Charlevoix History


What average person isn't eager for stories of the Mound-builder, the warring Indian, the early French Voyageurs, the Mormons, and others exciting events belonging to the old pioneer days?

In compiling the series of events which lead up to the present days Charlevoix County, we find-interesting- and thrilling stories of the happenings of by-gone years.

The pressure of modern life is so swift, and we Americans live so much in today, that the yesterdays are often forgotten.

Before we can get a clear picture of the development of our own Charlevoix County, let us go back to the early history of our State, and Nation. In the Charlevoix Region there is the charm of historic association resting upon-- all its area. Here the Mound-builders left their traces, and its surface has been scarred by Indian wars of the remote past. There is indubitable evidence that the mound-builders wrought the copper mines of Lake Superior-that the work was carried .on by a large body of men through a period of hundreds or years -but the evidence that they established permanent settlements there is wanting. The most reasonable theory is that the laborers spent the summer in the mines, but retired for the winter to a more genial clime.

It is evident that they had populous settlements in some of the more fertile districts of the southern part of the State. Farther north their remains are found less frequently, and are of a less imposing character.

The evidence seems conclusive that the Mound-builders, the most ancient inhabitants of the territory of the United States of whom we have any know-ledge, had extended their scattered frontier settlements into the Charlevoix Region. Here, perhaps, mining expeditions from the more' populous south called to make their final preparations for the northern summer trip, and here some of the returning miners were accustomed to spend the winter.

Fragments of ancient pottery, having the markings common to the pottery attributed to the Mound-builder nave been found within the City limits of Boyne City, as well as sparingly in other places within the county.

At Charlevoix, in excavating a cellar, an ancient grave was opened, in which was found a great number of beautifully finished flint arrow-heads, and a quantity of copper beads. In the same locality, some boys, amusing themselves by running up and down the bank of Old River, discovered a piece of copper protruding from the gravelly bank. An examination resulted in the finding of two knives and two bodkins, or piercing instruments, all of copper,

The sites of several ancient manufactories of stone arrow-heads have been found. At Charlevoix, the soil for a foot or more in depth, on the top of the bluff, north of the mouth of the river, contained great numbers of these flint chips, together with some unfinished arrowheads that were spoiled in the making and thrown away.

It may be said that the Indians made and used flint arrow-heads and stone axes, and that therefore the finding of these relics is no evidence of the former presence of the Mound-builders. We freely admit the possibility that in the cases mentioned the arrow-heads were made by the Indians, but we are fully convinced that at least three fourths of all the stone implements and ornaments found in the United States are the work ox .the Mound-builders. In regard to the pottery found in Charlevoix County, it’s marking and general appearance places it with the pottery of the Mound-builders. As to the copper ornaments and implements, the fact is well established that the Indians knew nothing of the copper mines, and did Tot put copper to any practical use till the white man taught them how.

The Mound-builder has long since disappeared. Of the reason and manner of their disappearance, no record remains, except, perhaps a vague and shadowy tradition, which seems to imply that they retired toward the southwest before the fierce and savage race that succeeded them in the occupancy of the country.

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When northern Michigan first became known to the white man, the Ottawas, a tribe of the Algonquin family occupied the region now known as the Charlevoix region. Their origin as a tribe is veiled in the obscurity of the past. Tradition says that they came from the east, advancing up the Ottawa River, in Canada, and then westward by the way of the north shore of Lake Huron and the Manitoulin Islands. The reason for the migration is not known. There may have been no special reason beyond the common exigencies of savage life,' which necessitate removal, 0,1' they may have been influenced by the proximity of their fierce and powerful neighbors, the Iroquois, with whom they were always at war. The advance westward was slow and gradual, being interrupted by pauses of varying duration. At the great Manitoulin Island the tribe for a long time made their home.

At the Sault St. Marie they first met the Chippewas, who inhabited the country bordering on Lake Superior. The two tribes were mutually, surprised to find that, though previously each had no knowledge of the existence of the other, their languages were so nearly alike that they could converse intelligibly. A council was held, the subject was discussed and the history of each' tribe rehearsed, but the tradition does not tell us that the mystery of the likene'3s of the languages and the probable consanguinity of the tribes was solved.

The Ottawas were brave and warlike. As they advanced westward, they fought and vanquished those who opposed their progress; with those who were friendly they smoked the pipe of peace. Friendly intercourse with the Chippewas and Pottawatomies resulted in the formation of a sort of loose confederacy of the three tribes, who style themselves "The Three Brothers."

During the period of the earlier intercourse of the whites with the Indians of the Northwest, these tribes seem to have held undisputed possession of nearly the whole of the Lower Peninsula.

The Ottawas remained for some time established in the vicinity of the Straits, before they extended the settlements along the shore of Lake Michigan. During this period though they were at peace with their immediate neighbor, they gratified their thirst for battle by frequent warlike expeditions against distant tribes. They often passed south around the head of Lake Michigan, and westward beyond the Mississippi, sometimes, it is, said, extending their forays almost to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. They brought home many western prisoners. Some of there were called by the Ottawas Under-ground Indians, On account of their custom of digging pits in the ground for dwellings. The Underground Indians were brave and intelligent, and made excellent counselors. The captors often intermarried with their captives, and the descendants of the latter, in many cases, were closely related to the royal families of the Ottawas. Some of the most noted Ottawa chiefs of later times were descended from the Under-ground Indians.


At that time a portion of the present county of Emmet was the home of a small tribe, called the Mush-quah-tas. Their principal village was situated in a beautiful valley, in the northeast part of the township now called Friendship. The name of the tribe signifies "The People Who Roam over the Prairies." They were of Algonquin stock, as is proved by the fact that their language resembled the Ottawa, while the tribal name and their recognized affinity to the Under-ground Indians seem to point to a western origin. The Mush-quah-tas were intelligent, peaceable and industrious, cultivating large fields of corn, and seldom going on the war path. They had been on friendly terms with the Ottawas since the arrival of the latter in the country, though it is probable that some degree of concealed ill-will existed on both sides. It was a sad day for the Mush-quah-tas, when, by their own foolish act, these friendly relations were disturbed.

There was a small village of the Mush-quah-tas on the lake shore at what is now called Seven Mile Point. A small party of Ottawas, returning in their canoes from an expedition against the Sacs, having lost some of their comrades, as they came near the village commenced chanting a dirge, according to the Indian custom. The Mush-guah-tas, hearing the distant sounds of grief, instead of preparing to join the mourning, as would have been proper, rashly

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determined to express in an emphatic manner their disapproval of the marauding expeditions of their neighbors and their contempt for those who engaged in them. Accordingly as the canoes touched the beach, their occupants were pelted by the young men and boys of the village with balls of ashes wrapped up in forest leaves. The Ottawas retired, sullen and burning with the spirit of revenge, and soon reported the occurrence to their own people. To the proud Ottawas, the insult was such as could only be wiped out with blood. A joint council of the Ottawas and Chippewas was held, in which it was determined if possible, to annihilate the Mush-guah-tas.

Living in the principal village of the Mush-quah-tas, was an old man and his two married sons. Whether the old man, hearing of the affair at Seven Mile Point, shrewdly surmised that the insulted Ottawas would seek a bloody revenge, or, as the tradition seems to imply, was impressed with a true prophetic presentiment of coming evil, he faithfully warned the people that their village would be soon overwhelmed by enemies, and earnestly counseled retirement to a place of safety. Finding his counsel disregarded, he with his sons and their families, removed to the shore of Little Traverse Bay, fixing his temporary abode near the site of Harbor Springs.

It may have been that a calm summer's night had nearly passed away. The first faint glimmering of light in the east heralds the approach of morn. The village of the Mush-quah-tas is still wrapt in slumber. The sleeping mother gently clasps her baby to her breast, unconscious of the approaching danger. The maiden dreams of her lover, the young man of glorious feats of the chase or of war. The old brave lives over again the experiences of the youth or dreams of the happy hunting ground to which he is hastening. Dark forms, crouching in the shadows, are stealthily approaching-on, this side a long line of Ottawa braves, on that their friends and allies, the Chippewas. The lines close round the doomed village. Some of the crouching figures are already at the very doors. So noiseless and stealthy has been the approach that not even the watchful dogs have been alarmed. Suddenly there bursts upon the night air a sound to make the blood curdle-a deafening chorus of demoniac yells as if uttered in concert by a legion of frantic furies. Full well the startled Mush-quah-tas knew the fearful import of that sound, the war whoop of their enemies. Full well they know there is no avoiding the death struggle. The old brave reaches for his war club, and the young man strings his bow, but their assailants are quick and powerful, and the stone hatchets are wielded with terrible effect. Crushed and mangled they go down, slain and now conquered. The maiden covers her face with her garment and quietly bows her head to the fatal blow. The mother loosens her clasp of the frightened infant, seizes the nearest weapon, and with the fierceness of a tigress at bay, springs upon her foes. Her blows tell, but fierceness can not long avail against strength and numbers. She falls mortally wounded. Her dying eyes are turned lovingly upon her child. A brawny warrior seizes it by the feet whirls it high in the air, dashes it

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with crushing force upon the earth, and flings its bleeding and lifeless body upon its mother's bosom. The surprised Mush-quah-tas, taken at a disadvantage, make a brave fight, but victory does not long waver in the balance. As the sun rises upon the scene, all the inmates save one of the doomed village lie stark and bleeding on the ground, or are being consumed in the rapidly burning wigwams. The revenge of the insulted Ottawas is complete.

This battle, says the Ottawa tradition, was one of the most terrible ever fought in this region. Only a young man escaped, who carried the news of the disaster to the three families at Little Traverse Bay. Some of the Mush-quah-tas living in the small outlying villages escaped. The remnant of the tribe moved toward the south, and established themselves near the St. Joseph River, where for a time they enjoyed a degree of prosperity. But they were not safe. After intercourse had been opened between the French and the Ottawas, and the latter had been supplied with guns and axes by the French traders, it occurred to them that these implements would be effective in battle. Anxious to put them to the test, they resolved to try their effectiveness on their old enemies, the Mush-quah-tas, who as yet were unacquainted with firearms. Accordingly an expedition was fitted out, destined for the St. Joseph. As the Ottawas approached the village of their enemies, each man carrying a gun, the Mush-quah-tas mistook the weapons for clubs, and came out with bows and arrows, anticipating an easy victory. But they were soon undeceived, and suffered a second crushing defeat, from effects of which they never recovered. The tribal organization was dissolved and the few Mush-quah-tas remaining alive were scattered among the neighboring tribes.

After the destruction of the principal village of the Mush-quah-tas and the removal of the remnant of the tribe to the St. Joseph, the Ottawas gradually extended their settlements toward the south, along the shore of Lake Michigan.


While the Indian tribes were fighting for supremacy in the west, the French settlers in eastern Canada had made peace with the Indians, and were building thriving villages there. Learning from the Indian, of the great and wonderful country to the west, the illustrious Father James Marquette arrived at Sault in 1668 and established himself at the foot of the rapids on the American side. This was the first permanent settlement on the soil of Michigan; called at that time New France. The following year he was joined by Father Dablon, and by their united efforts a church was soon built. It was at that time that he heard of the "Great River" (Mississippi) and determined some day to explore it and preach the gospel to the natives upon its banks. It was his intention to start upon this expedition the following fall, but war broke out at Lapointe, to which place he had repaired, between the Sioux and the Hurons and Ottawas and the last two mentioned tribes were compelled to leave the place. Father Marquette followed the Hurons and coasting about for a time returned to Michilimackinac as it was then called. He probably arrived there in 1670, and the following year made a settlement at St. Ignace, where he established the mission of St. Ignatius. This was the first white settlement at the Straits.

The following is an extract from a letter written by Father Marquette, in 1671, descriptive of the island:

"Michilimackinac is an island, famous in these regions, of more than a league in diameter, elevated in some places by such high cliffs as to be seen more than twelve leagues off. It is situated just in the strait forming the communication between Lake Huron and Illinois (Michigan). It is the key and, as it were, the gate for all the tribes from the south, as the Sault is for the those of the north, there being in this section of the country only those two passages by water; for a great number of the nations have to go by one or the other of these channels, in order to reach the French settlements.

"This place is the most noted in these regions for the abundance of its fishes; for, according to the Indian saying, 'this is the home of the fish.' Elsewhere, although they exist in large numbers, it is not properly their 'home', which is in the neighborhood of Michilimackinac.

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“lt is this attraction which has here-to-fore drawn to a point so advantageous, the greater part of the savages in this country, driven away by fear of the Iroquois.

"In one word, the quantity of fish, united with the excellence of the soil for Indian corn, has always been a powerful attraction to the tribes in these regions, of which the greater part subsist only on fish, but some on Indian corn. On this account, many of these same tribes, perceiving that peace is likely to be established with the Iroquois, have turned their attention to this point, so convenient for a return to their own country, and will follow the examples of those who have made a beginning on the island of Lake Huron, which by this means, will soon be peopled from one end to the other, an event highly desirable to facilitate the instructions of the Indian race, whom it would not be necessary to seek by journey of two or three hundred leagues on these great lakes, with inconceivable danger and hardships.

"We ourselves have also wintered here in order to make arrangements for establishing the mission of St. Ignace, from whence it will be easy to have access to all the Indians of Lake Huron, when the tribes shall have settled each on its own land."

Father Marquette remained with the mission at St. Ignace about two years, and exercised control over most of all of what is known as the Traverse Bay Region. He is credited with having traversed the shore upon errands of salvation, and erecting crosses, and leaving other memorials for admiring posterity to gaze upon.

Father Marquette left St. Ignace intending to explore the region of the Mississippi River and upon arriving at Chicago was taken ill and forced to spend the winter of 1674 with a tribe of Indians in Illinois. In the spring of 1675, he was again attacked by disease, and became satisfied that death was near; and set out for St. Ignace hoping to reach it alive. As his little party coasted along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, he grew weaker and peacefully passing away and was buried by his companions, at the mouth of the river which bears his name. This occurred May 18, 1675, he being 38 years old at the time of his death.


Father Piere Francis Xavier De Charlevoix was born in 1682 during the reign of Louis XIV. At the age of 16 he joined the "Society of Jesus," known more familiarly as the Jesuits, and while yet a deacon at the age of 23 years he was sent by his superiors to Quebec in Canada, where for four years he taught grammar in the college there. He returned to France in 1709 where he studied theology for four years in Paris. He was one of the earliest historians of New France, the one who did most to make Canada known to Europeans. After spending nearly a year in the research of authorities and documents Father Charlevoix reported that England had a right to the Nova Scotian peninsula, and that her rights had never exceeded its limits. It was through the enforcement of these rights by the English that the French inhabitants of Acadia were evicted from their homes, the pitiful details of which are portrayed in Longfellow's beautiful poem "Evangeline."

Through his historical writings and pulpit eloquence, Father Charlevoix attracted considerable attention in Europe and he was appointed by the king of France to a double mission, that of determining the exact extent of the English possessions in Canada and that of the discovery of an overland northern route to the sea at the West, now known as the Pacific Ocean.

