The History Of Benzie County
Benzie County’s rich history began before it formed as a county in 1869
Founded in Community, Built on Education
Benzie County was formed in 1869
The area’s economic engine is fueled by health care and tourism
Five decades ago, our county was in a much different, stronger economic place. The railroads and car ferries were still in operation, and workers there were under union contracts so the local quality of life for many was above average for decades. There was also a decent manufacturing base.
Our county’s financial fortunes turned substantially when the last of the railroad tracks were closed and the carferries stopped service in 1982. The dominoes began to fall, and soon many of the manufacturing plants were shuttered. The area’s main economic engine is now fueled by health care and tourism.
Benzie County is rural and relatively remote
Effects on Education & Population
A Rural County Pushing Forward
Benzie County supports a robust landscape of community arts organizations
Strength in Arts & Culture
Benzie County Has a Strong Cultural Heritage
Our community has a strong arts and culture heritage that carries on today. Benzie counts Point Betsie Lighthouse, Oliver Center for the Arts, the Mills Community House, Cognition Science & Discovery Center, BAHM and four district libraries as community assets. Collaborations and informal partnerships between local nonprofits are common; leaders of local nonprofits realize that due to the rural nature of our county and limited resources, we are stronger by working together and supporting one another.