The site of Vanderbilt was
established in 1875 when the Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw Railroad
decided to continue its railroad straight north of Gaylord instead of
northwest through Berryville. The town was named for Cornelius
Vanderbilt, a railroad executive from New York and land owner in Corwith
Township. John Gullberg is responsible for establishing the
original plat of the village of Vanderbilt. Other additions were
made by John G. Berry, A.C. Robinson, D.C. Warren, and Mr. Dudley.
The railroad was surveyed and reached Vanderbilt in 1881. The
village grew rapidly during the early 1880s and a large number of houses
and commercial structures were erected -- including a two-story,
four-room school building. Two churches were built; the
Congregational with Rev. Abram Van Auken as pastor and the Methodist led
by Reverend A.J. Van Camp. The post office was established in 1880
and Dr. H.C. Peckham was appointed Post Master. A weekly
newspaper, the Vanderbilt Review, was printed in 1884 and 1885.