A Brief History of Ida, Michigan

The town of Ida, located in the heart of Monroe County in Michigan’s southeast corner, actually began as a stop along a coach trail between Monroe and Adrian, one of many stops along the trail. These roads, which usually followed old Indian trails, were notoriously bad in the early 1800′s.

The roads were strewn with mud holes. Settlers along these roads took a monetary interest in the mud holes and had full rights to pull wagons and coaches out of the mud for a price. Travelers of this time period would only travel only about six miles a day along any of the trails in the region because of the harsh road conditions. An area with muddy, bumpy roads seemed like a good place to locate an inn. What traveler would not want to stay in a comfortable inn after riding the trails all day? It was around a particularly treacherous area of the trail that a small inn sprang up around the year of 1825. This inn, the Wayside Inn, was the first business in the area.

In 1837, a township measuring six square miles was formed and named Ida Township, in honor of Ida M. Taylor who had lived in the area with her family for many years. She had been active in community affairs and was among those who believed in the future for this part of Michigan.

This township was organized by taking a portion of Raisinville, Dundee and Summerfield, giving in geographical area a perfectly square form of thirty-six sections, there being, besides this, but six townships so arranged. It is watered by small streams flowing into and forming Otter Creek, which empties into Lake Erie in La Salle township.

The first settlers were mostly from the eastern and middle states, and all farmers. The names of these were in part George Willard, Chauncy Owen, Joseph Gregory, Anthony Briggs, Mathew Fredenburg, Alonzo Durrin, Wm. Richardson, Josiah Kellogg, David Brainard, John Campbell, John W. Talbot, the latter being of the family of the Talbots who were large manufacturers in New England, and all of them people of excellent character. Others followed rapidly and a fine community of practical agriculturists was built up.

By 1839, the Michigan Southern railroad line began running trains from Monroe, through this area, and onto points westward. Small log cabins and homesteads began to spring up around the Wayside Inn, the railroad and along the old road. As more people took advantage of the rail transportation system, more businesses located around the inn which was near the tracks in the area now the Village of Ida.

In 1868, Ida was platted as a village.

In the early days of the township it was reckoned by sportsmen and woodsmen of Monroe as one of the greatest deer hunting regions in the state, and the great woods were often the scene of many hunters’ cabins, through the late fall and winter, where parties from the city would resort for weeks at a time and pack out fine specimens of “antlered buck” and sometimes even a bear or wildcat.

The village of Ida is located in the extreme northwestern portion of the township and reported a population was 4,949 at the 2000 census.

More info can also be found at Wikipedia

This information was obtained from post that I found on the internet.



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