It was on the first of May, 1721, that Father Charlevoix left Montreal for the known west in search of the unknown, leaving civilization for a wilderness with an equipage consisting of two large canoes, eight attendants and a companion. The little flotilla ascended the rapids of the St. Lawrence, reached Niagara, skirted Lake Erie and on the eighth day of June debarked at Detroit for a ten day rest.

On the 18th of June 1721 he left Fort Ponchartrain, at Detroit, to make the long trip to Michilimackinac where he arrived on June 28.

Father Charlevoix was enchanted with the beauty of the scenery which he had viewed thus far and was anxious to push on through the great unknown territory to the west. After consulting with the Indians at Mackinaw, Green Bay, those on the Beaver

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Islands and at other points, he found that their response to his inquiries were vague and conflicting. He returned to Mackinaw convinced that he would have to go to the western extremity of Lake Superior to get the desired information. A journey of such length in a frail canoe, full of uncertainties and dangers would have been extremely perilous. He decided to proceed to the Gulf and left Mackinaw on July 29, 1721 for the long trip down Lake Michigan, through to the Mississippi and back to France.

How little did this modest priest dream as he sailed past these shores that his name would one day be written upon this city, "Charlevoix the Beautiful."


The massacre at Fort Michilimackinac furnishes a theme of thrilling interest, and it forms a conspicuous part of the history we are endeavoring to record. Near by the site of the old fort the village of Mackinaw City now stands, the stockade on the site of the old fort has in recent years been rebuilt, and this historic spot is now marked by a large monument.

In the spring of the year 1763, before the war broke out, several English traders went up to Michilimackinac, some adopting the old route of the Ottawa, and others that of Detroit, and the lakes. We will follow one of the latter on his adventurous progress. Passing the fort and settlement of Detroit, he soon enters Lake St. Clair which seems like a broad basin filled to overflowing, while, along its far-distant verge, a faint line of forest separates the water from the sky. He crosses the lake, and his voyageurs urge his canoe against the current of the great river above. At length Lake Huron opens before him, stretching its liquid expanse, like an ocean, to the farthest horizon. His canoe skirts the eastern shore of Michigan, where the forest rises like a wall from the water's edge, and as he advances northward, an endless line of stiff and shaggy fir-trees, hung with long mosses, fringes the shore with an aspect of a monotonous desolation. In the space of two or three weeks, if his Canadians labor well, and no accident occurs, the trader approaches the end of his voyage. Passing on his right the extensive island of Bois Blanc, he sees, nearly in front; the beautiful island of Mackinac rising, with its white cliffs and green foliage, from the broad breast of the waters. He does not steer toward it, for at that day the Indians were its only tenants; but keeps along the main shore to the left, while his voyageurs raise their song and chorus. Doubling a point, he sees before him the red flag of England swelling lazily in the wind, and the palisades and wooden bastions of Fort Michilimackinac, standing close upon the margin of the lake. On the beach, canoes are drawn up, and Canadians and Indians idly lounging. A little beyond the fort is a cluster of the white Canadian houses, roofed with bark, and protected by fences of strong, round pickets.

The trader enters at the gate, and sees before him an extensive square area, surrounded by high palisades. Numerous houses, barracks, and other buildings form a smaller square within, and in the vacant space which they enclose appear the red uniforms of British officers, the grey coats of Canadians, and the gaudy Indian blankets, mingled in picturesque confusion, while a multitude of squaws, with children of every hue, stroll restlessly about the place. Such was Fort Michilimackinac in 1763. Its name, which in the Algonquin tongue signified the Great Turtle, was first, from a fancied resemblance, applied to the neighboring island, and thence to the fort.

Though buried in a wilderness, Michilimackinac was still of no recent origin. As early as 1671, the Jesuits had established a mission near the place, and a military force was not long in following; for under the French dominion the priest and the soldier went hand in hand. Neither toil nor suffering, nor all the terrors of the wilderness, could damp the zeal of the undaunted missionary; and the restless ambition of France was always on the alert to sieze every point of advantage, and avail itself of every means to gain ascendancy over the forest tribes. Besides Michilimackinac there were two other posts in this northern region - Green Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Both were founded at an early period and both presented the same characteristic features - a mission house, a fort, and a cluster of Canadian dwellings. They had been originally garrisoned by small parties of militia, who, bringing their families with them, settled on the spot, and were founders of these little colonies, for Michilimackinac, much the largest of the three, contained thirty families within the palisades and about as many more without. Besides its military value, it was important as a center

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of the fur trade; for it was here that the trader engaged their men, and sent out their goods in canoes, under the charge of subordinates, to more distant regions of tile Mississippi and the Northwest.

The Indians near Michilimackinac were the Ojibwas and the Ottawas, the former of whom claimed the eastern section of Michigan, and the latter the western, their respective portions being separated by a line drawn southward from the fort itself. The principal village of the Ojibwas contained about a hundred warriors, and stood upon the island of Michilimackinac, now called Mackinac. There was another smaller village near the head of Thunder Bay. The Ottawas, to the number of two hundred and fifty warriors, lived at the settlement of L'Arbre Croche on the shores of Lake Michigan, some distance southwest of the fort. This place was then the seat of the old Jesuit mission of St. Ignace, originally placed by Father Marquette on the northern side of the Straits. Many of the Ottawas were nominal Catholics. They were all somewhat improved from their original savage condition, living in log-houses, and cultivating corn and vegetables to such an extent as to supply the fort with provision, besides satisfying their own wants. The Ojibwas, on the other hand, were not in the least degree removed from their primitive barbarism.

At this time both these tribes had received from Chief Pontiac the war-belt of black and purple wampum, and the painted hatchet, and had pledged themselves to join the contest. Before the end of May the Ojibwas or Chippewas received word that the blow had already been struck at Detroit, and wrought up to the highest pitch of excitement and emulation, resolved that peace should last no longer. Eager to reap all the glory of the victory, or prompted by jealousy, this tribe neither communicated to the Ottawas the news which had come to them, nor their own resolution to make an immediate assault upon Fort Michilimackinac. Hence the Ottawas had no part in the bloody tragedy. There were other tribes, however, which attracted by rumors of impending war, had gathered at Michilimackinac, and which took part in the struggle.

There is a discrepancy between the official report of Captain Ethrington, commander of the post, and other statements, the former making the garrison to consist of thirty-five men, with other officers; and the latter placing the number at ninety. We give the reader the facts just as we find them recorded, leaving him to reconcile this difference in his own way. Perhaps, others intended to include, in their enumeration, all the inhabitants of the fort, both soldiers and Canadians.


A fur trader arriving at Michilimackinac, found several other traders who had arrived before him, from different parts of the country, and who, in general, declared the disposition of the Indians to be hostile to the English, and even apprehended some attack. One of these traders M. Laurent Ducharme distinctly informed Major Ethrington that a plan was absolutely conceived for destroying him, his garrison, and all the English in the upper country; but the commandant, believing this and other reports to be without foundation, proceeding only from idle or ill-disposed persons, and of a tendency to do mischief, expressed much displeasure against M. Ducharme, and threatened to send the next person who would bring a story of the same kind a prisoner to Detroit.

Meanwhile the Indians from every quarter were daily assembling in unusual numbers, but with every appearance of friendship, frequenting the fort and disposing, of their peltries in such manner as to dissipate almost anyone's fears. A Chippewa Indian, Chief Wawatam, arrived with others of his tribe, and after disposing of his skins purchased a quantity of sugar and dried meat, informing some of the traders that he had heard that there was to be an attack on the fort. Chief Wawatam endeavored to prevail upon those who were his friends, to go with him to the Sault, but the commandant at the fort; as well as the traders, decided to stay at Michilimackinac considering that the rumors of an out-break of the Indians would not materialize.

After the Indians had spent a few days about the fort they notified the soldiers and traders that they were going to play at baggatiway, with the Sacs or Saakies, another Indian nation, for a high wager, and all were invited to witness this sport.

The game of baggatiway, which the Indians played upon that memorable occasion, was the most exciting sport in which the

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red man could engage. It was played with bat and ball. The bat so called, was about four feet in length, and an inch in diameter. It was made of the toughest material that could be found. At one end it was curved, and terminated in a sort of racket, or perhaps more properly a ring, in which a network of cord was loosely woven. The players were not allowed to touch the ball with the hand, but caught it in this network at the end of the bat. At either end of the ground a tall post was planted. These posts marked the stations of the rival parties, and were sometimes a mile apart. The object of each party was to defend its own post and carry the ball to that of the adversary.

At the beginning of the game the main body of the players assemble halfway between the two posts. Every eye sparkles and every cheek is already aglow with excitement. The ball is tossed high into the air, and a general struggle ensues to secure it as it descends. He who succeeds, starts for the goal of the adversary as he can. An adversary in the game catches it, arid sends it whizzing back in the opposite direction. Hither and thither it goes; now a far to the right, now as far to the left; now near to the one, now as near to the other goal; the whole band crowding continually after it in the wildest confusion, until, fin-

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ally, some agile, figure, more fleet or root than others, succeeds in bearing it to the goal of the opposite party.

Persons now living on this island who ha we frequently seen this game played by the Indians, and themselves participated in it, state that often a whole day is insufficient to decide the contest.

This game, with its attendants noise and violence, was well calculated to divert the attention of officers and men, and thus permit the Indians to take possession of the fort. To make their success more certain, they prevailed upon as many as they could to come out of the fort, while at the same time their squaws, wrapped in blankets, beneath which they concealed the murderous weapons, were placed inside the inclosure. The plot was so ingeniously laid that no one suspected danger. The discipline of the garrison was relaxed, and the soldiers permitted to stroll about and view the sport, without weapons of defense. And even when the ball, as if by chance was lifted high in the air, to descend inside the pickets, and was followed by four hundred savages, all eager, all struggling, all shouting, in the unrestrained pursuit of a rude, athletic exercise, no alarm was felt until the shrill war whoop told the startled garrison that the slaughter had begun.

The dead were scalped and mangled; the dying were writhing and shrieking, under the unsatiated knife and tomahawk; and from the bodies of some, ripped open, their butchers were drinking the blood, scooped up in the hollow of joined hands, and quaffed amid shouts of rage and victory. No long time elapsed, before, everyone being destroyed who could be found, there was a general cry of "All is finished!"

A council of the tribes followed, in which the wounded feelings of the Ottawas were somewhat soothed by a liberal present of plunder, taken from the whites. After a series of councils to which the Chippewa chiefs were invited, the latter reluctantly consented now not to obstruct the passage of the remaining soldiers back to Montreal.

Early History


From the massacre at Mackinaw until the war of 1812, the Charlevoix Region was not the theater of any important events. The only inhabitants, so far known, were the Ottawas, and such missionaries as may have labored among them.

In 1813 Louis Cass was appointed governor of Michigan Territory, and in 1835 the first constitution of Michigan was adopted, and Steven T. Mason elected governor. Michigan was admitted to the Union in 1837.

In 1846 a colony of Mormons under James Jesse Strang, settled on the Beaver Islands in upper Lake Michigan.

The earliest history of Charlevoix County centers about the present site of the City of Charlevoix, known at an early day as Pine River. At this point, as at all the lake fronts, the first comers were fisherman, who plied their avocation of catching fish during the summer and making fish barrels in the winter. As at other places, the first

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fisherman were a migratory class, though some came here to fish at an early day remained and engaged in the permanent pursuits of general progress and development.


A skirmish between the fisherman and a company of Mormons dignified by the title of "the battle of Pine River," was the first event of any unusual character connected with the locality.

As early as 1852, and perhaps earlier; there were fisherman located about Pine River, and in the spring of 1853 quite a colony was collected there. Captain T. D. Smith had an establishment in the bay, southwest of the mouth of the river between it and Pine River Point. There were four more west of Smith, between him and the point, three at the mouth of the river, and one, half a mile north. These were not simply bachelor's homes, but contained families of women and children.

There were also two other families in the vicinity, and other fishermen.

In 1840 that portion of the state lying in the Towns 33, 34, 35, and 36 north, and west of the line between Ranges 3 and 4 west, was laid off as a separate county and designated by the name of Keskonko. In 1843 the name was changed to Charlevoix, in honor of Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, one of the early French missionaries and explorers, whom we have already mentioned.

In 1853 the counties of Emmet and Charlevoix were organized under the name of Emmet, and provisions were made for organizing the town of Charlevoix to embrace the territory of the county. In the winter of 1869 a bill was passed by the legislature organizing 'the county of Charlevoix.

The Mormons, under their leader King Strang, of whom you will hear more later on in this story, had established the county seat of Emmet County at St. James on Beaver Island and the Mormons were in possession of all of the county offices. As early as 1846 Strang with a number of his followers had established a settlement on Beaver Island and made a serious effort to force their doctrines onto all of the early settlers in the northern part of Michigan.

The "battle of Pine River," was precipitated by an attempt on the part, of the Mormons, under their sheriff, to subpoena three men at Pine River to serve as jurors. The "battle of Pine River," was the principal

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event of interest that occurred prior to the attempts at permanent settlement.

This difficulty occurred on the 13th of July, 1853. Two versions of it are given: one by the Mormons and the other by the Gentiles, the latter of which we give. It is claimed by the latter that two men named Hull and Savage were fugitives from Beaver Island, who made their escape by proposing to plant a colony on Drummond Island. Once on the lake, they had laid their course for Pine River, and asked the protection of the fishermen who were here.

One of the fishermen, named Moon, had had serious difficulty with the Mormons. To get Hull, Savage, and Moon, into their power; seems to have been thought important by the Mormon leaders. Knowing that either strategy or force would have to be employed, they still thought it prudent to proceed under cover of the law. The time of the sitting of the circuit court at St. James was chosen for the execution of the project. An armed party, accompanied an officer with a subpoena for the three men, embarked for Pine River.

There was a quilting at the house of a fisherman named Morrison, at the mouth of the river, on the south side, at which all the women of the settlement were assembled. Some of the men had gone up Pine River. Nearly all the others were in the "other end of the town," as the western most houses in the settlement were called. Two, boats were seen approaching, heading for the mouth of the river. It was noticed that they seemed careful to keep close together. One of the fishermen had a spy-glass; by the aid of which he was able to count the strangers. There were nine men in each boat. The circumstances looked suspicious, and the fishermen determined to ascertain at once the object of the visit.

