Roscommon County came into being when it was separated from Midland County in 1875. The area which included Roscommon County was originally called 'Mikenauk' for Chief Mikenauk who was an Ottawa Indian, and referred to as a chief of the first class in the treaty of 1836. Houghton Lake was originally named Roscommon Lake. In 1877 the Village of Houghton Lake was described as follows: The county seat of Roscommon County, a place of 20 population, settled in 1873. It is situated on Roscommon Lake, 18 miles from Roscommon Station, its nearest railroad point. In 1879 the Village of Roscommon was named the county seat. Houghton Lake was named after Douglas Houghton the first Michigan geologist.
In the 1800s it was a large lumbering area and in its heyday, the village of Roscommon boosted one hotel and 14 saloons. Today, it is known for its three lakes, Higgens Lake, Lake St. Helen and Houghton Lake the largest inland body of water in Michigan. If you need to check on records before 1875, you may want to check in one of the two counties that Roscommon was taken from: Cheboygan or Midland . Roscommon County, Michigan has a sister county in Roscommon, Ireland. Many Irish settled this area in the 1800's and remain here today.