Northeast Lower Peninsula

Terney House

Terney House

William J. Terney was a prominent figure in Michigan’s lumber industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a lumber baron, he played a significant role in the exploitation and development of Michigan’s vast forests. Lumber barons like William J. Terney were instrumental in the state’s economic growth, and their activities shaped the landscape and communities of Michigan during that era. The historical marker states that the house was built in the late 1880 and that information would have been provided by the organization filling out the request for the historical marker. Other research has suggested that the… Read More »

History of Otsego County

Otsego County Building

Otsego County is located in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Before European settlers arrived, the area that is now Otsego County was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Ottawa and Chippewa. These Indigenous people relied on the region’s abundant natural resources for their livelihood. Okkuddo County The original name of Otsego County was Okkuddo County, which meant sickly. However, the name was changed to Otsego on March 8, 1843, which means “clear water” or “meeting place”. The county was organized on March 12, 1875,… Read More »

The Metz Fire

Twisted Train Tracks from the 1908 Metz Fire

On October 15, 1908, a series of fires swept through the pine forests of Presque Isle County, Michigan. The fires were fueled by strong winds and dry conditions, and quickly spread to the village of Metz. The fire continued to spread, threatening the county seat at Rogers City, and burning to the outskirts of the City of Alpena. The fire even jumped across Grand Lake before finally burning itself out at the Lake Huron shore. The extent of the losses at Metz led to the fire being referred to as “The Metz Fire,” but it devastated an area well beyond the… Read More »

Hauntings in Northeastern Michigan

Bois Blanc Island

Embark on a captivating journey with Northern Michigan History as we embark on our 5-part series, delving into the mysterious world of the most haunted locations in Northern Michigan. Our second installment takes us to the Northeast Lower Peninsula, where you’ll encounter a haunted lighthouse, a ghost town frozen in time, and an entire island that harbors its own spectral inhabitants. Presque Isle Old Presque Isle Lighthouse on Lake Huron: The lighthouse was originally torn down and replaced with a home in 1939 by new owner Francis B Stebbins. In the 50s, he decided to refurbish the tower and operate… Read More »

Michigan Rail Ferries

SS Landsdowne carrying passenger train cars in 1905.

We wrote about the Michigan Car Ferry System that primarily took cars across the Straits of Mackinac last week. While researching those ferries we discovered that there were ferries that transported railcars. We touched on it a little last week with the Chief WaWatam that would transport the railcars across the Straits.  Michigan State Car Ferries, also known as the “Michigan State Railways,” had a significant role in the transportation history of the Great Lakes region. Operating primarily during the early to mid-20th century, these ferries were responsible for transporting railroad cars across Lake Michigan between Michigan and Wisconsin. The… Read More »

Michigan State Car Ferry System

Mackinac Bridge being built

I have a picture hanging in my dining room of the Mackinac Bridge being built. This picture has always fascinated me. Every time I look at it, I discover something new. A friend was visiting on their way to Mackinac Island and we got talking about the bridge and the ferries before the bridge. I wanted to learn more about the ferries that would transport people and their cars across the Straits of Mackinac. I knew they existed but beyond that I did not know anything about the ferries. After all, the bridge opened a couple of years before I… Read More »

Ogemaw Springs

Ogemaw Springs - Ogemaw Township Michigan

Ogemaw Springs is one of the oldest settlements in Ogemaw County. Lumbering operations in Ogemaw county began in 1871 in Ogemaw Spring. In 1872 the railroad was constructed as far as Ogemaw Springs. Ogemaw Springs had one of the first post offices in Ogemaw County in the early 1870s and was in operation until 1893. In 1871 a mill was built on the Rifle River. By 1873 Ogemaw Springs had a grocery, story, a few sawmills and a fresh water supply for residents use. The town was thriving as a lumber town and was supplying wood to the state and… Read More »

Camp Lunden

Camp Lunden

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression to provide work relief for unemployed young men. Over 8000 men were employed by the 103 camps in Michigan. They were responsible for constructing roads, maintaining forest lands, and constructing state park facilities in Michigan. The program operated from 1933 to 1942. Camp Lunden in Lewiston in Montmorency County was one of the camps from 1933 to 1936. It was names after Herman Lunden (1859-1929) who Had been active in conservation in his native Sweden where the terrain was very similar to… Read More »

Rose Township District No 5 School

The Lupton Schoolhouse was constructed from 1903–1904

Rose Township District No. 5 School is a former one-room schoolhouse located in Rose Township, Michigan. It was built in 1875 and served as a school for students in grades one through eight until it was closed in 1955 due to consolidation with other local schools. The Lupton Schoolhouse was constructed from 1903–1904 and served Lupton as the Rose Township District No. 5 School. The two-room schoolhouse remained in operation until 1963. The site was dedicated as a Michigan State Historic Site on April 20, 1995. Rose Township District No. 5 School Industry and Invention (1875 – 1915) – Registered… Read More »

Rose City and the Big Fire

  Rose City is a small city located in Ogemaw County, Michigan with a total area of 1.09 square miles. Rose City was originally named Churchill and was a lumbering town. The area had much sought after giant pines and old timber. Land was cleared, a general store and housing was built. The post office opened on September 8, 1875, under the name Churchill. Rose Family William Rose moved his family came from New York in 1875. William later returned to New York but one of his Allan stayed. He formed a partnership with M.H. French called French and Rose… Read More »