This area now known as Dryden was settled in 1834. By 1880 it was a hamlet of about 300 people. A marketing center surrounded by rich farm land, it turned to the railroad to increase its prosperity. Its citizens, spurred by the Local Ladies Library Association, contributed $11,000 to help defer construction costs in order to bring the railroad to Dryden. On October 3, 1883, the Pontiac, Oxford, and Port Austin Railroad passenger train rolled into town. Over 500 spectators, the Thornville cornet band and a cannon were on hand to salute the train.