Michigan Small Town: Vintage Photos of Ovid, 1900s-1920s
Every year, the Mid-Michigan public hears two town names together: “Ovid-Elsie”. We know a little about Elsie, and now it's Ovid's turn. A small portion of Ovid lies in Shiawassee County, but you'll find the majority in Clinton County, within Ovid Township.
The genesis of Ovid came about when Sam Barker settled there in 1836. Another legendary Ovid character was Jabez Dennison, called the "slayer of bears" after killing nineteen of 'em in the area. As for the town's name, it was christened by early settler William Swarthout, who named it after his former hometown of Ovid, New York.
Ovid had a good number of businesses going for it in the mid-late 1800s: carriage factory, cooperage, flour mill, foundry, general stores, hotels, lumber company, saw mill, tannery, and a good handful of various downtown shops. The carriage factory was so successful, that Ovid has their annual Ovid Carriage Days festival every September.
OVID FAST FACTS:
1836 – first settlers arrive from New York.
1840 – Ovid Township created.
1856 – first store opened.
1857 – post office began operations.
1857 – a post office called Ovid Centre opens 3½ miles west.
1858 – village platted.
1867 – Ovid Centre is re-named Shepardsville.
1869 – incorporated as a village.
1872 – Congregational Church constructed.
The Congregational Church - registered as a national historic site - still stands and is kept in good shape.
Ovid is one of those “little towns that could”.....and it DID. It's a charming village to add to any Michigan roadtrip and take advantage of the local mom & pop shops! Now take a look at the gallery below, featuring some vintage photos of Ovid, going back over one hundred years!