In the 1850s, lumbering outposts developed in the area, one of which was called “Loretta”, which was given a post office named “Jay” in April 1856. The office was named for the first postmaster, Jefferson Jaqruth. This outpost was very nearly at the geographical center of Tittawabasse Township. Another settlement was placed just a little to the north. in 1867, one resident of the second locale, George Truesdale, instigated moving the post office from Loretta to his settlement, which retained the name of Jay for several years afterwards.
The name of Freeland comes from “Mammy Freeland” who operated a popular tavern on the river, frequented by lumbermen and rivermen, who came to refer to the entire settlement as Freeland. The name of the post office was changed to Freeland in January 1879. It was also a station on the Pere Marquette Railroad. By another account (Moore), the Freeland family name was prominent in business and politics of the area
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