Clare County, Michigan has a rich history, but not one that has inspired a lot of writers to put pen to paper. As opposed to counties in other sections of the state, like Wayne County, Kent County or even Grand Traverse County, little has been written about Clare County.
Now that doesn’t mean the Clare County section of the library is bare. Not in the least. We have been blessed with a few wonderful historian/writers who have taken it upon themselves to craft some interesting books. Forrest Meek, Roy Dodge and T. M. Sellers are three that come to mind. Sadly, after them the pickings get a bit slim. There are a few still publishing content, like former Judge Jon Ringelberg who is summarizing county court cases from the 1870′s to the present. And, of course, there is this blog (although this content won’t ever appear in a library), but there’s not a lot more out there, of which I am aware. Sure, there are books that contain a mention or two of something county related, or that talk about an incident that occurred in the county, but that is about all.
On the bright side, the lack of books means it can be pretty easy to put together a library! Below are my choices for books that should be in every Clare history buff’s library. And no, I don’t have them all. Not yet, anyway.
- Michigan’s Timber Battleground by Forrest Meek
- Heartland by Forrest Meek
- Clare (Images of America) by Robert Knapp
- Ticket to Hell, a Saga of Michigan’s Bad Men by Roy Dodge
- Ghost Towns in Michigan by Roy Dodge
- Michigan Rogues, Desperados & Cut-Throats by Tom Powers
- Michigan Shadow Towns, A Study of Vanishing and Vibrant Villages by Gene Scott (Includes short mentions on Leota, Meredith and Temple)
- Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More Than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan by Walter Romig and Larry Massie
- Spikehorn: The Life Story of John E. Meyer by T. M Sellers
- A Dictionary of Clare County Citizens Who Served Their Country (1996) by Forrest Meek.
- Clare Remembered. The First Hundred Years–An Introduction to the History of the Clare Area (1979) by the Clare Area Centennial Committee
A couple more books are in the planning stages: One on the Leebove/Livingston murder in 1938 and an Images of America hook on Harrison. Both are due out in 2014.
So, what other books need to be added to this list?
Here’s a link to another site with books about Clare County and links to retailers: http://cliophilepress.com
Oh, one more thing: The lack of books and the wealth of things there are to write about (history and otherwise) means opportunity knocks. I hope people answer it.