With America’s entry into World War I in April of 1917, the citizens of Schoolcraft County rallied to support the war effort and President Woodrow Wilson’s call for troops. By Sunday morning, May 6, 1917, the first large contingent of young men left Manistique for Camp Custer. They had enlisted in the 33rd Michigan Infantry, a National Guard unit which was later federalized and became part of Company M of the 125th United States Infantry.
Carl Thorborg of Manistique reported on the send-off of the troops for the Sault Evening News. “A parade was formed at the corner of Cedar and Walnut Streets which was led by the Home Guard, followed by the W.O.W [Woodsmen of the World], Knights of Pythias, Elks, citizens and the volunteers under the command of Percy Patterson, who arrived for that purpose Saturday night.” Music was provided by the Woodsmen of the World band and the Manistique band. American flags seemed to be waving everywhere.