The Gaylord Story
To tell the Gaylord Story is to to tell
about the renaissance of a small community in northern Michigan.
Gaylord is 60 miles south of the the Mackinac Bridge on I-75. The
expressway, I-75, starts at Sault Ste. Marie, Canada and ends south of
Tampa, Florida. This super-highway is a very important part of of
Gaylord's economic base.
Gaylord is a community that has a
balanced economic base of tourism, recreation, agriculture, oil &
natural gas, manufacturing, warehouse distribution, retail, government
services, and more. Gaylord is the county seat of Otsego County.
Gaylord's most distinguishing
characteristic is the Alpine motif in the the central business
district. The Alpine theme has been adopted throughout the city
and county. The Gaylord Story was created in 1968 Herald Elgas,
president of Gaylord State Bank in conjunction with the Chamber of
Commerce. The purpose of the slide presentation was to show how
Gaylord transformed itself into the Alpine
The following pictures and text are
excerpts from the 1982 version of the Gaylord Story.
||The Gaylord Story
really starts with Gaylord/Otsego Chamber of Commerce. Seen here
is the current Information Center located on the corner of Otsego Avenue
and First Street. The building, a replica of the City-County
Building, houses the Gaylord Car.
||This sign locates
Gaylord at the 45th Parallel, half way between the Equator and the North
Pole. This sign is at the southern entrance to Gaylord at the
corner of Old 27 and McCoy Road. Gaylord is a well planned
cross-roads community in the geographic center of Michigan.
||Where did the idea
of an Alpine Village come from? It originated in 1938 at the
Otsego Ski Club located at the east city limits of Gaylord. The
late Don McLouth, president and owner of the club, formed a complex of
buildings all in Swiss chalet architecture. He tried then to get
the community to adapt to this same kind of style, but the time was not
right. It was not until 1963 that the idea was resurrected and so
began the magical transformation of a typical small town into the Alpine
Village. The main lodge, shown here, features a A-frame with
exposed beams, cut field stone, and in traditional blue trim.
||Shown here is the
view from the main lodge of the Otsego Ski Club. This valley
contains the headwaters of the Pigeon, the Sturgeon, and the Black
Rivers. The valley is beautiful all seasons of the year -
showcasing brilliant colors in the fall and dressed in pure white snow
in the winter.
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320 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 1223
Gaylord, MI 49734
Museum hours: June 1 - Labor Day:
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.,
September 7 - October 27: Thurs, Fri, Sat from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.,
October 28 - May 31: Closed for the season. Open by appointment only,
© 2000-2009 Otsego
County Historical Society, Inc.
Otsego Community Connection