The arrival in Ogemaw Springs of the Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw Railroad in 1872 opened up the regions rich timber resources. By 1873 two hundred people lived in the growing community that included several saw mills, a post office and aa grocery. In 1875 Ogemaw Springs nearly became the county seat,, losing to West Branch by only one vote. In the 1890s the depletion of timber in the area led to the towns decline.
Ogemaw Springs is the oldest village in Ogemaw County. The spring that gives the town its name provided the sole supply of water for early settlers. It also supplied water for the boilers of the railroad steam engines that served the areas lumber industry. In 1888 the local Board of Health sought to protect the springs with an ordinance against the placing of any rubbish or unclean thing within the spring.