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Otsego County

Otsego County is named for Otsego County in New York and is an American Native word meaning “place of the rock” or “clear water”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Charlevoix County and Cheyboygan County

E – Montmorency County

S – Crawford County

W – Antrim County and Charlevoix County


Created:  April 1, 1840                            Map of Michigan highlighting Otsego County

County Seat:

Otsego Lake  1875 – 1876

Gaylord          1876 – present


County J Richard Yuill Alpine Center – Gaylord


Location:  800 Livingston Boulevard / Cross Street

Built:  1936 – 1937

Style:  Moderne

Architect:  R V Gay

Contractor:  F H Martin of Warren


Description:  The building faces west and is a four story red colored brick, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds on the northeast side of the center of Gaylord. The building was constructed as a tuberculosis sanitarium. The building has a raised basement and a projecting center section with four vertical concrete pillars. White colored concrete horizontal bands run between the floors. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 46th Judicial District, County District Court and County Probate Court. The building is named as the J Richard Yuill Alpine Center. On the west side of the building there is a lighter brick one story extension. The building was renovated in 1992. The architect was Donald W Morgridge and the contractor was Ausable Construction Company.


Note:  The contractor, F H Martin of Warren employed laborers under the United States Employment Services as approved by the Public Works Administration in 1936.


County Courthouse – Gaylord



Location:  225 West Main Street / South Otsego Avenue

Built:  1967 – 1968

Style:  German

Architect:  Frank & Stein Associates Incorporated of Lansing

Contractor:  McCready & Son Incorporated of Grayling.


Description:  The building faces north and is a two story buff colored brick, stucco and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Gaylord. The first story is buff colored brick and the second story is yellow colored stucco with dark brown colored wood trim. The central entrance has a canopy. Two sections extend from the main building. In front of the entrance is a small tower with steep roof. The roof is hipped. In the interior are wood trim and stucco walls. The courtroom has an arched ceiling and light colored woodwork. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 46th Judicial District. 


See:  The 46th Judicial District includes Crawford County and Kalkaska County.


History:  The county was created in 1840 as Okkuddo and renamed in 1843 as Otsego County. Otsego Lake was selected as the county seat in 1875 when the county was organized. The county met in the boarding house owned by Charles Brink which served as the first courthouse. In 1876, the county seat was moved to Gaylord. The county met in rented premises. The second courthouse was a three story brick structure designed by F M Hollister and built by Ward and Russell in 1890 to 1891. The third courthouse was constructed in 1967 to 1968 at a cost of $735,000. In 1992, the courts moved to the J Richard Yuill Alpine Center.


See:  Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky



J Richard Yuill Alpine Center – Gaylord







County Courthouse – Gaylord









Picture 1891 County Courthouse 



Photos taken 2008