Tawas City is located in Iosco County (of which it is the county seat) north of Bay City between West Branch and Osceola along US Highway 23 near the shore of Lake Huron.
The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 1,744, a decrease of 265 since 1990.
Tawas City was named after a local Ottawa Indian Chief, Otawas, it was founded in 1854 by Gideon O. Whittemore, a former judge in Oakland County, who moved here and built a sawmill. This town was a major player in the lumber era of the late 1800s, being the home of the historic Detroit & Mackinac Railroad. Some of its buildings still exist today, and can be seen along US-23 to the east. It was incorporated as a village in 1885 and later as a city in 1895.