REED CITY — The Osceola County Commissioners chamber was transformed from a white and gray meeting place to a red white and blue celebration as the county celebrated its secinquintenial.
After the Osceola County employee annual picnic and commissioners meeting on Tuesday, July 16, the county chamber was filled with county employees and community members to celebrate 150 years of Osceola County.
Before the festivities, Commissioner Roger Elkins gave a presentation on Delos A. Blodgett and told people about Blodgett and the history Elkins had dug up over the past 24 years.
Blodgett came up the Muskegon River in 1850. Particularly impressed with the area that is now Hersey, he and Tom Stimson traveled up a small stream into Clare County where they decided they would start a lumber camp. That winter, Blodgett's crew cut logs and sent them down the river in the spring. Later Blodgett returned to Hersey and started a farm, Elkins said.
Later, in 1868, Hersey was established, Blogette was named the first supervisor and a year later Osceola County was formed.
After Elkins' presentation, Osceola County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jack Nehmer presented a plaque from the state congratulating the county on 150 years.
Armed with the presentation on his laptop, Elkins continued his history lesson to a number of the 40 to 50 people who attended as they celebrated 150 years with cake and cookies.
His presentation included old logs of meeting minutes from early Osceola County days and pictures of early Hersey and Reed City.
Some of the history included a little bit about Blodgette himself and how he always gave back to the community and the early days of the area before it became an official Michigan County.
Though he is not entirely sure when he started to research Blodgett and the Osceola area, Elkins knows it was not too soon before rededicating of the Evart Depot in 1995. It was this rededicating that Elkins found his love for reenacting.
"I was mayor of Evart at the time. We were rededicating the Depot and wanted a fun way to do it," he said. "We came up with the idea that we would rent costumes and have a more olden-times kind of feel to it. We even used an ax to cut the ribbon rather than scissors... Its just kind of an interesting twist."
In dawning his costume, Elkins said he looks forward to getting to be Blodgett and teaching people about the county.
"When I went to school, it seemed like events that happened (in history) were made a big deal," he said. "I have always found history fascinating and it's important for people to know about those kinds of things."