Between them and the river there was a stretch of beach where it was difficult to pass between, the water and the bank. Launching a boat, ten or twelve men, seizing their weapons, sprang into it, and rowed past the difficult place. Then they landed, and proceeded on foot, following the beach till they reached the sand hillocks, when they turned into the woods, where they struck a path that led over the bluff and down to Morrison's house. The Mormons had arrived before them, and had blustered about, declaring they would have what they came after or they would wade in blood. The women were terribly frightened. On the arrival of the fishermen, the Mormons ceased their threats, and said they had not come to make any trouble,

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but insisted on having the three men for whom they claimed to have subpoenas. They were at once distinctly told they could not have them. This was followed by an intimation that the best thing they could do was to leave immediately, and that if they did not go voluntarily, they would be made to go The Mormons prudently consented to leave, and went to their boats. Among the fishermen at Pine River, was a young man, named Louis Gebeau, who had lived a year or two on the island, and now recognized some of his former acquaintances in the Mormon party. Thinking the danger of the collision was over, young Gebeau started for the beach, when it occurred to him that, as a matter of precaution, he ought to know that his gun was ready for effective use. Stopping a moment to examine it, he heard a shot, and felt the bullet strike his leg. He learned afterward, from his acquaintances in the Mormon party, that the shot was fired from a horse pistol by Jonathan Pierce, one of Strang's hard-fisted men, who accompanied the act with the exclamation, 'we are running away like a set of cowards; I'll let them know that I'm not afraid. As Gebeau started to limp back to his own party, the latter opened fire on the Mormons, who manned their boats and pulled away from the shore with utmost haste. Shortly after the Mormons had departed the fishermen decided to give chase, following them for a considerable distance into Lake Michigan, continually firing at them. One of the boats belonging to the Mormons was struck by a number of bullets from the guns of the fishermen and started to sink. The Mormons in the other boat seeing the plight drew along side and took them all into their boat. The party of Mormons were soon picked up by the bark Morgan, and the fishermen returned to Pine River. A number of Mormons were seriously injured in this affray. Of the final result of this encounter with the Mormons; there is no doubt the fishermen, fearing they would be attacked by an over-powering number of Mormons, hastily left the place and scattered in various directions. At the circuit court held at St. James shortly after, several parties were indicted but none were ever arrested. The only matter at issue in this affair is that of the motive, but beyond that we cannot see that there was anything of importance or significance in a free fight between a company of Mormons and a lot of fishermen, except its association with the present site of the city of Charlevoix.


Pine River appears to have remained an abandoned settlement after the hasty departure of the fishermen until the spring of 1854 when George Preston and family arrived from Beaver Island, and took possession of one of the houses on the north side of the river, and at once set about clearing land and. making arrangements for a permanent home. They found everything in and around the houses just as the former occupants had left them. Soon after the arrival of Preston, Galen B. Cole and family arrived from the South Fox Island. They came in a small schooner called the

--page 13-----------------------------

Dolphin, and took possession of another of the vacant houses as a temporary residence. This was the commencement of the Mormon settlement at this point, both Preston and Cole being Mormons.

Through the' early part of the summer Preston had got the logs and lumber together, erected a house and had it almost complete when fire got into the woods and in the course of its march burned his new house to the ground. He immediately set at work and by fall had a new house built. In the fall Medad Thompson and family and widow Ring arrived, and in, the spring of 1855, Adam See and Daniel Alvord came, all of whom were additions to the Mormon settlement.

On the 11th day of May, 1855, Mr. John S. Dixon and family arrived at the mouth of Pine River in the little schooner Emeline," which had been chartered to bring him from Old Mission. The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Dixon and their three children, a Mr. Wolcott, who had come with a view to a business partnership with Mr. Dixon, and Frank May, a young man who had been hired at Northport.

No sooner were Mr. Dixon's party and effects landed on the beach, than the captain of the "Emeline," who was in bad odor with the Mormons fearing an attack, set sail, and the schooner soon disappeared in the distance, Mr. Dixon had brought with him a considerable amount of supplies including a small boat and a quantity of lumber. Of the latter a temporary residence was built on the beach, in which the family remained for the next three days. The current of the river was so rapid that the boat, when loaded, could not be propelled against it, and the banks were so obstructed by overhanging trees, brush wood, and fallen timber as to make towing impossible. Thus three days were spent in clearing a path along the south bank of the stream, then, by towing, the family and goods were transported up the river, and landed on the north shore, just where the stream leaves Round Lake.

On Dixon's arrival at this point he found a small Mormon settlement. It is not surprising that these people, who held to a common religious faith and constituted a settlement by themselves, should distrust the new comers who were Gentiles, in view of the troubles which had heretofore been of frequent occurrence between the elements. They regarded Mr. Dixon with suspicion, and plainly indicated that he was not welcome. There had been several fishermen's shanties on his premises. One of them was still standing and in good state of preservation when he landed from the Emeline,

--page 14-----------------------

and he had hoped to occupy it, but before he succeeded in getting up the river with his goods it was torn down. However, he soon had it so far rebuilt as to be able to occupy it as a temporary dwelling. Mr. Dixon had taught school in Ohio and Michigan and while teaching in Lansing had purchased 212 acres of land in Section 26 in what is now Charlevoix township upon a portion of this land the village of Charlevoix was originally platted and built.

At the time of the arrival of the Dixon family, there were only four or five families living in the vicinity.

Mr. Dixon had an ox team and did some work on his land during that season. The following fall, on account of troubles between the Mormons and Gentiles, he thought it best to temporarily leave the neighborhood, and accordingly removed his family to Northport, where they remained a year. He bought a lot there upon which he built a house, and during the year taught Indian school. In the fall of 1856 they returned to Pine River and lived in a house on the bank of the lake, and engaged in conflict with poverty that was so common to the early settlers. Being in poor health he was not equipped for the struggle as were those whose robust frames and toughened muscles enabled them to successfully defy the severest toil and hardships. He worked some on his land made hoops and taught Indian school. He was called upon to discharge public duties, and held the offices of justice of the peace, county clerk, superintendent of Schools, and in 1863-64 represented the Grand Traverse district in the legislature. In 1866 Mr. Dixon platted the village of Charlevoix. His residence however has always been on the banks of Round Lake where in 1872 he built a commodious dwelling.

The first town election in the town of Charlevoix occurred the last Tuesday in May 1857. There were ten votes cast by the following named persons, Galen B. Cole, Geo. F. Preston, James Young, Calvin Thompson, F. W. May, John S. Dixon, S. Chambers and Mason Kidder. Galen B. Cole was elected supervisor, and the town board was composed entirely of Mormons.

Mr. Wolcott, seeing there was likely to be continual trouble with the Mormons, threw up the project of a business partnership with Mr. Dixon and left the place.

For a few weeks, the current of events seemed to run smoothly, no ripple on the surface being caused by anything of greater importance than the loss by Mr. Dixon, of a new lumber wagon and three sugar

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kettles, said to have been stolen by the Mormons. The wagon had come on board a vessel by way of Mackinac. It was not immediately put together for use, but, with the kettles, was stowed away in an old shanty, used for an out-house. Two weeks after, having occasion to use it, the theft was discovered. On mentioning the loss to some of the Mormons, they denied, with a calmness and self-control that was almost convincing, having any knowledge of it. Two of the women, however, when the subject was spoken of in their presence, by their visible agitation convinced Mr. Dixon that they were in the secret. Careful inquiries and the course of subsequent events seemed to make it certain that nearly all the men in the vicinity were privy to the theft. Some of the women particularly the two alluded to above, had strenuously opposed and denounced the proceeding. Mr. Dixon eventually recovered the wagon and two of the kettles, which were found on Beaver Island, after the breaking up of the Mormon settlement.


A few weeks after the incident already mentioned the Mormons held their first celebration on Holy Island, it being what they termed a 'feast of first fruits'. The party from Beaver Island, consisting of about fifty men and women with King Strang among them, made the journey in boats, and spent the night on the island which has since been known by the name of Holy Island.


When they returned, the next day, Mrs. Dixon noticed that some of the boats were towing long timbers. Mr. Dixon was absent. As the boats, with the timbers in tow, passed down the river in front of the house, in charge of a few men, the other members of the party filed along the path, back of the house, toward the mouth of the river, having landed from the boats at the residence of one of the Mormon families, on the shore of Pine Lake. Suspecting mischief, and being somewhat alarmed, Mrs. Dixon resolved to ascertain what was going forward. A Mormon neighbor to whom she applied declined to give her any information, but said if she wished to go and ascertain for herself she would not be harmed. Following the party down toward the mouth of the river, she found that they had crossed to the South Side, and were standing in a group, on an elevation, with Strang in their midst. Some of the men were busying themselves with drawing the timbers out, of the water, and one was bringing a spade. Asking what they were going to do, she received for reply that they were about to erect a gallows on which

--page 16----------------------

should be hanged all who violated their laws. Frightened at what seemed impending danger, Mrs. Dixon returned to the house.

After the Mormons had gone the gallows was found standing, with four roughly carved images of men hanging by the neck, and another standing erect on the frame. On one of them was the figure of a coffin, drawn with red chalk, and three men walking away from it, with the description:

"Dixon, successor to the Pine River Murderers, in his dying hours abandoned by his friends." On another was the inscription, "May his days be few, and his name be lost and blasted among men. God hear our prayers and those of our wives and children, for vengeance."

In August the Mormons were re-enforced by the arrival of Richardson, Bickel, Page and Nickels from Beaver Island.

In the course of the summer, Mr. William Sterling, his wife and infant child, arrived from Elk Rapids, and were received into the house occupied by the Dixons.

Messrs. Dixon and Sterling conceived the project of building a sawmill on Pine River. It was proposed to build a dam on the lower river at some point between Round Lake and Lake Michigan. It was thought advisable that the margin of the stream and of Round Lake should first be cleared of driftwood and fallen timber, which could be conveniently accomplished only by the aid of a scow. Accordingly, a quantity of clear pine plank, for building the scow, was brought from Elk Rapids and piled up on the bank of the river ready for use.

Soon after the lumber was received, it happened that both men were absent on business, Mr. Dixon at the mission at Bear Creek and Mr. Sterling at Mackinac. Frank Lay had left Mr. Dixon's employ some time before so the women and children were alone.

Saturday night the lumber was stolen, or so much of it as could be loaded into a boat, and the remainder thrown into the river. Mrs. Dixon and Mrs. Sterling, who were afraid of violence, spent the night in watching, and saw the men carry away their lumber, but the premises were not otherwise disturbed. Mrs. Sterling repeatedly declared that as soon as daylight appeared she would take her baby and endeavors to make her way to Bear Creek, now Petoskey, by following the beach, to notify Mr. Dixon of the theft. It was evident that both women could not go-with all the children they would never be able to get through. Mrs. Dixon, being a rapid and enduring pedestrian, proposed that Mrs. Sterling should remain with the

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children while she should undertake the hazardous journey, promising that if the Lord would let her go through; she would send help that should reach Mrs. Sterling by nine o'clock in the evening. Mrs. Sterling had the good sense to see the wisdom of the plan, and finally consented to the arrangement.

In the morning as soon as it was light enough to see to travel, Mrs. Dixon armed with the pistol, set out on her journey to Bear Creek. It is fully eighteen miles from the point of her starting, now Charlevoix to the mission farm at Bear Creek, near the present site of Petoskey, by the nearest paved road of modern times. At the time of which we write, there was no road-not even an Indian trail that a woman could follow. Mrs. Dixon's only way was to go to the mouth of the river and then follow the beach through all its sinuosities to her destination.

Those who in the primitive days of northern Michigan performed long foot journeys on the beach could tell, if they were to speak, how the bendings of the shore in and out add to the distance. They could tell, too, of difficulties attending that mode of travel, of which their descendants never having been driven to do by necessity, have no just conception. Sometimes the traveler strikes a stretch of smooth sand, packed by the receding waves to the solidity of a pavement that answers to his tread with a sharp ringing, metallic sound as he moves easily and rapidly forward. Then for miles loose sand, drifted about by the wind in which his feet sink at every step, makes even the slowest progress toilsome. Piles of driftwood, fallen timber and over hanging trees, gnarled and twisted into fantastic forms by the fury of the elements, obstruct his way. Jutting crags block the passage and perpendicular precipices rise from the very margin of the lake, leaving no room for even the narrowest path. Often he must take to the water, or if it is above his depth, leave the beach and wend his way through thickets almost impenetrable, on the land. The beach as a highway, however, has one excellence in advance of ordinary new country roads - on it the traveler can not lose his way. Once on the beach, Mrs. Dixon pressed rapidly forward, wading around obstructions, where the water was shallow, in preference to climbing over them. It seemed to take less time, and time was precious. The prints of her husband's feet were seen in the sand, where he had passed along a day or two before. Finding the tracks was like meeting company on that lonely shore now deserted. Here she lost her husbands tracks. Thinking he might have left the beach for a trail, she sought for them in vain in the intricate network of the grass grown and almost obliterated paths of the village. Returning, she pursued her way along the beach, feeling more lonely than before. Beyond Kah-gah-che-wing a vessel had been lost. It was known that a company of men had been for some time at work there, trying to raise the wreck. She had hoped to find them, but their camp was deserted. Further on, where perpendicular cliffs rise from the very margin of the water, she could no longer reach the beach. Ascending to the top of the bluff, she found the country covered with a dense, tangled swamp, which it seemed almost impossible to penetrate. No path could be found, but go through she must. For full three hours, as she estimated the time, she struggled onward, being careful to keep within hearing of the sound of the waves dashing against the foot of the cliff. When, finally, she emerged into more open ground, her pistol was lost, her shoes were almost torn off her feet, and her clothing hung in shreds about her person. When within three miles of Bear Creek, she came upon an inhabited wigwam.

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Making the old Indian Pa-ma-saw, understand that she wished to go to Mr. Porter's, he kindly sent with her a little boy as a guide. Path there was none, but only a blind trail, such as none but an Indian or an experienced backwoodsman could follow.

It was communion day at the Mission. Rev. Peter Dougherty being present to officiate. The congregation were just collecting at the chapel for afternoon service, when Mrs. Dixon arrived. It was perhaps, 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

The interest excited by her appearance and her story of the doings at Pine River broke up the meeting for the time. Mrs. Dixon was quickly provided with refreshments by the ladies of Mr. Porter's family. Mr. Porter held a consultation with the Indians as to what it was proper to do. The result was a decision that three Indians, well armed, should man one of their boats and return with Mr. and Mrs. Dixon at once. The party were not long in getting off. The wind was fair, and they arrived at Pine River a little before nine o'clock in the evening.

During Mrs. Dixon's absence Mrs. Sterling with an ingenuity and courage, which, if she had been a man, might under favorable circumstances, have made her a leader in the devices and intrigues of war, had adopted an artifice to deceive the enemy with a false show of force. Disguising herself in her husband's clothes, she walked about where she would be likely to be seen by some of the Mormons, changing the suit several times in the course of the day to give the impression that there were several men stopping at the house.

The plank stolen or thrown into the river by the Mormons on Saturday night had been piled on the south side of the river. There was another pile on the north side, nearly in front of the house. Thinking that the marauders would return for it under cover of the night, Mr. Dixon and his Indian allies organized a watch. In the middle of the night a sound was heard, such as might have been made by carelessly moving the lumber. The Indians immediately gave the alarm. On going out, Mr. Dixon saw several men near the pile of plank. Hailing them, he was answered in a voice which he recognized as Mr. Sterling's not withstanding the effort of the speaker to disguise it. Mr. Sterling, returning from Mackinac, had reached Bear Creek a few hours after the departure of Mr. Dixon's party. Learning the state of affairs at home, and fearing,

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as Mr. Dixon had done, a return of the marauders, he had hired some Indians With a boat to bring him through. On landing, presuming that somebody would be on guard he had ventured to indulge in the somewhat dangerous amusement of causing an alarm by pretending to move the lumber.

