Rotary had its beginning in Cadillac at the Great Lakes Way Camp August 9, 1920. Perry F. Powers acted as temporary chairman and Fred C. Wetmore was temporary secretary at the organizational meeting. District Governor Hug E. Van de Walker of Ypsilanti told the group about Rotary, assisted by Rotarians from Grand Rapids, the sponsoring club.

The following week, twenty-two names were on the Charter Membership roster, which was sent with the club's applications to the International Association of Rotary Clubs. At that meeting the members also elected as their first officer: President, James Johnston; Vice-President Edward A. Lefebvre; Secretary, Fred Wetmore; Treasurer, Clyde J. Ayers; and Sergeant-at-Arms, Merritt M. Haynes. Board members elected were: Perry F. Powers, Fred C. Wetmore James, Johnston, Edward Al Lefebvre and Henry D'Haene, Jr.

On October 4, 1920, new District Governor Ray W. Davis of St. Joseph-Benton Harbor presented the Charter to the Cadillac club. Charter members were: Charles R. Abbott, Henry C. Aurer; Clyde J. Ayers; Dr. Ernest W. Beggs; Thomas F. Canfield; Felix H. Church; Henry D'Haene, Jr.; Clarence H. Foster; Francis O. Gaffney; N. Vern Gerrish; John W. Harvey; Merritt M. Haynes; James Johnston; Henry Knowlton; Rev. Edward Lefebvre; Perry F. Powers; Dr. Otto L. Ricker; Charles Thompson; Solon W. Webb; Fred Wetmore; Mart L. Williams; and Charles A. Ward. The last surviving charter member was Clarence H. Foster.

From the beginning, the club was active in all of Rotary's Avenues of Service: Club Service, Community Service, Vocational Service, and International Service. At the second meeting of the club, one of the members presented for discussion the topic of "Milk Inspection for the City." This was followed through, and the State Health Department made an investigation and milk inspection was established in Cadillac.

Other activities in the early years of the club were advocating the services of an anti-tuberculosis nurse for the community and a school nurse for the city schools. The club advocated application for a State Park to be established in Cadillac. In 1921 the City of Cadillac was sponsoring a committee to cooperate on this project.

In 1921, the club appointed a committee to promote a boys' band. When the Board of Education decided to make instrumental music a part of the curriculum of the schools, the Rotary Club purchased many of the instruments.

Also in 1922, the club started having boys from the senior class as guest at a regular noon luncheon. Later they started having a banquet for members of the football squad, which was continued for many years. Another annual event was inviting the National Honor Society senior members to a club luncheon.

The Rotary Club initiated work with crippled children in this community by conducting a survey to locate all of the children who might need attention. For several years clinics were held and an orthopedic specialist was brought to the clinic to examine these children. Later, the state saw the great need and established a program to look after these children.

In 1922, the club made its first contribution to the Y.M.C.A. Camp, later purchased for the Cadillac Area Public Schools and now called Camp Torenta. The club appropriated funds to build a cabin at the camp and Cadillac Rotarians continue to this day to contribute time and money to the maintenance and improvement of the camp.

On several occasions, the club sponsored Hobby Fairs and Pet Shows for elementary school children. For many years the club has sponsored the international exchange of foreign students to Cadillac to live with families here and sponsored students from Cadillac area to live with foreign families.