Michigan Genealogy Trails

Otsego County, MI

Water Supplies

By Frank Leverett
Oscoda County is situated west of Alcona County, with Mio as its county seat. About half its surface is occupied by sandy plains unsuited for settlement, and much of the remainder is in sharp morainic ridges of gravelly or sandy constitution not calculated for successful farming. There are, however, fertile tracts to the northeast near Fairview, to the northwest toward Redoak, and-to the southwest between Mio and Luzerne. The entire population of the county in 1900 was only 1,468; Mentor Township, including the village of Mio, is credited with a population of 119. Au Sable River runs through the county nearly centrally from west to east in a valley 50 to 100 feet below the bordering sand plains, draining, with its tributaries, all of the county except a narrow strip on the north edge, which discharges northward to Thunder Bay River.

The drift is probably several hundred feet in thickness, but no wells have yet reached rock. Several in the vicinity of Fairview are over 200 feet in depth, and are largely through sand. At Mio the dug wells are 50 feet, and bored wells in that vicinity are 100 to 150 feet. There are few places in the county where wells can be obtained at less than 50 feet, except in the valleys.

The village of Mio has a public water supply, built in 1889, in which water is pumped from a spring brook to an elevated tank. It is credited by the Manual of American Waterworks with 0.6 mile of mains, four hydrants, and 18 taps, all of which are reported to have cost $2,844. This yields an annual income of $1,000 paid by the village for fire protection and about $100 from other sources.

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