Cadillac was originally
called Clam Lake and was incorporated as a village in 1874. George
Mitchell was elected the first mayor. The village changed its name
and was incorporated as the city of Cadillac three years later in
1877, named after Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, a
Frenchman who made the first permanent settlement at Detroit in 1701.
Cadillac sits on the eastern
edge of the Manistee National Forest and the surrounding area is heavily
wooded with mixed hardwood and conifer forests. A main agricultural
industry in the area is Christmas tree farming. In fact, Cadillac
was chosen in 1988 to donate the Christmas tree to sit on the lawn
of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.
Cadillac experiences a
typical northern Michigan climate, undergoing temperate seasonal changes,
influenced by the presence of Lake Michigan and the inevitable lake
effect. Winters are generally cold with large amounts of snowfall.