Elijah Moore, George W. Miller and Salt River: Shepherd Area History

A tiny village based in the heart of Michigan, Shepherd is based in the Isabella County of the state. AAs per the 2010 census, the population of the village is only 1515 people. The area of the village is 0.97 square miles only but is quite famous nonetheless. Shepherd celebrates its annual Maple Syrup Festival in April every year, which is attended by numerous guests all the time.

However, the village near the Salt River has quite a history behind its name and birth. Here’s a brief history of the Shepherd area involving Elijah Moore, George W. Miller, and the giver of the village, the Salt River.

Salt River and Elijah Moore

The village of Salt River was first planned by Elijah Moore, who constructed two blocks and twenty two lots in the area. The village was formed on September 5, 1866 and had a hotel in it. However, this hotel served as the only one for several years in the area. The village was a part of the Coe Township and continues to remain so.

Salt River and George W. Miller

In 1867, an additional three blocks and forty five lots were added to the village by George W. Miller. Both Miller and Moore continue to add to the village and made it bigger until the 1870. Several new building were made, and the town even saw a log schoolhouse. However, it was replaced by a frame building later.

Shepherd and Isaac N. Shepherd

The village of Salt River gave rise to the village of Shepherd, whose name was based upon the name of the lumberman Isaac N. Shepherd who platted it on his land. The rails came to the village in the year 1885 with the name Shepherd for the station as it was built on the lumberman’s land. The village also had a post office by the name Salt River but it too moved to Shepherd by 1887 and was renamed. All the big businesses from the Salt River village moved to Shepherd by the 1890s. Salt River almost diminished by this time as people from that village wanted to live closer to the depot and the businesses and therefore, started moving.

Fire at Salt River

In the year 1887, a huge fire in the village of Salt River destroyed most of it. This also led the villagers to move across to the Shepherd village and almost made Salt River disappear. However, by the year 1889, the Shepherd village incorporated Salt River into its own and acknowledged it as a part of their village. The present-day Shepherd is thus, a mix of Salt River and old Shepherd.

Developments at Shepherd

Isaac N. Shepherd brought all the major businesses to the Shepherd village and developed it a lot. The village had Lansing, Alma, Mt. Pleasant, and the Northern Rail Depot. In 1911, the frame structure in the Salt River was also replaced and turned into a brick schoolhouse for the village.

Other Places to Visit in Michigan

Michigan stays as one of the most popular travel destinations as it ticks all the boxes when it comes to vacationing. Beaches, scenery, historical architecture, family friendly or good food, Michigan has got something for every type of vacationer. The most popular places from the destination state include Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Holland, and Mackinac Island. If you plan to visit the state any time soon, here the places that you must go to.

Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor serves a perfect blend of romance and history and gives you the ultimate place for the couples to visit. You can visit the city museums, including the planetarium, the museum of art, and more. Apart from the cultural and historic flavors of the city, Ann Arbor also serves options for hiking, biking and canoeing. A tour of the Michigan Stadium is a much if you’re a football fan.

Mackinac Island

The Mackinac Island serves as the perfect vacation spot for the lovers of water sports and hiking. The calming island does not permit any motor vehicles and offers a breathtaking view of the Lake Huron. One can walk, hike, and bike in the area all they want.

You can also enjoy several water sports, and explore the coastline with their Great Turtle Kayak tour. The island also offers some tours for history lovers and has several buildings that tourists can visit.

Traverse City

Filled with amazing beaches, an orchestra for music, and art museum too spend time at; the Traverse City is one of the satisfying places to visit. The place offers many outdoor activities as well including hiking, biking, and several water sports around the beaches. While you’re there, you can indulge in some great food, winery tours, and breweries as well. Traverse City is a small town charm that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.


Holland, just like its name, brings all the Dutch flavors right into the heart of the USA. The city walking tour offers a beautiful walk in an area filled with tulips and takes you to a place with a working Dutch windmill. Holland offers several beaches for one to relax, and many lakes for one to go sailing, kayaking, and paddle boating. It is one of the most romantic places to visit in the state as it is as serene as filled with culture and art history. The place offers an art museum, symphony orchestra, and a petting zoo as well.

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is a place to visit if you’re looking for a great place to vacation with your family. Not only is the place filled with good architecture, but it also offers many museums tours, good food, and several outdoor activities.

The architecture of the structures in Heritage Hill goes as far as 1844 and serve you a great trip down the history lane. The Grand Rapids also features an open-air museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens, and a Sculpture Park for art lovers. If you’re into outdoor activities, you can opt for hiking, zip lining, or paddling.