According to mcat-test-centers.com, Benzie County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Traverse City, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area and is situated along Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline. The county seat is Beulah and the largest city is Frankfort. Benzie County was created in 1869 from parts of Manistee and Grand Traverse counties. The county was named after Henry Benjamin Whiting, who served as a judge in Grand Traverse County and was nicknamed “Benzie” by his constituents.
Benzie County covers an area of 577 square miles, most of which is land with only 8 square miles being water. Its terrain consists mostly of rolling hills with some low, marshy areas near the lake shoreline. The highest point in the county is located at 1,719 feet above sea level on Bear Mountain just south of Beulah.
The population of Benzie County was 17,868 as of 2019 according to the U.S Census Bureau estimates with most people living in urban areas such as Frankfort (5,073) and Beulah (1,914). The median household income for Benzie County residents was $47,631 in 2018 while the poverty rate was 14%.
The economy of Benzie County relies heavily on tourism thanks to its location on Lake Michigan as well as its proximity to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and other attractions such as Point Betsie Lighthouse or Crystal Mountain Ski Resort & Spa. Agriculture is also important to Benzie’s economy with over 9% of land used for farming purposes mainly focused on producing apples, cherries, cranberries and grapes among other crops.
The government system for Benzie County consists mainly of a Board Of Commissioners which oversees day-to-day operations; however there are also several other elected officials such as a Sheriff’s Department led by Sheriff Ted Schendel who serve under the Board Of Commissioners; an elected Prosecuting Attorney; an elected Register Of Deeds; an elected Clerk/Register Of Probate; two elected Treasurers (one for each township); three elected Drain Commissioners; two elected Surveyors (one for each township); two elected Commission On Aging members (one for each township); two appointed Equalization Directors (one appointed by each Township Board); one appointed Finance Director; one appointed Emergency Management Director; one appointed Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer; one appointed Zoning Administrator; one appointed Health Officer/Environmental Health Director; four appointed Planning Commission members (two from each township); four appointed Parks & Recreation Commission members (two from each township).
Benzie County has much to offer both residents and visitors alike: beautiful scenery along Lake Michigan’s shoreline combined with plenty of recreational activities make it an ideal destination for anyone looking to enjoy northern Michigan’s beauty.
History of Benzie County, Michigan
Benzie County, Michigan is located on the western coast of the Lower Peninsula and is known for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. The county stretches from Lake Michigan to the Manistee National Forest and is home to many small towns such as Frankfort, Beulah, and Honor. Benzie County was first settled by Europeans in 1839 when William C. Alden arrived in the area. He established a trading post near present-day Honor which quickly became a hub of activity as settlers moved into the area.
In 1840, Benzie County was officially organized as part of Grand Traverse County but was later split off in 1862 when it became an independent county. During this time, Benzie’s economy began to shift away from fur trading and towards lumbering as well as fishing. These industries helped fuel growth in the area’s population which reached 8,000 by 1890.
The 20th century saw a period of decline for Benzie County as logging operations began to move out of the area due to overharvesting and decreasing demand for lumber products. This led to a decrease in population which bottomed out at 6,000 by 1940 before increasing again after World War II thanks to an influx of new residents seeking employment opportunities in nearby cities such as Traverse City or Grand Rapids.
Today, Benzie County is known primarily for its tourism industry which has grown significantly over the past few decades thanks to its proximity to Lake Michigan and attractions such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore or Crystal Mountain Ski Resort & Spa. Agriculture also plays an important role in the local economy with over 9% of land used for farming purposes mainly focused on producing apples, cherries, cranberries and grapes among other crops.
Benzie County’s diverse landscape combined with its rich history makes it an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore northern Michigan’s beauty.
Major cities and towns in Benzie County, Michigan
Benzie County is home to a number of small cities and towns, each offering its own unique attractions and experiences. The county seat is Beulah, a small village located on the shores of Crystal Lake. It is home to many tourist attractions such as the Benzie County Historical Society Museum and the Beulah Beach Park. Frankfort is another popular town located in Benzie County. This picturesque harbor town features a historic downtown area, an array of shops and restaurants, and a marina with plenty of activities for visitors.
Further north lies Honor, a tiny village located at the edge of the Manistee National Forest. It has long been known as one of Michigan’s top vacation spots due to its beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and camping opportunities. The nearby Platte River State Fish Hatchery offers visitors an up close look at some of Michigan’s native fish species while nearby Lake Ann provides plenty of opportunities for swimming and fishing.
Elberta is another popular destination in Benzie County that offers plenty for visitors to do including exploring its historic downtown area or taking part in one of its many festivals such as the Elberta Sausage Festival or the Elberta Summerfest. Other communities within Benzie County include Lake Ann, Thompsonville, Interlochen, Copemish, Bear Lake, Empire and Arcadia among others.
No matter where you go in Benzie County you will find something interesting to explore. From quaint villages to bustling cities, there are countless attractions waiting to be discovered throughout this beautiful region of Michigan.
Postal codes in Benzie County, Michigan
According to Countryaah, Benzie County, Michigan is served by three postal codes: 49617, 49618 and 49619. Each code covers a different geographic area within the county. The 49617 zip code covers the cities of Beulah and Honor, as well as the townships of Almira, Crystal Lake, Benzonia and Joyfield. The 49618 zip code is used for the cities of Frankfort and Elberta, as well as for most of Benzie County’s rural areas. Finally, the 49619 zip code covers the cities of Interlochen and Thompsonville as well as most of Lake Ann Township.
The county seat Beulah is served by both the 49617 and 49618 codes. It is home to many tourist attractions such as the Benzie County Historical Society Museum and Beulah Beach Park. Frankfort is another popular town located in Benzie County that is served by both zip codes. This picturesque harbor town features a historic downtown area, an array of shops and restaurants, and a marina with plenty of activities for visitors.
Elberta is another popular destination in Benzie County served by both zip codes that offers plenty for visitors to do including exploring its historic downtown area or taking part in one of its many festivals such as the Elberta Sausage Festival or Elberta Summerfest. The village of Honor is also served by both codes while nearby Lake Ann provides plenty of opportunities for swimming and fishing within its boundaries which are covered by both postal codes too.
The city of Interlochen falls within the boundaries covered by both postal codes while Thompsonville uses only the 49619 code to serve its citizens. Additionally, Copemish, Bear Lake Empire and Arcadia all use only one postal code each respectively: 49618 for Copemish; Bear Lake; Empire; Arcadia respectively.
Whether you live in one corner or another corner within Benzie County you can find your unique postal code ready to serve you.