The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


On June 30, 1940, the University owned 10,102 acres of land, 291 acres in the Ann Arbor area and 9,811 acres located elsewhere in the state of Michigan and outside the state. By June 30, 1955, the University owned 18,576 acres of land at original cost value of $9,023,879. Of these, 1,007 acres were in the Ann Arbor area and the rest were in out-state Michigan and at Camp Davis near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Significant among the out-state holdings were the Biological Station near Cheboygan - 8,809 acres; the Edwin S. George Reserve in Livingston County - 1,335 acres; the Chase S. Osborn Preserve on Sugar Island in the St. Mary's River - 3,144 acres; and the Willow Run Airport in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties - 1,972 acres.

Total land holdings at June 30, 1977, amounted to 20,090 acres at a cost of $21,640,857. Of these lands, 2,582 acres at a cost of $17,486,697 are located in the Ann Arbor area, and of these 1,562.17 acres are within the city limits of Ann Arbor, including the North Campus holdings acquired in the 1950s. Occasionally individual city lots with houses on the campus perimeter became available for sale. Where these benefited the University's campus plans, purchase agreements were negotiated. In some cases these scattered lots were held as income properties for a short time until the land could be used for campus building purposes.

Two significant acreages in the Ann Arbor area, but outside the city limits, are the Botanical Gardens on Dixboro Road, acquired in 1957-58, and Radrick Farms on Dixboro and Geddes Roads, acquired in 1961-62.

Page  50A gift of 70.346 acres in Dexter, Michigan, including the former home of Judge Samuel William Dexter, was received in December of 1950 from the granddaughter Mrs. Katherine Dexter McCormick.

Important changes in out-state land holdings include the acquisition of the Willow Run Airport property in 1947 by transfer from the Federal Government as war-surplus property and the later transfer of Willow Run Airport to the Wayne County Road Commission in 1977, a reduction of 1,957 acres from the University land records. Additions in out-state holdings since 1955 include:

  • 258 acres - Mud Lake in Webster Township of Washtenaw County, acquired in 1954-55 and 1955-56
  • 90 acres - increased acquisitions in Stinchfield Woods in 1955-56 and in 1964-65
  • 196 acres - Dearborn Campus - a gift acquired in 1957-58
  • 134 acres - Willow Run - U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare surplus properties acquired in 1960-61
  • 203 acres - Keweenaw Peninsula Rocket Launching Site, acquired in 1963-64
  • 53 acres - Flint Campus acquisitions, acquired by gift in 1970-71
  • 629 acres - Biological Station additions, acquired in separate parcels throughout the period
  • 33 acres - Chase S. Osborn Preserve net additions, finalized in 1973-74
  • 330 acres - William A. Harper Preserve in Genesee County, a gift in 1974-75
  • 129 acres - St. Pierre Wetlands in Livingston, County, a gift in 1975-76