Otsego was established in 1831, called Pine Creek by its initial settlers: Giles Scott and Hull Sherwood. A post office was established in 1832 under the name of Allegan, the name being changed to Otsego in 1835 with the organization of Allegan County, spearheaded by Otsego resident Dr. Samuel Foster. 1833 brought a school to the new town, and a hotel - the Tompkins House - followed in the 1860s.
The 1880s saw some big advances for Otsego. In 1883, Otsego High School held its first commencement ceremony, graduating a wopping 3 students; A home-delivery milk route was started up in 1885; and 1886 brought the establishment of the volunteer fire department still in operation today (with different firemen of course), but no longer using horse-drawn water-wagons. The decade closes out with the formation of the city's Republican Club in 1888.
The city's popular baseball park was sold to the area Catholics as a site for a church in 1890. The Russell Buggy Company came to town as well, making popular ironclad carriages. The Bardeen Mansion was completed in 1894, and would remain a subject of public adoration until its decimation in the 1962-63.
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