Livingston is one of the inland counties of Michigan, situated in the
southeastern part of the lower peninsula of the State; its county-seat -
which is very nearly on the central point of its territory - lying
between Detroit and Lansing, on the direct railway line, by which it is
fifty-one miles distant from the first-named city, and thirty-four
miles from the State capital. The counties which join this, and form its
several boundaries, are Shiawassee and Genesee on the north, Oakland on
the east, Washtenaw on the south, and Ingham on the west.
Within these boundaries are included sixteen townships of the United States survey, lying together in the form of a square, being four adjoining ranges of four towns each; which, on the supposition of an accurate and uniform survey (which, however, is not strictly the case in Livingston), would give the county a superficial area of five hundred and seventy-six square miles, or three hundred and seventy-eight thousand six hundred and forty acres.
The surface of Livingston County is in general to be described as undulating, though some portions of it may be more correctly called hilly, as the term is understood in Michigan; and , indeed, some of the southern and northeastern parts of the county would be so regarded, even by people accustomed to the more rugged surface of the State of New York.
The highest (though not the most abrupt) elevation of land in Livingston is found commencing on the eastern border, in the township of Hartland, and extending thence southwestwardly across the county through the township of Marion. This, although not so much raised above the surrounding country as to be very noticeable, is the watershed of the county, from which the waters flow in three different directions, and by widely separated courses, into Lake Michigan, Huron and Erie.
The main stream, and several branches of the Cedar River, take their rise in the western part of the county, in the townships of Marion and Iosco, and, pursuing a northerly and then a westerly course, pass out over the west boundary into Ingham County, and afterwards join the Grand River, through which their waters finally find their way into Lake Michigan.
The Shiawassee River (or more properly the south branch of the Shiawassee) rises in the lakes of Marion, flows north through Marion and Howell townships into Cohoctah, where it bend towards the east, enters Deerfield, and passes out near the northwest corner of that township into the county of Genesee, where it unites with the east branch of the Shiawassee, forming the main stream which joins the Saginaw on its way to Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. Several tributaries of the Shiawassee also take their rise in Livingston County, and among these are North Ore Creek and Yellow River; the latter of which flows north through Deerfield into Genesee County, where it joins the larger stream. North Ore Creek rises in the lakes of Hartland, flows north, crosses the southwest part of Tyrone, passes through Laird Lake, and joins the Shiawassee. Another tributary of the Shiawassee is a small stream which flows out of Thompson Lake, at Howell village, passes eastwardly into Oceola, thence returns to Howell township, flows north and joins the principal stream in Cohoctah.
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