The next morning Mr. Dixon and Sterling resolved to make an effort to recover the stolen property. One of the Indians was induced to accompany them with his boat in the proposed expedition up Pine Lake. The others returned to Bear Creek. The three men were well armed. On their way up the lake they met two Mormons coming down. On being questioned they denied all knowledge of the missing property. At the mouth of Porter's Creek, the lumber was found on the beach and near it the oars and one of the thwarts of the missing boat. The boat could not be found. Two Mormons who were present, like the two met on the lake, denied all knowledge of the theft, and asserted the lumber was their own, bought by themselves from Beaver Island. The boat in which the party had come was too small to carry away all the lumber. Taking a part of it, they prepared to return. When all was ready, Mr. Sterling still lingered on the shore. In response to Mr. Dixon's earnest request to come on board, he proposed that Mr. Dixon and the Indian should proceed homeward in the boat, while he should walk along the shore. However Mr. Dixon's earnest entreaties at last induced him to enter the boat. He then confessed that his object in remaining was to kill the Mormons and recover the stolen boat. The plan he had contemplated was to shoot one of them, then threaten the other with death, to make him reveal the place where the boat was concealed, and finally to kill him too.

During Mr. Sterling's stay at Pine River, he was inclined to resort to sanguinary measures in the contest with the Mormons, but was overruled by the milder counsels of Mr. Dixon. The latter insisted that personal violence should not be resorted to, except in case of necessary self defense. Finally, convinced that the project of building the mill could not be carried out in peace, and his wife being unwilling to remain longer. Mr. Sterling dissolved his connection with Mr. Dixon, and left the place.

In the meantime, the Mormons at Porter's Creek commenced a suit against Dixon & Sterling, before a Mormon justice of the peace at Pine River, for the value of the lumber they had seized and brought home from the former place. The defendants, thinking the plaintiffs would

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have everything their own way in the trial of the suit, thought it better to settle the claim by paying for their own property rather than to risk the result. The matter was accordingly arranged to the satisfaction of the Mormons.

While the project of building the mill was still entertained, correspondence had been opened with Mrs. Dixon's brother, Mr. Charles Pratt of Ashtabula, Ohio, who had some interest in the original purchase of the land, with a view to his becoming a partner in the undertaking. After Mr. Sterling's departure, and before Mr. Pratts arrival, Mr. Dixon having become thoroughly discouraged by the constant annoyance of the Mormons, and feeling his inability to successfully oppose force with force, or otherwise protect his property against their thieving depredations, reluctantly came to the determination to abandon the settlement. He accordingly wrote to Mr. Lewis Miller, at Old Mission, to send a vessel to carry him away.

One morning the family were awakened at an early hour by the shrill whistle of a steamboat. It came from the little steamer "Stockman," which had arrived at the mouth of the river, having on board Mr. Pratt and his wife, also two hired men that he had brought with him. Soon after the landing of Mr. Pratt's party, a small sloop appeared, commanded by Capt. Sheppard, and having on board Mr. Schetterly (a son of Dr. Schetterly) and one or two more sent by Mr. Miller to Mr. Dixon's relief. In view of the additional strength brought by Mr. Pratt's party, the question now arose whether it would be better to go or stay. The day was spent in consultation. The conclusion arrived at was that Mr. and Mrs. Pratt, with Mrs. Dixon, the children, and one of the hired men, should embark for Northport at once, while Mr. Dixon and the other men should remain, for the present. The plan was immediately put into execution. Mr. Dixon remained for a few weeks, till his crop of potatoes was dug and disposed of, when he joined his family at Northport.

The withdrawal of Mr. Dixon left the Mormons in quiet possession of the place. Winter was drawing near and as they had not raised enough to supply them until spring, it was necessary for some one to go to the Beavers for supplies. George Preston procured a small vessel called the "Maid of the Mist," owned and sailed by Jonathan Pierce, and made the trip over. When they had their load aboard and ready to sail for Pine River, the wind was

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adverse, accompanied by snow and rain. It being late in the season, and Mr. Preston anxious to return to his family before winter would close in, did not wait for the wind to change or the storm to abate, but started to return. What happened to them was never known, as none of the crew ever reached the shore to tell the tale. The boat was afterward found below Little Traverse, also the trunk belonging to one of the party. The names of the men who were lost were Capt. Jonathan Pierce, George Preston, David See and Horace Bump.

The winter following was excessively cold. In February ice formed from the main land to the Beavers solid enough to hold up teams, and a highway of travel was established.

Beaver Island


Before entering upon a history of the Mormon kingdom, it is desirable to know something of Beaver Island, upon which this kingdom was established. The Beaver Island group embraces Beaver Island and about eleven other and smaller islands. Beaver Island the largest of the group called "The Beavers," is about thirteen miles long, and at its northern end a hook of land encloses perfect Beaver Island Harbor. Weather-beaten fish-houses line the inner curve of the shore, and behind them, half hidden in the cedars and pines, rambles the single street of the St. James village, along which are built the business places and homes of its residents. In the interior are to be found many well developed farms. St. James under the reign of King Strang was the county seat of Emmet County and the center of fishing trades and headquarters of the Mormons, east of the Rocky Mountains. The harbor at St James is one of the best on the Great Lakes, a perfect land-locked cove of great depth.

Most of the island is well adapted to agriculture and it produces all of the crops usually cultivated in New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa, in perfection.

At the present time the principal industry

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on the island is that of fishing, most of the "Islanders" being occupied in this pursuit.

One of the most popular side trips from Charlevoix is an excursion by a lake steamer to this historic island, a distance of 35 miles across Lake Michigan. The trip may be made daily during the summer months and is one sure to be well and pleasantly remembered. A visit to the fish houses, a trip with the fishermen while they are lifting their nets, a drive along the King's highway, as it winds its way through cultivated fields, forests of spruce, balsam, and pine, always near the blue waters of Lake Michigan are experiences you will talk of for years to come. Then there are inland lakes to be visited Font, Barney's, Fox, and Lake Genesereth the largest lake on the island. First class accommodations for the visitor may be found at the King Strang Hotel (Formerly the Hotel Beaver) now under the Management of Mr. and Mrs. Everett Cole.


In 1843 a young lawyer of thirty James Jesse Strang migrated from New York State to Burlington, Wisconsin. He had begun life as a school teacher, had gone from that to newspaper work, temperance lecturing, and the practice of law. In Burlington he began his law practice, but the following year, attracted by the reports of the Mormon doctrine, he traveled to Nauvoo, Illinois where he heard a sermon by Joseph Smith, and announced himself converted to the Mormon faith. On his return to Burlington, he wrote to Mr. Smith asking for the authority to establish a branch of the Mormon church in

--page 23----------------------------

Burlington. After some hesitation Smith wrote approving, and a few days after the dispatch of that letter Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob at Carthage, Illinois. There seems to have been considerable controversy among the Mormons as to who should succeed Smith as their leader. Brigham Young who led the Mormon Church westward was evidently elected by the Elders of the Church to succeed Smith. Strang loved authority and undeterred, resolved to found his own Mormon Church. This he did at Voree, later known as Spring Prairie, Wisconsin. His disciples were there organized into a single community, owning all things in common and living as one family. They were called the Primitive Mormons, and the Voree Herald was established as their official organ.

The community at Voree, under Strang's leadership grew steadily in numbers and in 1846 its leader determined to plant a colony on the Lake Michigan archipelago.


On May 11, 1847, Strang accompanied by four others, Gordon Brown, Nathan Wagner, R. Fredrick Mills and William Savage, arrived at the Beaver Island, to explore it and prepare for a settlement. It is said that when they had landed they were so destitute of means for the undertaking, that they were obliged to sell their blankets to pay their passage on the little Hooker that landed them there, and went ashore with less than two days provisions, and not one cent of money.

Alva Cable had a trading house on Whiskey Point, and the Rochester Northwest Company, of which Colonel Fisk was president, had one on the backside of the harbor. The Mormon visitors were not well received at these houses and went into the woods and made a camp of hemlock boughs. They then commenced a thorough exploration of the island, living principally on leeks and beechnuts. Stocks of provisions and the use of a boat was finally obtained, and after a most thorough exploration of the islands, and building a cabin, Strang, Savage and Wagner returned to Voree. Brown and Mills remained and were the first Mormons to settle on Beaver Island. Shortly after Strang returned to the island, with a goodly number of his followers and the spring of 1850 brought a large emigration of Mormons to the Beavers. The headquarters of the primitive Mormons were then removed from Voree to the new village at Beaver Island Harbor, to which the name St. James has since been given. The Voree Herald was then succeeded by the "Northern Islander," an exceedingly creditable specimen of

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backwoods journalism. The communistic principle was abandoned, and the Saints became the owners of their own homesteads. In July 1850, the government of the church was thoroughly reorganized, by the "Union of the church and state," and the formation of a kingdom with James Jesse Strang as King. A tabernacle was built and in it Strang was crowned with elaborate ceremony. It is said that he was the only man ever to be crowned a King in the United States. Strang's authority was practically supreme and absolute and he ruled his people as he wished, both in spiritual and temporal things. The discipline of the church in the matter of temperance and morals were very strict. The use of tea, coffee and tobacco as well as liquors, was prohibited. Polygamy was introduced during the winter of 1849 but the introduction of polygamy was not looked upon favorably and there were never over twenty cases of plural marriages on the island. No man had more than three wives except Strang.

Such were the features of the Mormon Kingdom and the circumstances of its becoming established on the Beaver Island. The kingdom was no sooner established than the population of the island was divided into Mormons and Gentiles, and the animosities between the two ripened into bitter and deadly hatred.


At the height of Strang's power, President Fillmore happened to visit Detroit and hear of the "king" who was holding sway on a remote island in Lake Michigan. President Fillmore dispatched a government cutter to depose him, and when the cutter arrived at St. James, Strang went on board and surrendered himself and was taken to Detroit. There he was tried and so brilliantly defended himself, likening himself to a persecuted Christ, that he was acquitted. Shortly after this he was elected to the State Legislature from his county and gave a dignified and effective account of himself at Lansing.

In the meantime a whipping post had been erected and those who failed to carry out the King's orders were terribly whipped. One of the colonies who fell out with the King was Thomas Bedford, an Englishman who held a formal connection with the Mormon Church but was not at heart a Mormon. Strang had promulgated a law against the women wearing long dresses, requiring the universal adoption of the bloomer style. Most of the women

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readily complied but some, regarding the law as an unwarranted interference with feminine affairs, indignantly refused. Among them were Mrs. McCulloch, wife of Dr. H. D. McCulloch, Mrs. Bedford, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Wentworth and Mrs. Orson Campbell. It was understood that these Mormons whose wives would not obey, were to be treated as "Gentiles." In keeping with his policy of reducing the women to submission Strang put on a campaign of harassing their husbands. In the course of events Strang brought several law suits against Bedford as well as the others who had rebelled against his order, and these men decided to rid the island of Strang.


In June, 1856 occurred the assassination of King Strang, and the forcible expulsion of the Mormons from the Beaver Island speedily followed. Those at Pine River or most of them, left at the same time.

It happened that on the day set for the trial of Bedford, the United States Revenue cutter, Michigan, was in the harbor. Some of the officers, willing to give Bedford the moral support of their presence, went with him to the place of trial. The Mormon party refused to proceed and the case postponed. On the next adjourned day,
the Michigan came in again, and some of the officers as on the former occasion accompanied Bedford to the place of trial. As on the previous occasion, the prosecution refused to proceed, and the case was again adjourned.

The presence of the cutter afforded a favorable time for Bedford to carry out his plan for the killing of Strang. So on June 16, 1856 while Strang was on his way from his home to the boat in response to an invitation from Captain McBlair, he was fired upon by Bedford and Wentworth and fatally wounded.

The steamer left the next day carrying all persons supposed to be implicated in the affair, thus affording military protection to those implicated, and overthrowing the sovereignty of Civil Law. The cutter proceeded to Mackinac where Bedford and Wentworth were received as heroes and public benefactors. The account of their arrival at Mackinac states that they were placed in jail there, but the doors of the jail were not allowed to be locked, and before night the prisoners walked out, and became guests of their friends

Strang was removed in a few days to Voree where he died July 9, 1856.

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An expedition for the purpose of driving the Mormons out of the county was organized. The invading force landed on the west side of the island and took possession of St. James without resistance. The island was patrolled by armed parties, who notified the Mormons to collect at the harbor at a certain time, with all their effects, that they might be sent away on the steamer Keystone State, which was expected in at that time. When the Keystone State arrived on the evening of July 6, the unfortunate people were driven aboard like so many sheep. By that time it had been decided by the invading party that the Mormons were to take none of their property with them, it to be seized as lawful plunder, and later on this property was divided among the invaders as they could agree. More than a hundred head of choice cattle, horses, and mules were taken as well as boats, nets, fish and fishermen's supplies and large quantities of provisions, furniture and household goods. Three stores and the printing office were rifled, and the contents added to the plunder. The tabernacle was burned and the royal palace sacked.

Of the Mormons carried away on the "Keystone State," a part were landed at Milwaukee and the rest at Chicago. From these points they scattered in various directions. There were a few Mormon families living at Pine River who were in bad repute with the Gentiles and they soon left the county. Other Mormons who were, peaceful citizens and respected, remained.

There is a vast amount of unwritten history connected with the reign of King Strang on Beaver Island, and it could not be otherwise, than that such a reign would come to an inglorious close.

Driving out of the Mormons left Medad Thompson and his family the only inhabitants at Pine River. However, they were not long alone. About the first of August, 1856, a sail might have been seen coming round the point from the direction of Little Traverse, and heading for the mouth of the river, with, a number of persons on board. It proved to be the "Rover," carrying as crew and passengers Samuel Horton and family, two young men John Newman and Archie Buttars.

After the Mormons were driven off, Mr. Dixon, who since his withdrawal from Pine River, had remained in Northport, resolved to return. He first visited to Beaver Island, where he was successful in recovering the greater part of his stolen property. This he conveyed to Pine River, and then returned to Northport for his family. At the latter place he fell in with Mr. John Miller, afterward familiarly known as "Uncle" John Miller, who with his wife and two sons had come from Oswegatshire, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., in search of a home in the west. It was arranged that Mr. Miller should take passage

--page 27------------------------

in Mr. Dixon's boat, and the two families sailed for Pine River in company.

John Miller located on a piece of land at the head of the lake, near the present site of the City of Boyne, and when the Post office was established there in 1869, he was appointed postmaster. The office was kept in his house; the mail route at that time extended from Traverse City to Cheboygan. Soon after settling on his land Mr. Miller gave the name of Boyne to Boyne River, naming it after a river of the same name in his native country.

John Newman worked a short time at Horton's Bay and afterward became the first settler of Marion Township.

