Gratiot County encompasses the geographical center of Michigan's
With a total population of 39,982 persons according to the 1990 census, it
boasts a variety of businesses and industries built on a strong agricultural
Broad expanses of level terrain produce crops of sugar beets, corn, and other
grains and beans; gently rolling pastures support beef and dairy cattle.
Petroleum products from the Alma refinery fuel transportation and lubricate the
machinery of industry and agriculture.
Settled in the mid-1800's, Gratiot County was named for General Charles Gratiot
and established its county seat at Ithaca in 1856.
The imposing courthouse on Center Street, built in the 1880's, has a majestic
rotunda set off by ornate railings and interior woodwork. A Lutheran mission to
the area Chippewa people, established in 1846 near Saint. Louis, was a
forerunner of white settlement.