Mason County Courthouse
The first permanent Euro-American settlement in Mason County began in 1847 when New York native Burr Caswell and his family arrived at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River. The Caswells lived in a driftwood cabin near the Ottawa village of Nindebekatunning. Abundant pine forests attracted lumbermen including Charles Mears, James Ludington, and Eber Brock Ward. In 1855 the state legislature organized Mason County, named for Michigan's first governor, Stevens T. Mason. The Caswell farmhouse in Pere Marquette Township served as the county seat. In 1860, Charles Mears persuaded the board to remove the county seat to Little Sauble (later Lincoln). But remote Little Sauble could not compete with booming Ludington. In 1873 Ludington became the permanent county seat.