At the closing in of winter of 1856-57 there were four families in the Charlevoix Region - those of Medad Thompson, J. S. Dixon, Samuel Horton and John Miller and the two young men Newman and Buttars. Mr. Buttars soon went to Elk Rapids, thence to Traverse City and Northport, and did not return to Pine River until 1869,


During the season of 1857 there were a number of arrivals, A. A. Corvin, Jr., R. Dean, Frank May and a man named Hyde.

One day in October there came to anchor off the mouth of Pine River a small schooner named the Sonora. Her passengers consisted of Seth F. Mason, and M. J. Stockman and their families.

In the spring of 1858 came Hugh Miller,

--page 28--------------------------------

J. Beebe, and a man named Cross, and in the fall of the same year Richard Williams and two men named Cochran and Childs, D. H. Pierce came in 1857.

Of this number only five - Mason, Stockman, Pierce and Williams - became permanent residents.

The winter of 1857-58 was a severe one and many of the settlers found the meal in the barrel very low before spring opened. Northport was the nearest point at which provisions could be obtained, except what little they could get at Bear Creek.

Wm. H. Porter was the first permanent settler at Advance. He first came to the place in 1859, selected his land, which he purchased of the U. S. government, and then went to Bear Creek, where he remained until 1865. In the latter year he returned to Advance, and built a saw-mill, and afterward a grist mill, on the stream named in his honor, Porter's Creek.

Amos Williams was the first settler at the head of the south arm of Pine Lake. The exact date of his arrival is not known, but he was already there in 1862. At first he “squatted” on what he supposed to be

--page 29-----------------------------

government land, but which proved to be the property of the Railroad company. He afterward took a government homestead.

In 1858 Alanson C. Aldrich and family remove to Pine River from Beaver Island, and the following year he identified the grayling in the Jordan and Boyne Rivers, he being the first to discover the fact of their inhabiting those streams. Orrin CampbeIl also came at the same time.

In the winter of 1860-'61 W. M. HoIland bargained for a privilege on the Mill Creek owned by Medad Thompson and Hugh Miller. He erected a saw pit and sawed the plank for his flume by hand. The inhabitants turned out and assisted in getting out the timber and building the dam. He worked in the snow and water for some time but at last became discouraged and abandoned the project. This was a great disappointment to the settlers who had been greatly encouraged at the prospect of a mill.



Barnard, in the town of Marion, was a point of some expectations. The site of the proposed village was located On a creek, which afforded a mill privilege. It was also located on the state road. Barnard Burns located there about 1865, and a post office was established and took his name.

West of Barnard, in the town of Norwood, was the Inwood settlement, where Rev. James Inwood lived.


Norwood is a small settlement situated upon the shore of Lake Michigan, in the town of Norwood. In the year 1866, O. D. Wood, Orwin Adams and L. H. Pearl, under the firm name of O. D. Wood & Co., came to this point from Antrim City and built a dock. Before it was completed Mr. Pearl sold his interest to the other partners and erected a hotel known as the Eagle House. Messrs. Wood & Adams went on and built a saw-mill store and boarding-house. In the fall of 1866 William Harris, arrived and kept the boarding-house for Wood & Co. About 1869 the mill property passed into the hands of H. N. Ballard and D. F. Barber. They operated it a while and sold it to Mr. Morse. He sold it to F. J. Meech and he to Gugles, Nash &. Co., who came from Wisconsin. The first postmaster was William Harris. The village has the usual interests of rural settlements, but has never attained any importance as a business point.


Advance is a small hamlet on the south shore of Pine Lake, about four miles from Boyne. A dock, two mills and two or three stores were built there. The location is attractive and the place is surrounded by

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good farming country. The beginning of this point has already been mentioned.

Horton's Bay

Horton's Bay named from Samuel Horton, its first settler, had a dock and one or two stores. Quite a trade in wood and bark was carried on there. The bay is exceptionally beautiful, and the settlement is upon one of the finest sites to be found anywhere, but it has not seemed to have the right geographical location for a village.

Boyne City

Boyne City is located at the head of Lake Charlevoix and at the mouth of the Boyne River, a famous trout stream, from which the city takes its name. The City occupies one of the beautiful and romantic sites so numerous in Charlevoix County. The geographical center of the county is a mile west of Boyne, in Lake Charlevoix and its position at the head of the lake, makes it readily accessible from all portions of the country. The city is built upon both sides of the river, and has a crescent shaped lake front. Near the river the land is level, but on either side it rises in a succession of terraces somewhat in the form of an amphitheatre.

The first settler in this vicinity was John Miller, where he settled in 1856. The circumstances of his coming here have already been narrated in the early history of Charlevoix County.

In 1876 the first dock was built at this point, and in 1878 a gristmill was constructed, soon after came the large and powerful saw-mills of the White Bros. In later years Boyne City became one of the important industrial centers in this section. But since the timber has all been cut the saw mills and the chemical plants have been wrecked and the only industry remaining today is that of the plant of the Michigan Tanning and Extract Co.

East Jordan

The City of East Jordan was also an important business point in the county. The city is built upon the East shore of the south arm of Lake Charlevoix and occupies a most delightful situation. At this point the terraces so common to the lake region, are very sharply defined, and afford not only pleasing views but excellent drainage. In the summer of 1879 Mr. J. C. Glenn moved his saw-mill from Leland, Leelanau County, to East Jordan, and erected it upon the shore of the lake. William P. Porter, also of Leelanau County, became a partner of Mr. Glenn under the firm name of Glenn & Porter. The timber had been exhausted in the vicinity of Leland and the mill was moved to this point on account of immense quantities of hard wood timber in this vicinity.

The starting of this mill was the beginning of East Jordan as a business center. Some industry was needed as a nucleus of business interests, and activities. The

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lumber operations of Glenn & Porter gave employment to men, made a market for logs, and opened the way for other interests to follow. At the time the mill was brought here there were only five or six families at this point. The firm built a boarding-house, docks, and erected a number of store buildings and dwellings and were active in many ways in building up the village.

Early in 1882 another saw-mill was built by Martin and Woodin who came from Vermontville, Michigan and expended about $20,000 in the construction of their mill.

Some years later the East Jordan Lumber Company was organized to take over the interests of Mr. Porter and his associates and today in his advanced years Mr. William P. Porter is still the guiding light in the East Jordan Lumber Company and its affiliated companies.

Boyne Falls

Boyne Falls is one of the villages brought into existence by the building of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, (Now the Pennsylvania). The town of Boyne Valley was organized in 1873, and in the spring of 1874 the railroad commenced operation. During the summer of 1874, Messrs. Nelson & Powers, who owned a large tract of land at that point, had a village platted on a portion of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 15, and named it Boyne Falls. The village is situated at the junction of the railroad with Boyne River, sixteen miles in a southerly direction from Petoskey, and about six miles southwest of the head of Lake Charlevoix. The plat was recorded in September, 1874, and about that time a post office was established with William Nelson as postmaster. The location of the village is romantic and interesting, but up to the present time the place has not attained much importance as a business point. At the same time of the writing of this narrative the more prominent citizens are William J. Pearson, Herman W. Meyer and Frank Pierce, all pioneers in the Boyne Valley district.


Years ago Ironton was also one of the leading industrial centers in this region. The village of Ironton being composed mainly of the interests of the Pine Lake Iron Company, their furnace having been located at this point. The company began operations there in 1879, but did not begin the manufacturing of iron until 1881. The

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site selected was peculiarly well adapted to the necessities of their business, being in a heavily wooded section and also on the line of navigation in Lake Charlevoix, a short distance above the point at which it branches from the lake. During the time that the iron company operated there, between two and three hundred men were employed and a village naturally followed the establishment of so extensive an industry.

This industry was an important one to Charlevoix County by furnishing a market for such vast quantities of wood. The land became rapidly cleared, and in a short time the forests were replaced by productive farms. With the depletion of the timber the mill was removed and at the present time there is very little left to mark the spot of this once prosperous village.


The early settlers of the city of Charlevoix, and the county as well, were people who had been taught the value of schools, and at the earliest opportunity we find means provided for the educating of the children of those who had located in this vicinity. The community was small, it is true and the appointments of the early school exceedingly primitive. In the fall of 1861 it was decided to build a school-house and begin to train the young in the proper direction. M. J. Stockman was then living on the south side of Round Lake. A "bee" was called and a small log building put up on the bank of Pine Lake about fifteen rods south of where the Belvedere _ Hotel now stands. It was a veritable cobble house just high enough for a person of ordinary height to stand erect without raising the roof. The building was 16 x 18 feet in size, with a "shake" roof and puncheon floor. Split basswood logs resting on pegs served as benches, and the desks were of similar design. It was a humble structure, -but then, men have emerged from similar ones to enter upon illustrious careers, and
dying, transmit honorable name to posterity


The first school in this building was taught in the winter of 1862-'63 by Mrs. M. J. Stockman, who received therefore a salary of one dollar per week. Being a -married women she was able to make favorable rates for board, and thus derived quite magnificent revenue from her labors. The following were Mrs. Stockman's pupils during that first term: Joseph R.,

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Charles and Francis Dixon, William, John C., Ellen, Mary Ann and Janet Miller, Hiram, James., George B., and Louisa Thompson, Wilson, Solomon and Melvina Hancock, Oscar D., Albert E., and Mary Mason, Ed. Aldrich, Esther and Sophia Horton, Angeline Kidder, Frances and Ida Vosburg, and possibly two or three others.

Mrs. Stockman also taught the following summer, and was succeeded for the winter term by a Mr. Crandall. The summer term of 1863 was taught by Celia Moses, afterward the wife of Archibald Buttars. There was no school during the winter of 1863-'64, but the following summer Mrs. Stockman taught again. The next term was during the summer of 1865 and was taught by Jane E. Miller, daughter of William Miller.

In the course of the summer of 1864, Mr. Dixon completed arrangements with the firm of Fox and Rose, of Northport, by which they were to come here and build a dock to a sufficient depth of water for steamboats to reach. Mr. H. O. Rose came here and assisted in measuring the ground they were to have, which included all convenient dock sites around the mouth of the river. It was arranged that Mr. Dixon was to take charge of a stock of goods which he was to dispose of in exchange for wood, and that winter was begun the propeller wood trade at the mouth of the river. Work on the dock was pushed as rapidly as possible, and before the close of navigation a dock was partially completed, and everything was ready to receive wood. About the 25th of October there came a heavy northeast blow, the ,severest that had been known on the lakes for many years and carried away about a hundred feet of the dock, doing considerable damage to what was left.

The disaster was an unfortunate one, but did not discourage the firm which was composed of pioneer business men, who had already been in the same kind of business at Northport for several years. Early in the spring they repaired the damage and completed the dock.

Early in 1867 a mail route was established, also a post office, at Charlevoix. Philo Beers was postmaster. Nelson Ainslie had the contract for carrying the mail, and moved his family here in the spring of 1867. The village had been platted by Mr. Dixon in 1866.

Mr. Beers kept the post office at his house which stood just south of the river, and was postmaster until his death, which occurred April 3, 1872. Richard Cooper, who was deputy postmaster, moved the office to the Fountain City House where it was kept for some time.

The firm of A. Fox & Co. had a contract with a firm in Buffalo to build a tug

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for use on Pine Lake, in towing their wood from the different points around the lake to the dock. Early in the spring of 1867 they began clearing out the river, and the construction of a railroad from their woodyard on the river to their dock. They had four scows built at Northport for their wood trade. Some time in June, the tug, which they named "Commodore Nutt," arrived, and after considerable trouble she was got into Pine Lake, whose waters were then parted for the first time by Steam craft.

In the spring of 1867, Richard Cooper came from Little Traverse and kept the boarding-house for A. Fox & Co. He afterward purchased the property and built the present Fountain City House.

In the fall of 1867 Messrs. Redington, Nelson & Co. came here to look for a location for a saw-mill. There was some talk of buying the dock property of A. Fox & Co., but they did not agree upon the terms, and they then made a conditional bargain for a mill site. They went away, and in the following spring their mill machinery and appurtenances arrived and the mill was erected. The Charlevoix Lumber Co. organized in 1891 by John Nicholls as president and son Harry as secretary-treasurer and general manager, purchased the mill property and operated the mill until the timber was depleted in this vicinity. The Charlevoix Lumber Co. still operates a retail lumber yard at this location. Mr. E. J. Hiller being the general manager and Mr. Ernest Dawson bookkeeper.

In the fall of 1868 the first lawyer to locate in the county arrived in the person of Major Edward H. Green.
It was during this time that Charlevoix enjoyed the brief honor of being the county seat of Emmet County. The records were brought over from Little Traverse and court

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was held in the Althouse building. The supervisors also met here, but Charlevoix County was organized the following spring and was thereafter disconnected from Emmet.

The year 1869 was an important period. Charlevoix County was organized and the village of Charlevoix became the county seat, and in April the Charlevoix Sentinel was established.


The Charlevoix Sentinel is a pioneer institution in this part of Michigan, and has been an important factor in the general development and progress of Charlevoix County. In 1869 the county of Charlevoix was organized. At that time De Witt C. Leach was publishing the Grand Traverse Herald and Willard A. Smith was a compositor in the office of The Grand Traverse Eagle. Mr. Leach desired to establish a newspaper office in the new county and selected young Smith as the person whom he desired to come to Charlevoix and manage the enterprise. A satisfactory arrangement was affected, and Smith took such material as he thought necessary from the Herald Office and it was transported to the new field of journalism. An office was set up in the Jailhouse Building, near the Fountain City House, and Saturday, April 24, 1869, the first number of the Charlevoix Sentinel was issued for De Witt C. Leach, by Willard A. Smith, with Major E. H. Green as editor. Its field was wide for north of Traverse City there was no competition. Charlevoix village was scarcely a prophecy and if every white family in that territory had each paid for one copy during the year, the publisher would not have grown rapidly rich. Turning back the issues to the early numbers we find, however, a well printed and well edited newspaper. Public questions are there discussed with candor and ability, and the make-up of the paper displays the work of a printer well skilled in his craft. In the earliest numbers are the advertisements of E. H. Green, attorney and insurance agent; Philo Beers, notary public; Robert Miller, blacksmith; A. G. Aldrich, assistant assessor and deputy collector; the Fountain City House, Richard Cooper, proprietor; William Laister, general store; Redington, Nelson & Co. dealers in lumber; George Kyes, grocery, and A. Fox & Co., general merchandise. Thus the business of the village was fairly represented at the time.

On March 12, 1870, Mr. Leach sold the establishment to Willard A. Smith. Mr. Green continued as editor until February 11, 1871, when he retired from the position which he had so ably filled and Mr. Smith became editor and proprietor.

In 1871 Mr. Smith built an office on Main Street, now Park A venue. Subsequently

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that building was moved to Bridge Street and occupied for a time until the present Sentinel building was erected. Mr. Smith continued sole proprietor until August, 1883, when he sold a half interest to Ed. F. Parmelee. This partnership was dissolved after a few years and Mr. Smith remained the sole owner until his death on Decmber 24. 1917. Mr. Ira. A. Adams a son-in-law of Mr. Smith and his wife Florence Smith Adams succeeded to the ownership, operating as the Sentinel Printing Company. Mr. and Mrs. Adams moving here from Bellaire where Mr. Adams had been very prominent in the early development of Antrim County.

