Holly: The Early Years

Both Holly Township and the Village of Holly were named by Jonathan T. Allen after Mount Holly, New Jersey. It is thought that the red berries of Michigan holly also inspired the title.The first settler of Holly, Michigan was Nathan Herrick, who arrived in 1831. He was soon joined by┬áIra C. Alger in 1836 who built himself a log cabin and later dammed the Shiawassee River and constructed a saw mill, then a grist mill, in what became Holly’s first business district.


By 1862, both the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad and the Pierre Marquette came through Holly, which made Holly one of the first Michigan communities with a junction. This allowed the White pines from northern Michigan to now be transported more easily to the eastern United States. In 1875, a great fire burned much of the original village down, especially on the east side of the village, but most of it has since been reconstructed.