Situated on the Chippewa River, Mount Pleasant originated as a trading post and was settled in 1861. The community was incorporated as a village in 1875 and as a city in 1889. After the close of the lumbering era, the surrounding rolling farmland produced grain, potatoes, and grass, and a condensed milk factory was opened ( IB1). The river supplied waterpower for sawmills and the manufacture of sashes, doors, staves, flour, and castings. Today the city is a regional shopping center and Central Michigan University enrolls 16,000 students. But the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribal Council's Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort ( IB5) is Isabella County's largest employer.
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