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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.

Description of Vanderbilt in the Gaylord Herald Times 1905 Special Edition


Photos from the Camera Club

Otsego County Centennial Book
Pages  22  23  24  25


Otsego County
Historical Society

320 W. Main St.
Gaylord, Michigan

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1223
Gaylord, MI  49734

(989) 732-4568


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