When first established the Sentinel was the official paper of seven counties, including two on the upper Peninsula. Since that time its field has narrowed as the population multiplied upon this inviting domain. Its prosperity however, has never been checked nor influence lessened, and in the many years of progress that have wrought such desirable changes in Charlevoix County the Sentinel has voiced the interests of this locality with commendable judgment and fidelity. The fact that it survived the vicissitudes inevitable to pioneer journalism, testifies to the excellence and vigor of its early management. The institution has shared the general prosperity surrounding it, and the equipment of the office has kept pace with the increasing business which it enjoys, with Mr. and Mrs. Adams still the owners and publishers. Collecting guns, has for many years, been the hobby of Ira Adams and in the case behind his desk are more than three hundred specimens, dating from the torch lock guns of 400 years ago to the modern rifles, automatics and revolvers. Two rifles in the collection were carried by Dr. David Livingston, the celebrated British explorer, on his trip through the darkest Africa. Dueling pistols used in the last duel fought in the United States are among the high spots in the collection. There too, you will find Filipino bolos, beheading axes, Japanese two handed swords, the canon made for the Lincoln club in Chicago and used in the two Lincoln Presidential campaigns, armor and such humble implements of personal warfare, as the Irish shillelah.

Mr. Smith took a leading part in the public affairs of Charlevoix from the time he became a resident of this city. He held the offices of county clerk, county treasurer, and president and trustee of the village. He was also one of the founder.s of the Historical Society of Charlevoix.


On January 13, 1872 a mass meeting was held to discuss the matter of opening Pine River for navigation and we find that Willard

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A. Smith was secretary of this meeting. In June 1873 a contract was closed with N. Stickney for dredging the channel of Pine River, and the following July the dredge arrived and work was begun.

All dredging prior to this time had been done with tugs, and the appearance of a real live dredge was an occasion of great public interest, and the entire populace turned out to give it a reception.

The cut between Round and Pine Lakes was made thirty-five feet wide and twelve feet deep by an appropriation of $1,000 made by the board of supervisors.

The first dredging under a government appropriation was done in July, 1877.

The death by drowning of Seth F. Mason which occurred Nov. 15, 1870 was a notable event in the history of Charlevoix. Mr. Mason was a prominent citizen and the tragic circumstances of his death produced a profound sensation.

Dr. Levi Lewis located in Charlevoix in the spring of 1870, and was the pioneer physician of this region. The first few years of his practice after locating here were fraught with hard work and rough experience. His visits extended over a large area and travel was attended with difficulty. According to the records Dr. Lewis owned the first buggy in the village.

In 1871 Dr. Lewis built the opera house, near the bridge. In 1880 he entered into partnership with John M. Ackert, in the drug and grocery business. This business continued for some time when the firm dissolved, and Dr. Lewis closed out his stock to devote all of his time to the practice of medicine. Dr. Lewis continued active in the development of Charlevoix until his death on December 29, 1920.

From the organization of Charlevoix as a village the growth of the town was rapid and we find the following business men, aside from those already mentioned, taking an active part in its growth; A. Buttars & Co., Henry Morgan, C. B. Norris & Co., George Kyes, S. M. See, A. K. Dougherty, Henry Carr, Henry Newman, Byron See, L. Gebeau, S. S. Liscomb, D. C. Nettleton, Richard Copper, Esterly & Co., Philo Beers, John M. Ackert, H. Lee Iddings, O. S. Washburn, Egbert Carpenter,. B. W. Miller, Harrison Bedford, A. R. Upright, A. J. McLeod, James Wood, L. D. Bartholomew, Nelson Ainslie, J. Milo Eaton, Fred W. Mayne, Richard Shapton, Silas H. Comfort, O. F. Wisner, Hon. J. S. Dixon, Horace S. Harsha, William Nelson, W. J. Stevenson, Dr. L. B. Bartlett, O. E. Wilbur, W. H. Francis, Dr. J. B. Thielan, Dr. F. A. Auld, R. A. Emrey & Co., G. W. Priest, Dr. R. B. Armstrong, Frank M. Sears, and others.

After widening the channel of Pine River it was found quite necessary to abandon the ferry, which had served to transport the people, as well as their horses and wagons, across the river. A bridge of the jack knife type was built to allow boats to pass through. This bridge was later replaced by one of the swing type and operated by hand

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power. Lake traffic grew extremely heavy with the development of the saw mills and other industries in the county and it is said that during the busy summer season, it was often necessary to swing the bridge as many as 92 times a day. Later on a steam engine supplied the motive power. In 1901 this bridge was replaced by the present swing bridge, which is operated by electric power.

It is interesting to relate that for 34 years, from 1889 to 12, Mr. Elmer Johnson served as bridge tender, and during all those years he never lost a day from his work. Mr. Johnson witnessed the passing of the lumber era, when countless vessels left this port with cargoes of lumber, posts and bark; the change from sail to steam transportation on water, and from horse drawn to motor vehicles on land. For a number of years he tended the bridge alone, 24 hours a day, and during that period he was obliged to spend the entire time during the season of navigation in the tenders house on top of the bridge, and the only time that he would see his family was when they would deliver his meals to him. Mr. Johnson retired in 12 to take a well earned rest, At the present there are three operators on the bridge each working an eight hour shift.

The dredging of the channel and the widening of Pine River proved a boon to the lumber and other industries, already established at Horton's Bay, Boyne City, East Jordan, Ironton and Charlevoix and there soon followed the development of a great fishing industry. As far back as 1883 we find that shipments from these points include millions of feet of lumber, lath, railroad ties, cedar posts, telegraph poles, wood hemlock, bark, pig iron and fish. The boats which carried these cargoes, to all points on the Great Lakes, were mostly sailing vessels and those that were propelled by steam, burned wood in their boilers. Hundreds of cords of wood could be seen piled high at each lake port in those days. Carrying these great cargoes were such boats as the propellers Lawrence and Champlain, passenger steamer which carried fresh and salt fish to Chicago during the summer months; and some of the barges and schooners were the Vega, Ottawa, the O. M. Nelson, the Fearless, the Stampede, the M. Capron, the Rosabelle, the Lomie A. Burton, the Sea Gem, the City of Grand Haven, the T. Y. Avery, the Jennie Mullen, the Pine Lake and the Vernon. We find mention too of such smaller craft as the tugs Commodore Nut and the Minne Warren, the Mendota, Maple Leaf, and the steamer Fountain City, 1,000 tons burden, commanded by Captain Gibson; the first boat to enter Round Lake through the new channel. This was on July 7, 1882.

Later came the passenger boats Idaho, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Missouri, Illinois, the City of Grand Rapids, the Manitou and Puritan. In 12 the names of the Manitou
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and Puritan were changed to the Isle Royal and Geo. M. Cox respectively. The Cox was wrecked on Isle Royal, in Lake Superior, during the season of 12 and the steamer Isle Royal was soon after tied up and abandoned at one of the lower lake ports.

In about the year 1890 regular mail, freight and passenger service was established between Charlevoix and Beaver Island. Making daily trips on this run, during the season of navigation, were such boats as the E. L. Hackley, the Beaver, the Columbia, the Bruce, the James E. Sanford, the Ossian Bedell and the Harold II on this run at the present time.

Before the development of roads and highways in the County it was necessary to travel by boat from Charlevoix to Boyne City, East Jordan and other points on Pine Lake. Some of the ferry boats which made these trips twice daily were the Gordon, the Walter Crysler, the North Star, the Nellie Booth, the Pilgrim latter called the Hum and the Lou A. Cummings re-built and re-named the City of Boyne, and the Gazelle.


The Charlevoix Journal, now the Charlevoix Courier, was established by Charles J. Strang in June 1883. Charles J. Strang was a son of James J. Strang, leader of the Michigan Mormons. He was born at St. James, Beaver Island, Michigan on April 6, 1851. After the death of his father in 1856 he moved to Wisconsin, from there to Southern Michigan, coming to Charlevoix in 1888 to establish the Journal, as above stated.

The early files of the Journal seem to have been lost or destroyed a number of years ago, when the newspaper was moved to its present location. For some time prior to 1907, Glen M. Du Bois and A. J. Usher succeeded to the ownership, Mr. Usher taking active charge of the publication, as Editor and business manager. Glen M. Du Bois died in June 1913, and his interest was assumed by George M. Du Bois. On the death of George M. Du Bois in June 1923 Mrs. Margaret M. Du Bois became the partner of her son-in-law, Mr. A. J. Usher. This partnership continued until the death of Mrs. Du Bois in June 13. Since that time the ownership has been invested in Mrs. Ella M. Usher and her husband A. J. Usher. For the past few years Mr. Usher has been very ably assisted in the publication of the paper, by his son Kenneth Usher.


The bank of Charlevoix was established in September 1882, and was the first bank in Charlevoix County. This was a private bank and was established by Lewis Reynolds and W. P. Brown under the firm name

--page 40------------------------

of Reynolds and Brown. W. P. Brown was the cashier and W. A. Brown teller.

The Merchants' and Farmers' Bank, a private institution was established in July 1883, by the firm of Buttars, Upright & Co. With A. Buttars as president, A. R. Upright vice president and G. S. Thomas cashier.

In 1884 the Charlevoix Savings Bank, organized, under State supervision among the organizers being, Archibald Buttars, A. R. Upright, John Nicholls, Amos Fox, M. J. Stockman and others. This bank continued to operate until 1899 when it was placed h voluntary liquidation, the assets and liabilities being taken over by the newly organized Charlevoix County Bank, a private unincorporated institution owned by John Nicholls and Archibald Butters. This private bank continued to function until October 13, when it was closed and the Charlevoix County State Bank re-organized from it. In 1903 Mr. Albert Bridge, now President of the bank became associated with Mr. Butters and Mr. Nicholls and upon the retirement of Mr. Butters, Mr. Bridge took over the active management. In 1920 Robert Bridge, now the cashier, became a partner in the firm, and since his father's retirement, he has been placed in charge of the institution.

On February 8, 1924 the bank building was completely destroyed by fire, and the present building completed and occupied on June 28, 1924.

The re-organization of this bank in 13 was unique in that it was probably the only private bank in the United States ever to be re-organized by the use of waivers. The bank has shown a steady growth since the re-organization and the present officers are; President, Albert F. Bridge, Vice President E. J. Hiller and M. A. Levinson, Cashier, Robert Bridge and Asst. Cashier, Ada Y. Golden.

The Charlevoix State Savings Bank was incorporated on June 5, 1905, under the banking laws of the State of Michigan. The original officers were; President, F. E. Turrell, Vice President, G. C. Geiken, and Cashier, C. E. Turrell. The First directors were as follows; Harvey L. Iddings, Horace S. Harsha, G. C. Geiken, John Burns, G. W. Crouter, Dudley E. Waters, and F. E. Terrell.

After closing during the State and National Bank holidays of 13, the Charlevoix State Savings Bank was re-organized with the following officers; President, Harry A. Craig; Vice President, Dr. F. F. McMillan; Cashier, Archie Livingston; these men together with Martin Block and Captain Frank Partridge, comprise the board of directors. This bank is enjoying the prosperity it richly deserves.


Charlevoix County was becoming a very attractive place for the summer resorter, the Charlevoix Resort, now the Belvedere, having been established in 1878, with the purchase of 25 acres of land for the sum of six hundred and twenty-five dollars. The first officers of the Charlevoix Resort were as follows: President, H. W. Page, Kalamazoo, Secretary, Samuel Brooks, Kalamazoo, Treasurer, Kendall Brooks also of Kalamazoo.

During the summer of 1878 six cottages were erected and a substantial pier, with 14 feet of water at the front, was built, at which the ,steam boats running on Pine Lake always touched when there were passengers to be landed or received. Other improvements were made, such as the building of a bath-house, and the sinking of a well from which is obtained an abundant supply of delicious, ice cold water. The amount expended in these improvement was $1,600. The number of persons who visited Charlevoix that summer because of the establishment of this resort, and who occupied the cottages or lived in tents, or found board in private families, and who considered the grounds of the resort as their headquarters, was considerably above one hundred. In 1879 a commodious boarding-house was built upon the grounds, in

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order to accommodate many visitors who desired temporary quarters.

In May 1880, the association purchased all the land directly north of the original twenty-five acres deeded by M. J. Stockman, and lying between it and the channel and Round Lake. In October, twenty-five acres more were purchased, giving the resort water front on Lake Charlevoix.

This resort, originally started by an enterprising group of pioneer residents of Charlevoix, as the Charlevoix Resort has been known successively as the Kalamazoo Baptist Resort, as it was a group of Baptist ministers and teachers from Kalamazoo who first became interested in it, then as the Charlevoix Summer Home Association and since 1923 as the Belvedere Club.

From time to time additional cottages were built and extensive improvements made to the grounds and the present commodious hotel was built. The Belvedere is one of the outstanding summer hotels in Northern Michigan, so ideally located on a terrace overlooking the sparking waters of Lake Charlevoix, and it offers every comfort to its exclusive discriminating clientel. An automatic sprinkler system affords fire protection to its guests. The excellent cuisine and faultless service are features of the Belvedere dining room. The bedrooms are very comfortably furnished. At the present time there are ninety cottages on the grounds, all individually owned by members of the Club. The members jointly own the Hotel. There are one hundred and four bedrooms in the hotel, and the dining room has accommodations for 400 guests. The Belvedere Casino, with its large porch, where guests enjoy the cool breezes of Lake Charlevoix, has a Spacious dance floor. and is suitable for convention meetings. There is a stage for lectures or theatricals at one end of the Casino.

Winding paths tempt even the less energetic to wander among the fascinating beauties of the Belvedere grounds. Asphalt and clay tennis courts, in perfect condition, are available for the free use of its guests.

The Belvedere Golf Club, just outside the limits of the City of Charlevoix, has every comfort for the fastidious golfer. Here he may find exclusiveness, fine fairways, velvet putting greens. one of the finest resort golf courses in America, 6579 yards of golfing thrills.

The history of the Belvedere would hardly be complete without mention of that grand old gentleman, who for so many years served the club in the capacity of Assistant Treasurer and Warden. We refer to Mr. W. H. Miller, with the Belvedere from 18 to 13 when he was forced to retire on account of ill health. Mr. Miller passed away in 14.

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The present officers of the Belvedere Club and some of the more prominent members, all of whom are summer residents of Charlevoix, are: President, James B. Balch, Vice President, C. B. Fox and George D. Webb, Secretary, Emerson W. Price, Treasurer, Logan Thompson, Assistant Treasurer and Warden, Edward J. Edwards, R. Vernon Clark, St. Louis, Mo., Homer D. Jones, Oak Park, Ill., Charles E. Valier, St. Louis, Mo., Charles O. Roemler, Indianapolis, Ind., George A. Shwab, Nashville, Tenn., James I. Dissette, Indianapolis, Ind., and. Arthur P. Taylor, Cincinnati.

