Was a wolverine ever seen in the town of Wolverine, Michigan?
Have you ever wondered (probably not)?

The area now called 'Wolverine' was settled in 1874 by Jacob Shook. In 1881 it was platted and named 'Torrey' but given a post office named 'Wolverine'.  Why 'Wolverine'? Because it was the state animal, with the word believed to have been originated in the 1830s.

Okay, fine. But is there a reason? Was there ever a sighting of a real wolverine in the town? It's possible, but not known for sure. Authorities claim the last wolverine to be seen in Michigan was by fur traders in the 1700s and early 1800s, but they don't say where. It wasn't until 2004 that another one was seen in our state...in the village of Ubly, to be exact.....a good 195 miles away from the town of Wolverine.

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Wildlife officials also claim the wolverine NEVER lived in Michigan, but somehow got here from Alaska, and some from Canada. Me – I believe the wolverine is a smart, elusive animal and some could very well be living here.

As for the town of the same name, it sits in Cheboygan County and you pass right by it when you travel north on I-75 between Gaylord and Indian River.

In 1881, Wolverine only had 18 people. When construction for a railroad began, hopes were raised. By 1891 Wolverine's population was 1,000, with most of those residents working lumber or on the railroad. In 1905, there were 1,800 residents. By the 1930s, timber was depleted and the lumber business waned. Many people deserted the town looking for life elsewhere.

By 2022, the town had just 283 people. Don't let that discourage you from visiting...there is plenty of history and a good smattering of locally-owned shops to check out. The gallery below has images of Wolverine from 1900 to the 1920s...

Vintage Photos of Wolverine, Michigan


Vintage Photos of Carson City

Vintage Photos of Indian River: 1900-1950s

Vintage Photos of Fort Custer: 1917-1952

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