About Iosco County

Iosco County is located in the heart of Lake Huron’s “Sunrise Side”. The county is made up of the municipalities of Hale, Whittemore, Oscoda, Tawas City and East Tawas. Though Iosco County is mostly rural, its community still offers small-town living balanced with 21st century amenities.

Iosco County has an interesting history. Its name means “water of light” in the Chippewa tongue. An early Chippewa chief, Chief O-Ta-Was, was known for fishing the water in what we know as Iosco County. The cities of Tawas City and East Tawas were named for him as well as Tawas Bay, the largest bay on Lake Huron. French traders gave us the name of the AuSable River. In French, “au sable” means “all sand”.

In 1840, the county was originally formed as Kanotin County, was renamed Iosco in 1843 and organized in 1857. According to the US Census Bureau, Iosco County has a total area of 1,891 square miles of which 549 square miles of it is land and 1,342 square miles of it (70.96%) is water. Iosco County is considered to be part of northern Michigan.