coaxed into it by his niece, Lydia. The college is located in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Vassar was a lumber town along the Cass River that became famous for harvesting cork pine; so much so, that the town was nicknamed “Cork Pine City”. It was also the original Tuscola County seat, which was relocated to Caro in 1860.
Unlike many other Michigan lumber towns that went belly-up, Vassar survived thanks to farming and manufacturing.
Lots of history here...check out the gallery below!
VASSAR PHOTO GALLERY
City of Vassar