1890’s – The Flat Iron Block (Pearl Street, Water Street, and Maine Streets), and the Notorious Saloon Owner Daniel Heffron

 The Chicago Lumber Company started around 1865 by two gentlemen by the names of Mr. Spinney and Mr. Boyd. Through the many years the Chicago Lumber Company owned most of Schoolcraft County and is responsible for the major development of Epsport (Manistique). During this time they started the Chicago Lumber Company Store.  A social gathering in front of the old C. L. Co. dock warehouse. Upper from left are: Chas. B. Mersereau, Capt. Woodruff of Steamer Canisteo, Dick Cleve, and James Norton. Lower: Duane Leonard, Geo. Ruby, Capt. McWilliams, Cal Bingham with straw-hat, and "Pincky" Miller with cady, supposed to be a detective during a 'wet" and "dry" campaign.

The Chicago Lumber Company started around 1865 by two gentlemen by the names of Mr. Spinney and Mr. Boyd. Through the many years the Chicago Lumber Company owned most of Schoolcraft County and is responsible for the major development of Epsport (Manistique). During this time they started the Chicago Lumber Company Store. A social gathering in front of the old C. L. Co. dock warehouse. Upper from left are: Chas. B. Mersereau, Capt. Woodruff of Steamer Canisteo, Dick Cleve, and James Norton. Lower: Duane Leonard, Geo. Ruby, Capt. McWilliams, Cal Bingham with straw-hat, and “Pincky” Miller with cady, supposed to be a detective during a ‘wet” and “dry” campaign.

When the Chicago Lumber Company came to Manistique in 1872, they owned all of the town area except one residence. Their goal was to keep the town “dry”. Any property leased or later sold had a convenant attached to it saying that the premises could not manufacture, store or sell intoxicating liquors.

The residence referred to above was owned by Alex Richards. The location was bounded by Pearl Street, Water Street, and Maine Street, forming the a flatiron shape. The only liquor available was through whiskey boats that would anchor offshore. The whiskey sellers were finally arrested as a result of selling their goods to the Indians. In the 1880’s, Daniel Heffron from New York saw great opportunity in Manistique as a saloon-keeper. He found Richards, bought his property and built his saloon. Read More...

Gero Theatre, Opened 1916 For Silent Movies

Please click on the picture to enlarge-notice the many details.

Please click on the picture to enlarge-notice the many details.

Many other theaters came and went in the Manistique Community, such as the Princess Theatre, which was located on South Cedar Street and in business from 1907 to 1917. The Rex Theater and Photo-Play Theater also had short life spans. The Cedar Theater opened in the 1930’s and ran until the 1950’s. This picture shows the inside of the Gero Theater when it still was an opera house.

In 1916, Benjamin Gero Jr. and his brother Paul converted it into the Gero Theater for screening silent movies, and in 1929, talking pictures were introduced and shown. Interesting enough Mrs. Osterhout would play the piano during the silent movies. In 1941, the theater became the Oak Theater under the ownership of J.L. Le Duc. Read More...

Manistique Iron Company/Weston Furnace Company 1887

Charcoal Iron Company of America

Charcoal Iron Company of America

Abijah Weston formed the Manistique Iron Company in 1887 and the Weston Furnace Company in 1890. These industries were located at the North end of Furnace Street, now North Cedar Street. Charcoal was made in bee-hive type buildings and then used in in the furnaces to melt iron ore pellets and make pig iron, which was shipped throughout the United States. The Burrell Chemical Company bought the companies (pictured) creating the Lake Superior Iron and Chemical Company. By 1913, the Lake Superior Iron and Chemical Company was foreclosed upon due to a soft iron market. In 1915, a new company was formed by American, Canadian, and British interests called the Charcoal Iron Company of America. The Company remained in business until 1923 when the business declared bankruptcy. Read More...