Henry Schoolcraft name Arenac county from the ancient words "arena", meaning
a place sanded for gladiators to give them proper footing, and the Indian word
"ac", meaning "place of". So the name Arenac means "sandy
place". Prior to the European explorers the area was inhabited by Indians.
Native American villages were located mostly along the shores of Lake Huron and
Saginaw Bay. Artifacts date back 5,000 years. The land was occupied by Saginaw
Chippewa's when the first white settlers came from Canada. In 1819 most of the county
was ceded to the US Government, but Chippewa reservations remained near the
mouths of AuGres and Rifle rivers until they were ceded in 1837.
Early industries included; lumbering, fishing, brick and tile manufacturing,
and farming. Michigan's first coal mine shaft was dug in this county. Today Arenac
county is a popular resort area. Within this county is the city of Omer, which is
known as the smallest cities in Michigan. The largest city Standish,
still attracts hunters, fisherman, and snowmobilers.