If you’re like me and not from Michigan, when you look at a map of the state, read some of the names and scratch your head. Well, I had enough of head scratching and put on my detective hat and went searching for clues online. Here's what I found.

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    Germfask Township

    The name was derived from the surname initials of eight of the original settlers of 1881: John Grant, Matthew Edge, George Robinson, Thaddeus Mead, Dr. W. W. French, Ezekiel Ackley, Oscar (O.D.) Sheppard, and Hezekiah Knaggs.

  • 6

    Free Soil Township

  • 5


    The name "Temperance" was suggested by the wife of one of the founding land owners, who was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. ... During the early years of Temperance, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages was prohibited.

  • 4


    The city's name is a combination of two words. "Franken" represents the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria, home of the Franks, where the original settlers were from. The German word "Mut" means courage; thus, the name Frankenmuth means "courage of the Franconians.

  • 3

    White Pigeon

  • 2

    Bad Axe

    While surveying the first state road through the Huron County wilderness in 1861, Rudolph Papst and George Willis Pack made camp at the future site of the city and found a much-used and badly damaged axe. At Pack’s suggestion, Papst used the name “Bad Axe Camp” in the minutes of the survey and on a sign he placed along the main trail.

  • 1


    There are two theories for the origin of Hell's name.

    The first is that a pair of German travelers stepped out of a stagecoach one sunny afternoon in the 1830s, and one said to the other, "So schön hell!" (translated as, "So beautifully bright!") Their comments were overheard by some locals and the name stuck.

    The second theory is tied to the "hell-like" conditions encountered by early explorers including mosquitos, thick forest cover, and extensive wetlands.

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