Charmingly located on the bluffs, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, and offering every facility for your entertainment and comfort, is the Beach Hotel. This beautiful hotel was built in 1898 by the late Mrs. John S. Baker; is strictly modern, and it has an air of "hominess" such as you rarely find in a resort hotel. Mrs. Baker cherished an ideal to make the Beach famous far and wide for its cuisine, its old fashioned hospitality, its spotless cleanliness. This same ideal is held today by Mrs. Arthur Von Dolcke, a daughter of Mrs. Baker, who has been remarkably successful in retaining the charm of the old regime, while keeping up to date in every respect.

Commanding a view of the lake through its entire length, the dining room seats three hundred and fifty, where the guests can enjoy the best of foods in a panorama of beauty.

Clustered about the hotel are fourteen private cottages. These with the Hotel Annex, provide accommodations for 450 guests.

The Chicago Club, a private resort, is located upon the north shore of Round Lake, and upon an elevation commanding a magnificent view of the lakes and country around it. This club was founded by a stock company of wealthy Chicago gentlemen for a private summer resort for their families and their friends.

The first officers of the Club consisted of the following: Caleb F. Gates, President; Silas M. Moore, vice president; Harvey Dean, secretary; Brayton Saltonstall, treasurer; directors, Robert M. Cherrie, James M. Scoville, James H. Moore, Caleb F. Gates, Silas Moore, Cuthbert Spring, J. K. Harmon, T. M. Avery and Rev. J. W. Dinsmoore.

The Club House is an imposing structure with large, high, airy rooms, broad halls, and deep verandas above and below encircling the house and its entire frontage, and the comfort that is pictured upon them on a cool summer evening, with the large arm chairs occupied by the crowd of happy resorters, is something to be envied.

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Just below over the brow of a terrace, a bayou extending in from Round Lake affords a convenient cove for the dozens of handsome boat houses, the home of a fleet of the finest sail boats to be found anywhere in America. Across the bayou, an island extends southward to within a stones throw of the resort grounds.

The sail boats of the Chicago Club form the most perfectly matched fleet in the United States. During the summer months races are held twice weekly on Lake Charlevoix, with Commodore Wm. B. McIlvaine in charge of this activity.

On the Club grounds can be found two brick dust tennis courts and one double green court. Bowling on the Green is also a popular past-time. Adjoining the club grounds is an excellent eighteen hole golf course.

The present officers and prominent members of the Chicago Club are Wm. B. McIlvaine, president; John P. Wilson, Vice President, and treasurer, Joseph H. King, Cyrus H. Adams, John Stewart, F. H. Scott, Mrs. Robert Stewart and Mrs. George B. Douglass.

Mr. John P. Wilson first came to the Chicago Club as a boy, some fifty years ago and has been a continual summer visitor since that time. We understand that Mr. Wm. B. McIlvaine is at the present time, the oldest member of the Club. Mrs. Robert Stewart has been a member of the club for more than twenty years and about her home may be found the most beautiful flower garden. Mrs. Stewart also owns the Breezy Point Farm at Ironton, where she has a lovely cottage, in which she spends a portion of her time during the summer. Mrs. Stewart has always taken a very active part in church and social work in our community.

Mrs. George B. Douglass, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has also been a summer resident at the Club for many years. Her time is divided between her exquisite home on the grounds, and her cottage at Oyster Bay on Lake Charlevoix. Mrs. Douglass has planted thousands of pine seedlings on her estate at Oyster Bay.

Miss Florence Franklin has for a number of years been manager of the Club House, and Otto P. Kreuger is superintendent of the grounds.

"The Inn," built in 1897 by the Pere Marquette Railway Company; is one of Northern Michigan's leading resort hotels. Encircled by three lakes-Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix and Round Lake; surrounded by every facility for golf, tennis, riding, fishing, boating and sailing; in the very heart of Michigan's pine-clad, rolling country, this famous hotel offers you every-

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thing you ever dreamed a vacation should hold.

You can live comfortably and economically at The Inn, for its accommodations strike a happy medium between luxury and solid comfort. You will enjoy nights of restful sleep, and spend delightful days in the open, at your favorite sport, or just lazing in the sun on the beach near by, or on the velvety lawn which surrounds the hotel. The service in the inviting dining room of The Inn is of traditional perfection.

The Charlevoix Golf Course is but a few minutes walk from the hotel, and directly in front of the Dixon Avenue entrance are a number of exceptionally smooth clay tennis courts. They are free to the guests of The Inn, and are often the scene of championship matches.

Directly opposite the hotel, on Lake Charlevoix, is a new pier and pavilion for swimming and boating. Afternoon tea dancing makes a gay scene in the shaded gardens of the Inn. Concerts at the pavilion and pier add further diversion and there is dancing, of course, in the evening, to the music of a delightful dance orchestra.

The Inn has accommodations for 350 with a spacious dining room which seats 400 guests. All the rooms have bath or connecting bathrooms.

The Pere Marquette railway have an all expense excursion rate in connection with the Inn .

Mr. E. N. Osborn was the first manager at The Inn, he was succeeded by A. I. Creamer, and he by M. H. Turner as Managing Director with W. E. Flynn, Resident manager.

The Charlevoix Roller Mill, the building now occupied by the Argo Milling Company, was built in 1885 by H. B. Riffenberg. In 1903 this business was incorporated as the Argo Milling Company, with George D. Swinton as President and Henry M. Enos as Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. Enos had for a number of years been Superintendent of Schools in Charlevoix and to him should be given a great deal of credit for bringing our schools up to their present high standard. The present officers of the Argo Milling Company are, President, R. S. Swinton, Ann Arbor, Vice President, Mrs. M. M. Swinton, Secretary, Treasurer and General Manager, Harry A. Craig. The Argo carry a complete line of flour, feed, fuel and builders supplies. Mr. Craig was formerly superintendent of' the Charlevoix Schools and has been very active in furthering the interests of Charlevoix County. Since becoming associated with the Argo, Mr.

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Craig has served a number of terms as chairman of the Board of Supervisors, secretary of the School Board, and as Chairman of the Charlevoix Hospital Association.

Burning Champlain


The most shocking calamity in the annals of the village of Charlevoix the most disastrous in the loss of life and property, and which brought sorrow to the most number of persons in the village, occurred on the night of June 16, 1887, by the burning of the passenger propeller Champlain, of the Northern Michigan Line. The Champlain caught fire off Smithson's Camp, near Fisherman's Island, about midnight. The fire originated in or near the engine room, and in endeavoring to extinguish the blaze the clothing of the engineer became ignited. By the time that the fire alarm had been sounded the engine room was engulfed in flames, with no opportunity to shut off the engines. The Champlain was naturally proceeding full steam ahead, and at that speed it was impossible to launch the life boats until she had been run aground on a reef, nearly a mile from shore. The fire spread rapidly from one end of the boat to the other, most of the passengers and crew were forced to jump overboard. While some were burned to death others were drowned in Lake Michigan, the known dead being twenty-two. Mrs. Harrison Bedford, still a resident of Charlevoix, is the only known living survivor. There were very few families in the entire County who did not suffer the loss of a relative or dead friend in this tragedy.

Finding the soil in this territory particularly adapted to the raising of seed peas, D. M. Ferry & Co., in 1891 constructed a large seed warehouse on the East side of Lake Charlevoix, some distance south of the Belvedere. In 1903 this firm had planted in this section 19,500 bushels of seed peas, utilizing more than 6,000 acres of ground and producing nearly 100,000 bushels of seed. All of this product was grown by contract with local farmers, about 800 in number. Some years later an insect practically destroyed the seed peas and the warehouse was abandoned.


The Chicago & West Michigan Railroad, now the Pere Marquette, was built through Charlevoix in 1892. No little excitement was created by the building of the railroad as it gave the western part of the county its only outlet, other than by water. Construction crews worked from both north and south, toward the bridge which was being constructed over Old River. The City council had bonded the city for $25,000.00 for the construction of this bridge, as an inducement to the railway company to expend their line through Charlevoix. The first engine to be used on the construction work at Charlevoix was shipped to this point on a scow from Petoskey. The work progressed rapidly and Charlevoix became an important shipping point.


It was in 1892 that the first water works system was built in Charlevoix. Artesian wells were drilled and the pumping station built on the south shore of Round Lake, on the north side of Belvedere Avenue just east of Bridge Street. The new plant, which is in use today was built in 1922, on the shore of Lake Michigan, on a part of what is known as the City Park property.


In the early days of the County there was considerable strife between the towns regarding the location of the County Seat. In 1867 the County records were moved to Charlevoix but in the spring of 1885 the Board of Supervisors voted to move all the County records to East Jordan and the County seat established there. But at the October session of the supervisors in 1885, Boyne City secured the necessary two thirds vote to designate that place as the County seat. It was not until 1897 that the County seat was permanently located at Charlevoix.

The present County officers are Floyd Ikens, sheriff, C. M. Bice, prosecuting attorney, E. A. Ruegsegger, Judge of Probate, Lillis M. Flanders, county treasurer, Fenton R. Bulow, county clerk, Frank Bird, register of deeds, William C. Palmer, commissioner of schools, Rollie L. Lewis, circuit court commissioner, Dr. F. F. McMillan and S. B. Stackus, coroners, Samuel A. Tokoly,

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surveyor, William Withers drain commissioner, Ralph Price, county agent and Burton C. Mellencamp, county agricultural agent.


The Charlevoix Coast Guard Station, known at the time of its inception as the Life Saving Station, was built in 1889 and placed in commission on July 5th. 1900, with Captain Frank Fountain in charge. Captain Fountain was in charge of the station until March 6, 1908 when he was succeeded by Captain Allen A. Kent. He was succeeded on August 28, 1910 by Captain Eli E. Pugh. Following his service we find Captain Frank Partridge still a resident of Charlevoix, in charge of the station from March 10, 1913 to December 6, 1925 when he was retired on a pension. Captain Oscar Smith has been in charge since that time.

One of the most thrilling events connected with the Coast Guard Station was the rescue of the passengers of the steamer Illinois when she went on the beach just south of the south pier. On this particular day August 26, 1906, as the Illinois approached the harbor, there was a sailing vessel wallowing in the heavy sea at the outer end of the pier. If the Illinois had endeavored to make the harbor a collision would have been inevitable. The Captain of the Illinois realizing the danger too late to turn about, decided to beach his vessel. Distress signals were sounded and the Coast Guard Crew responded. The surf boat was launched and lines shot across the ill-fated passenger boat, and the passengers about 400 in number, including men, women and children were brought safely to shore by the surf boat and breeches buoy. A day or two later the Illinois was pulled off the beach not much the worse for her experience.


In 1903 the Charlevoix Sugar Manufacturing Company was organized and manufactured beet sugar at their plant, on the outskirts of Charlevoix, about a half mile south of the Belvedere. In 1911 the machinery was removed to Ohio and the building demolished.

The Village of Charlevoix had grown from a small hamlet to a town of considerable proportions and it was felt that the community could be better served by a reorganization of their local government, and on June 1, 1905, the first City Charter was approved. On June 26, the first election was held under the terms of the charter, and the first meeting of the common council of the City of Charlevoix was held on June 30, 1905. H. L. Iddings was the first mayor of the City, the other officers elected being; Aldermen, first ward, Oscar E. Wilbur and Romeo A. Emrey, second ward, Simon M. Rose and Alexander Cameron, third ward, Archie Alcock and Alden E. Cross, city clerk, H. C. Cooper and city treasurer Edward H. Green.


One of the most enthusiastic of the Charlevoix summer colony, Mr. Albert H. Loeb of Chicago, during 1916, purchased 1,700 acres of land just south of the city, and there developed one of the most picturesque show places of Northern Michigan. During the next few years hundreds of men found work at the Loeb Farm, clearing land, building fences and in the erection of the elaborately artistic residence and farm buildings. The coble stone barns with their low Belgian roofs and Italian sills, lining the road, south of Charlevoix, housed some of the most famous pedigreed stock in America. It is estimated that Mr. Loeb spent in the neighborhood of $1,250,000.00 in the development of this property. Mr. Loeb passed away in 1928 and shortly thereafter, the stock was sold and the farm project abandoned. The country places of Mrs. Albert H. Loeb and her son, Ernest are still occupied by these families during the summer months.

The City of Charlevoix, in 1917 feeling the need of more adequate electric power, purchased the Bellaire electric, water power, plant and the power line between Bellaire and Charlevoix, from Mr. Henry 1. Richardi of Bellaire. To increase the capacity of the electric service the city, in 1921 built the present steam plant.

At a meeting of the veterans of the

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World War, held in the office of Rollie Lewis, on January 2, 1920, the Leslie T. Shapton post of the American Legion was formed. The first officers of the post, elected at this meeting were, Post Commander, Dr. Frank H. Wilkinson, First Vice Commander, Dan Mather, Second Vice Commander, De Forest Fowler, Post Adjutant, Robert Bridge, Post Finance Officer, Wm. W. Mitchell, Post Historian, Ney Smith and Post Chaplain Harold Van Kirk.

During the school term of 1927-28 it was found that school facilities in the City of Charlevoix had become inadequate and the citizens voted to issue $125,000.00 in school district bonds for the construction of a new grade building and gymnasium. This project was completed during the summer of 1928 and the building put into use that fall. With this addition to the school plant, Charlevoix today, has one of the most modern school systems to be found in America.

The Charlevoix School District comprises the territory occupied by the Township of Charlevoix, as well as that of the City. A County Normal was established in connection with the Charlevoix Schools in 1904 and Mrs. Alice Reed Miller, wife of the late W. H. Miller, was one of the early instructors in the Normal department. The Normal was discontinued in 13. The present members of the Charlevoix School Board are, Harker W. Kirby, president, Carl Kohler, vice president, Henry Partridge, treasurer, Wm. P. Hicken, secretary, and Clarence Meggison, director. Mr. Oscar P. North is superintendent of schools with Mr. Harry Bingham, as high school principal.

On December the 18, 14 the entire populous of Charlevoix County was deeply grieved and shocked to learn of the death of Dr. Frank H. Wilkinson and his wife Edith. Doctor and Mrs. Wilkinson were on there way to spend the Christmas holidays with relatives in California, and while traveling by auto, a short distance east of Kalamazoo, their car was struck by a bus and completely demolished. The accident occurred on December 17th, Mrs. Wilkinson being killed instantly; the doctor passing away the next day, without regaining consciousness. Dr. Wilkinson was a graduate of the school of dentistry of the University of Michigan, and had been a life long resident of Charlevoix Region. He was very active in Masonic work and had been Commander of the Knight Templars of Ivanhoe Commandary of Petoskey. He had served in the Spanish American War as well as the World War and commissioned by President Coolidge as a Major in the United States Reserve Corps. At the time of his death he was chairman of the Charlevoix County Republican Committee. Mrs. Wilkinson was for a number of years considered to be the

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most expert court reporter in this section of the state, and was well known for her interest in club and church work.

