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Arenac County

Arenac County is named for “arena” referring to the sand in the Coliseum to provide a better footing for gladiators, and “ac” a Native American Indian word for “place of”, and named by Henry Schoolcraft as “a sandy place for good footing”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Ogemaw County and Iosco County

E – Lake Huron and Ontario, Canada

S – Bay County

W – Gladwin County


Created:  April 21, 1883                          Map of Michigan highlighting Arenac County

County Seat:

Omer       1883 – 1892

Standish  1892 – present


County Courthouse – Standish


Location:  120 North Grove Street / East Cedar Street

Built:  1963 – 1964

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Ralph S Gerganoff of Ypsilanti

Contractor:  Davidson & Son Builders Inc.


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story buff colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Standish. The southwest corner is a buff colored brick tower and the west front is faced with red-pink colored panels between the first and second story windows. The entrance is towards the south of the west front and has a high portico supported by four red colored pillars. The roof line is flat. In the interior is a lobby. There are three courtrooms. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 23rd Judicial District, County District Court and Probate Court. The building was renovated in 1985. On the north side is the County Building which houses the County District Court. 


See: The architect,  Ralph S Gerganoff of Ypsilanti, designed courthouses  in Alcona County, Allegan County, Charlevoix County and Washlenaw County, and with Stephen T Gerganoff of Ypsilanti in Huron County.


Old County Courthouse – Omer



Location:  123 West Huron Road / South George Street

Built:  1889 – 1890

Style:  Federal

Architect:  Pratt & Koeppe of Bay City

Contractor:  Angus McDonald


Description:  The building faces north and is a two story white colored wood structure. The rectangular shaped  building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Omer. The north front has a one story white colored portico supported by four white colored columns. On the second story is a large arched window. There is a round window in the gable and a square white colored wood cupola with steep roof. The roof is hipped. 


See:  The 23rd Judicial District includes Alcona County,  Iosco County and Oscoda County.


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Omer was selected as the county seat. The first court house was the Gorrie House purchased in 1883 at a cost of $413. The building burned on May 18, 1889. The second courthouse was a two story wood structure built in 1889 to 1890 at a cost of $2,971. In 1892, the county seat was moved to Standish. The county offices were housed in the opera house block and the third courthouse, a red colored brick structure was built in 1892. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1963 to 1964.


See:  Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky



County Courthouse – Standish











Old County Courthouse – Omer





Photos taken 2008