Know your Michigan Counties: Kalkaska County

The Mountains of Kalkaska

The Mountains of Kalkaska, photo by Dale DeVries

The State of Michigan has 83 counties, and since I got a number of comments asking for more about our communities, I’ll try and profile them all … sooner or later. Here’s some information via Wikipedia about Kalkaska County, Michigan:

The first settler in Kalkaska County was an Englishman named William Copeland, who purchased land in the northwest corner of the county in 1855. The county was set off in 1840 and called Wabasee until 1843. The name Kalkaska is thought to be a Chippewa word meaning flat or burned-over country. An alternative theory is that this is a neologism or neonym created by Henry Schoolcraft, originally spelled Calcasca. Some theorists suggest this is word play. Schoolcraft’s family name had been Calcraft, and the Ks may have been added to make the name appear more like a Native American word.

Logging was the first important industry. The discovery of substantial deposits of oil and natural gas resulted in the construction of a processing plant by Shell Oil Company in 1973 and a major economic boom in the community.

Kalkaska Sand, the state soil of Michigan, was named after the county because of the large amounts deposited in the area from the glaciers in the Ice Age. Kalkaska County has over 80 lakes and 275 miles of streams and rivers. Much of the county is marshland. County elevation ranges from 595 feet (181 m) to about 1,246 feet. This makes it one of the more uneven counties in the Lower Peninsula.

The Pere Marquette State Forest covers much of the county. Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.

The population was population 17,153 in the 2010 census and you can click to Wikipedia for more, visit the official Kalkaska County website, read about their big, annual event, the National Trout Festival (April) on Michigan in Pictures, and click to see Kalkaska County on a map!

Dale writes:

“With abundant snow cover yet and temperatures around 65 F, fog forms in almost white out conditions near large snow fields! This can lead to near zero visibility in a matter of seconds and makes for some amazing photographs!”

View his March 9th photo background bigilicious and see more in his massive Fern Ridge Pictures slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

6 thoughts on “Know your Michigan Counties: Kalkaska County

  1. Andrew,
    Thanks for the attention to my recent picture, and the link to my Flickr collection from Kalkaska County! There is a memorial to Wm. Copeland at Rugg Pond off Valley Road also.
    Thanks again, Dale DV

    Like

  2. As a winter resident of Medina, OH and summer resident of Alpena,MI, for 65 yrs., yours is ALWAYS my first Email of the day. Would love to see a small map of MI included in your post to pinpoint the location of the daily photo. Excellent site, never stop.

    Like

    1. That’s a very good idea, though I don’t always know where the photo was taken. I will definitely try to add more of these and have added it to the post. Thank you Lynda!

      (plus what Dale said above!)

      Like

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