In keeping with the progress of the City, a modern sewage disposal plant is now being constructed in Charlevoix. Work on this project was started in 14 and it is expected that the work will be completed during the summer of 15.

Recognized as the mecca of summer tourists, Charlevoix County presents an appeal which is irresistible, and by the magic of a few hours travel, you are transported to this land of beauty, where health, pleasure, youth and life find their greatest measure of expression.

We have already touched on the appointments and accommodations which win please the summer visitors at the Belvedere, The Beach and at The Inn, the three largest summer hotels in the County. In addition to these you will find the Hotel Hallett on, Belvedere Avenue, which was established in 1898, so ideally located on an elevated terrace overlooking Round Lake and beautiful Lake Charlevoix, offers a pleasing and appreciative service to its guests. Under the management of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Hallett, who are so ably assisted by their sons John and Harold. This hotel with its spacious verandas, large roomy office, parlor and dining room is a favorite retreat for the summer visitor.

The Hotel Charlevoix, known in the early days as the Hotel Bartlett, is located on the east side of Bridge Street, between Mason and Clinton streets; is the only hotel to be located in the business district of the city of Charlevoix. For years this hotel has been a favorite with the summer tourist and the traveling public. This hotel with its large attractive lobby, stone fireplace, and collection of interesting and valuable relics of the early lumbering days and a number of rare ornithological specimens; with its finely appointed dining room, with a capacity for approximately 100 guests; its private dining room, restful parlors and bedrooms, is delightfully homelike. The large sun porch at the rear of the hotel and the beautiful lawn with its flower and rock gardens overlooking the cool, clear waters of Round Lake. This hotel has recently been re-modeled and re-decorated and Dr. and Mrs. Winder are always on hand to care for your every need. (Editor's Note: Since this history was written, on June 7, 15, the Hotel Charlevoix was destroyed by fire. )

At Charlevoix will also be found the Avondale on Michigan avenue, the Elston on west Dixon avenue, the Noble on Antrim street, and the Moore Hotel in East Jordan

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Walloon Lake resort, situated on the eastern end of Walloon Lake, in Charlevoix County is one of the beauty spots of this northern play-ground. Walloon Lake is elevated one hundred and eleven and one half feet above Lake Michigan, and alternating air currents make this an ideal resort location; fifty eight miles of shore line and the head of the lake less than a mile from Lake Michigan. This lake has no outlet, being fed entirely by springs, and acres of virgin pine forest line its shores. The hills surrounding this body of cool, clear, spring water rise, at ,some points, to a height of five hundred feet. Bass, pickerel and other fish abound in Walloon Lake and there you will find speed boating, sailing, canoeing and a delightful bathing beach for the lovers of water sports. With its fairways, bordered by dense forests and the shore of the lake, the Walloon Lake Country Club offers the golfer thrills he will never forget.

Situated on the shore of this magnificent body of water is the Thomas House the leading resort hotel at Walloon Lake. For more than a quarter of a century, the Thomas House has been known for the excellence of its service and its appointments for the comfort of its guests, the charming lawn and beach, all of which are indeed appealing. The Thomas House is a paradise for the kiddies.

In Charlevoix County too, may be found unexcelled summer camps of the boys and girls. The three larger of these are Camp Charlevoix, on Lake Charlevoix and Camp Sherwood on Walloon Lake, for boys and Kamp Kairphree for girls, also on Lake Charlevoix.

It is time that we turn back and notice the efforts made for the moral and religious education welfare of the community, for we find that the Sunday-school antedates the village of Charlevoix. Religious teachings were introduced upon the site of Charlevoix long before the village was organized. Sunday school work in Charlevoix dates back to the fall of 1859 when Mr. and Mrs. John S. Dixon organized a class in their log house, which stood on the shore of Pine Lake.

A union Sunday school was continued until 1880, when the M. E. Sunday school was organized and denominational work was inaugurated. The first preacher to hold services here was one by the name of Calkins who came her occasionally and preached in the old log school house.



In the fall of 1867 the village of Charlevoix was made the head of a circuit and

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and Rev. J. Gulick was appointed the first preacher in charge. Rev. Gulick built the first parsonage and served as pastor two years. Early in the summer of 1874 steps were taken toward building a house of worship, and on August 12, 1874 the cornerstone was laid, with appropriate ceremonies, the address being delivered by Rev. J. W. Miller, presiding elder. At this time Rev. George L. Cole was the pastor in charge of the Charlevoix circuit, he remained until 1875 when Rev. W. L. Tilden was appointed, he being succeeded in the fall of 1877 by Rev. B. H. Whiteman. It was in August 1877 that the church was completed and in October 1877 the two front windows arrived. These are of beautifully designed stained glass and were presented by Archibald Butters and M. J. Stockman, as memorials. Upon one, in a circular piece of crimson g-lass, is the inscription, "To the memory of Celia A. Butters, who died July 16, 1875;" and upon the other, in a similar manner is enscribed; "Presented by M. J. Stockman."

One of the most prominent of all pastors to serve the Methodist Church in the County was the Rev. W. H. McCartney, born on January 29, 1842, reared and educated in New York, he was a soldier during the entire period of the Civil War. He came to Michigan in 1882 and served as pastor in the Methodist churches at East Jordan, and Ellsworth, building the first Methodist churches at these points before coming to Charlevoix, in the fall of 1886. He took an active part in the civic as well as the religious development of the County until the time of his death on May 18, 1904.

The First Methodist Church of Charlevoix, from its humble beginning, continues to grow and prosper, under the able leadership of the present pastor, the Rev. W. W. Hurd.


Rev. Leroy Warren (who was working in the interest of the Congregational Home :Missionary Society) held the preaching services in Charlevoix during the years 1866 and '67, and in the fall of 1879 Rev. N. L. Otis began to hold services in the school house. A site for the church building was se-

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cured and on the 19th of September 1882 this church was organized. The present church building was erected and dedicated on January 18, 1885. The Rev. Leroy Warren, then of Lansing, preached the opening sermon, and the Rev. C. F. Van Auken became the first pastor. The Congregational church of Charlevoix boasts of having the largest membership of any protestant church in the County. The Rev. G. Russell Parker is the present pastor, having come here in January 11.


The First Baptist Church of Charlevoix was organized on June 7, 1879 with the Rev. A.M. Parmenter as the pastor. In April 1886 the Rev. W. G. Clark became the pastor and in August of 1886 the corner stone of the present church was laid. The building was completed and dedicated on August 18, 1889. Since that time a number of pastors have served the church, some of those being the Rev; M. E. Hayne, Rev. A. E. Cook, Rev. T. B. Hughes, Rev. C. A. Rice, Rev. A. A. Smith, Herman Burns and the present pastor, Rev. W. H. Rauch who began his pastorate on May 1, 1929.


As far back as the history of this region goes we find the teachings of the Catholic religion. Father. Marquette, Father Charlevoix and the other courageous missionaries brought the gospel of Christ to the primitive Indians, the fur traders and to the early settlers and fishermen.

The first authentic record of Catholic life in this community dates back to 1867, at which time the Rev. P. Zorn celebrated Mass at the home of Wm. Graham. In 1881 the mission was turned over to the Franciscan Fathers of Petoskey. The property on which the present church .stands, was secured in 1889. The church building was erected and solemnly blessed by the Most Rev. H. J. Richter, D. D., on May 31, 18. In 1902 the contract was let for the construction of the Parochial School, and in the summer of 1923 a new Convent was erected. In 1929. the parish was taken over by the Secual Clergy and resident pastor appointed. A. Rectory was built the same year. The Rev. Father Fitzpatrick was the pastor at that time, he being succeeded in 11 by Rev. Father E. F. Neubecker, who had served as pastor of the church at St. James for three years just prior to his coming to Charlevoix .


The corner stone of Christ Episcopal Church was laid in 18. under the direction of Bishop George D. Gillespie. The Rev.

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in charge. We find many wetl known people associated with the building of the church, Mr. John Kirkpatrick presented the Altar and Mr. W. H. Dewing of Kalamazoo contributing to the funds for the installation of the furnace. Mrs. Elizabeth Boak was one of the early active members and her daughter Mrs. Hattie Cooper a life long member.

Major Edward H. Green was one of the first to act as Superintendent of the Sunday School and later on Judge Fredrick W. Mayne took over this duty. Other officers were Mrs. Kate Miller, Miss Gail Cruickshank, Mrs. Margaret Lamphear, Mrs. O. E. Wilbur and her mother Mrs. Wrisley, Mrs. Arthur Hamlin and Mr. and Mrs. Luke Hallett.

In 1929, Mr. and Mrs. Bapst of New York and Mrs. Douglass of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, both members of the Chicago Club, presented the church with its organ. Mrs. Dewing of Kalamazoo, who has given of her time and service, for many years, presented the church with a $2,000.00 endowment.

Christ Church is a Mission Church in the Diocese of Western Michigan. At present Rev. Edward S. Doan of Petoskey is rector during the winter, and the Rev. John K. Coolidge during the summer months.


The first house of worship of this movement to be erected in the County was at East Jordan. The first minister who devoted his full time to preaching and teaching the Gospel in Charlevoix County was Julia Crowell at East Jordan. The first Camp Meeting was held three miles south of Ironton ferry on the east side of the lake, opposite Holy Island in 1892. The Camp Meeting has been an annual occurence ever since. It moved to Ironton in 1899, and to its present location (two and a half miles east of Charlevoix) in 1906. At this time a congregation was assembled and worshipped in the building on the Camp Grounds east of the city. Lavern Tillotson. raised near East Jordan, was called as the first pastor when the congregation was still worshiping at the Camp Grounds.

The present chapel was built in 1917, and regular services have been held ever since. The present minister, C. A. Stewart D. D., has been on the field ever since.


In the summer of 1906 a few loyal Christian Scientists, who were spending the summer at Charlevoix, started public services. These meetings continued during the following summer seasons. and finally through the winter months, with the result that in May, 1909, the Christian Science Society of Charlevoix, Michigan was organized. Regular Sunday and Wednesday evening services were instituted, and a Reading Room established. Since that time the Society has carried on this work with the full approval of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. In 14 the Meyer's property on Clinton Street was purchased as the home of the Science Church in Charlevoix.


The first library that Charlevoix possessed was many years ago when a. few of the village readers donated their books, and placed them in the Court House for public use, with a librarian in charge. The corner stone of the present Carnegie Library was laid in 1909. Miss Anna Bon, as librarian was succeeded by Miss Green, and on Sept. 1, 1917, Miss Minnie Earle Payton was appointed librarian and has served in that capacity since that time. The library is owned and operated by the Board of Education of School District No. 1 City and Township of Charlevoix.


This was one of the most popular organizations in the history of Charlevoix, and was organized on November 24, 1879, when the articles of association were adopted and the following officers were elected for a term of one year: president, Hon. John S. Dixon; vice president, Richard Cooper; secretary, Willard A. Smith; treasurer, F. W. Mayne and librarian, Albert E. Mason. For the last fifty-six years this society has been active, the present officers being: President, Dr. F. F. McMillan; treasurer, Albert F. Bridge. Some of the more prominent present day members are: Mrs. Brayton Saltonstall, Mrs. A. F. Bridge, Mrs. R. B. Armstrong, Mrs. D. C. Nettleton, Mrs. Adah Beeman, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Metcalf, Mrs. Horace Harsha, Mrs. Fred W. Mayne, Mrs. Margaret Swinton and the late Mrs. O.S. Washburne.


Numerous writers have painted pen pictures of the County of Charlevoix. some

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very successfully, but none have been able to embody in the sketch a charm that, the subject does not possess. Extravagant statements, unfortunate in any place, would manifestly be a serious defect in a work like this; equally open to criticism would be a failure to do justice to the subject treated.

The two prominent characteristics of Charlevoix County are the picturesque beauty of its location, and the superior moral and intellectual attainments of its citizens. With respect to the feature of the location too much cannot be said, and any description will fail to convey to those who have not visited here, a true conception of the situation.

On the bluffs and terraces along the shore of Lake Michigan, Round Lake, Lake Charlevoix and Walloon Lake are to be found beautiful homes for which these elevations are so admirably adapted.

The City of Charlevoix has become one of the most famous summer resorts in Northern Michigan and the improvements in the city conform to the natural surroundings. The citizens of the entire county manifest a spirit of enterprise and liberality in advancing those interests that abound to the credit and welfare of the community. The visitor is at once impressed with the neat and tasty appearance of the streets and buildings in all the localities in the county, and becomes attached to the place by reason of the cordial greeting he receives from the people whom he meets. With Lake Michigan to the West and Walloon lake to the east the tourist, and those wishing to find a delightful summer retreat, will see romantic scenery everywhere. The cool refreshing breezes from the lakes are most invigorating. This locality has a climate peculiar to itself, as nothing is known here of the summer's sultry heat. The air is washed to purity as it breezes across the lakes and there are no low or marshy lands in the region to taint the air or to breed annoying mosquitoes, and a more favorable combination of circumstances which tend to make a summer resort section desirable can scarcely be imagined. Those who, have passed one or more summers in this locality recuperating their strength in its salubrious climate and those ,securing a new lease of life are most enthusiastic in its praises.

Excellent advantages for swimming are at hand on the sand beaches, which line the crystal waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix and Walloon Lake, and the gradual sloping of the beaches into the lakes make it safe for the children to indulge in this delightful summer exercise. From the exciting sport of surf bathing in Lake Michigan, or riding the surfboards behind speedy motor boats on the inland lakes, where a slip means a ducking in the blinding spray, to sailing, yachting, canoeing, tennis and golf, entertainment in abundance is here for all who vacation in this land of romance, beauty and culture.

The surrounding scenery is so varied that the eye never tires in gazing upon its beauty. The crystal water, the hills melting in the misty atmosphere, the forest fading away in the dim distance, form a grand and ever-to-be-remembered scene. One feels like returning again and yet again, to gaze upon this lovely vision.

Facilities for fishing are the best, and to troll for Mackinaw trout in Lake Michigan is a thrilling sport. The Boyne and the Jordan rivers are well known for their brook trout. The largest brook trout known to have been caught, in the United States during the summer of 14, was taken from the Jordan River.

The fishing is always good at Walloon Lake and at Beaver Island, and to be present during the smelt run, in the early spring, at Boyne City or at East Jordan is an experience you will always remember.

To those of you who are planning your summer vacation, Charlevoix County invites you to this land of health and happiness.


In compiling a narrative such as this, we necessarily have been limited for time and space in which to record more of the interesting stories and events pertaining to the early development of the County, and we hope that some of those people who had so much to do with the up building of the community, and who have not been referred to, will pardon the oversight on our part.

We wish to express our appreciation to the newspapers of the County for their cooperation, especially the Sentinel and Courier at Charlevoix, from whose files arid scrap books many of the incidents were taken. We also wish to thank those citizens whom we have contacted for information. The source books used freely have been The Grand Traverse Region, Northern Michigan and others.