Farwell

In the beginning Clare county belonged to the Chippewa Indians. They gave names to the Lakes and Rivers: Muskegon and Assemoqua, meaning Tobacco; Kay-Kenee meaning "Pigeon-Hawk", the name of Cla County until it was changed by an Irish surveyor to Clare, in memory of his own county in Ireland. There were no Indian villages, perhaps because the dense Cedar swamps and White Pines made it inhospitable. 90% percent of the land area of Michigan had been covered with primeval forest and 60% of that was estimated to be White Pine. The great trees towered from one hundred and twenty five to two hundred feet tall, three to six feet in diameter, with solid trunks of clear timber sixty to ninety feet before the first limb. In some regions they grew so close that the sunlight could not penetrate the forest floor. The White Pine of Michigan alone was valued at worth more than all the gold of California by Billions of dollars. Farwell is located on the southern border of Clare County. The town was established in 1870 when the Pere Marquette Railroad, building a line from Saginaw to Ludington came through here. It was named after Samuel Farwell, a resident of Utica, New York and a well-know contractor for the building of public works. His works include the Croton Aqueduct, which supplied New York City with Clean Water around 1840. He was also involved in the building of the Erie Canal. He was a major stockholder in the Flint Pere Marquette Railway Company. His Son--in- Law, William Potter, was employed by the railroad. It was the first County seat, from 1871 to 1879, and was incorporated into a village in 1879. Today Farwell retains its small town atmosphere, supported by small businesses and several manufacturing firms which include the production of vinyl and plastics, auto parts and bearings. Farwell also plays a role in tourism, being close to the "Lakes" area in the county.