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Gaylord, Michigan
Nickname(s): 
The Alpine Village
Location of Gaylord, Michigan
Location of Gaylord, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Otsego
Area
 • Total 4.83 sq mi (12.51 km2)
 • Land 4.80 sq mi (12.43 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
Elevation
1,348 ft (411 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 3,645
 • Estimate 
(2012)
3,622
 • Density 759.4/sq mi (293.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
49734-49735
Area code(s) 989
FIPS code 26-31720
GNIS feature ID 0626696

Gaylord is a city in and the county seat of Otsego County, Michigan, United States. The population was 3,645 at the 2010 census. The city is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord; it is by far the smallest settlement serving as the location of an active Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States.

Gaylord styles itself as an "alpine village" and the city center features many buildings with Tyrolean traverse style motifs. Receiving abundant snowfall and experiencing mild summer temperatures, for many years the area around Gaylord has become known for its many skiing and golf resorts, one of the largest such concentrations in the Midwest.

History

See also: History of Northern Michigan

Gaylord was named for an attorney employed with the Michigan Central Railroad.

Geography

  • According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.83 square miles (12.51 km2), of which, 4.80 square miles (12.43 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
  • Gaylord experiences heavy lake effect snow during the winter and is in the middle of the Northern Michigan snowbelt.
  • Highway signs denote that Gaylord rests on the 45th parallel line – halfway between the equator and the North Pole. This is one of 29 places (six are in Michigan) in the U.S.A. where such signs are known to exist.
  • It is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.
  • Hartwick Pines State Park is just 28 miles (45 km) to the south, and is one of the last remaining stands of old growth virgin Eastern white pine forest.
  • The Huron-Manistee National Forests is nearby.

Climate

This climatic region has large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Gaylord has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

Climate data for Gaylord
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 25.5
(-3.61)
29.1
(-1.61)
39.2
(4)
54.3
(12.39)
66.6
(19.22)
75.7
(24.28)
79.4
(26.33)
77.0
(25)
68.8
(20.44)
55.7
(13.17)
41.6
(5.33)
29.5
(-1.39)
53.5
(11.94)
Daily mean °F (°C) 18.2
(-7.67)
20.3
(-6.5)
28.9
(-1.72)
42.4
(5.78)
53.9
(12.17)
63.5
(17.5)
67.7
(19.83)
65.8
(18.78)
58.1
(14.5)
46.3
(7.94)
34.5
(1.39)
23.4
(-4.78)
43.58
(6.435)
Average low °F (°C) 10.9
(-11.72)
11.6
(-11.33)
18.5
(-7.5)
30.5
(-0.83)
41.3
(5.17)
51.3
(10.72)
55.9
(13.28)
54.5
(12.5)
47.4
(8.56)
36.9
(2.72)
27.4
(-2.56)
17.2
(-8.22)
33.6
(0.89)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.68
(68.1)
1.95
(49.5)
2.10
(53.3)
2.36
(59.9)
3.02
(76.7)
2.91
(73.9)
2.99
(75.9)
3.64
(92.5)
3.67
(93.2)
3.70
(94)
3.23
(82)
3.05
(77.5)
35.31
(896.9)
Snowfall inches (cm) 37.3
(94.7)
24.8
(63)
15.8
(40.1)
7.4
(18.8)
0.5
(1.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3.2
(8.1)
19.4
(49.3)
35.1
(89.2)
143.5
(364.5)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 16.1 11.6 10.3 9.2 9.5 8.8 8.5 9.4 10.7 12.5 13.3 16.2 136.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 15.8 11.5 7.2 3.1 0.2 0 0 0 0 1.6 7.2 14.4 61
Source: NOAA

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 292
1890 661 126.4%
1900 1,561 136.2%
1910 1,538 −1.5%
1920 1,701 10.6%
1930 1,627 −4.4%
1940 2,055 26.3%
1950 2,271 10.5%
1960 2,568 13.1%
1970 3,012 17.3%
1980 3,011 0.0%
1990 3,256 8.1%
2000 3,681 13.1%
2010 3,645 −1.0%
2015 (est.) 3,660 0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,645 people, 1,610 households, and 826 families residing in the city. The population density was 759.4 inhabitants per square mile (293.2/km2). There were 1,847 housing units at an average density of 384.8 per square mile (148.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 0.9% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 1,610 households of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.7% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.7% were non-families. 42.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 39.3 years. 22.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.2% were from 25 to 44; 23.2% were from 45 to 64; and 20% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.9% male and 54.1% female.

Transportation

  • I-75 passes to the west of the city and connects with the Mackinac Bridge to the north and Saginaw and Detroit to the south
  • BL I-75 is a loop route running through Gaylord. It follows the former route of US 27, in part, and was commissioned in 1986. The highway returns to I-75.
  • M-32 passes east–west through the city. Although it is not a true 'cross-peninsular' highway—crosses the lower peninsula from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron—it is close.
  • C-42 terminates at M-32 west of the city. It originates at US 131 in Alba.
  • F-42 begins at BL I-75 (Old US 27) south of the city and proceeds easterly to M-32 southeast of Gaylord.
  • F-44 begins at M-32 east of the city and continues easterly through Sparr to F-01.
  • Old 27 is the former route of US 27 and is a major north–south local route through the city and the rest of Otsego County.
  • Gaylord Regional Airport is located at 1100 Aero Drive, Gaylord, MI 49735. (989) 732-4218 Phone. It is owned and operated by the County of Otsego. The Airport is licensed by the Michigan Aeronautics Commission as a General Utility Airport. It is listed as a tier one airport in all categories of the Michigan Airport System Plan.
  • Indian Trails provides daily intercity bus service between St. Ignace and East Lansing, Michigan.

Recreation

Due to the distance from Lake Michigan and the elevation, snowfall is greatly increased referred to as Lake Effect Snow. The affected area is known as the snow belt and has prodigious snowfall. Combined with local Terrain and Topography many Winter Recreation opportunities abound.

  • Much of the old train system has been converted to trails for biking or Snow Mobile riding. The North Central State Trail north to Mackinaw City is a Rails to trails converted remnant of a spur line of the Michigan Central Railroad that used to serve Gaylord.
  • Fall colors and snowshoeing are highlights in several of the local parks.
  • Cross country skiing is an important tourist activity near Gaylord. With two of the top-rated cross country venues in Michigan, namely Hartwick Pines State Park Trails and Mason Tract Pathway nearby. Forbush corners in nearby Frederic, Michigan is a world-recognized center for education and training in cross country skiing, and benefits from early and late snow due to a 'snow belt micro climate.' Accomplished amateur ski racer David Forbush designed, maintains, and grooms "one of the finest privately owned systems in the Midwest."
  • Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding are also highly accessible with several Resorts operating in the area.
  • Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, and Jetskiing are also available on Otsego Lake.
  • Otsego Lake State Park, swimming, boating, and camping.
  • Otsego Club & Resort

An annual event in July, Alpenfest, encourages participants to dress in traditional Swiss fashions. This event brings in numerous people from all around and provides a vast array of activities. Some of these activities include carnival rides and games, music, shops, and a local 'Queen's Pageant'. A parade takes place on the final day.

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