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.