Mobilizing For War – April 1917

     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. Read More...

Civilian Conservation Corp – Camp Steuben (1933-1937)

Interior view of Barracks No. 3 at Camp Steuben. The barracks measured 20’ by 112’. Photo courtesy Vivian Haight.

        President Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) was inaugurated on April 17, 1933 with the opening of Camp Roosevelt in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. The program was designed to employ over 250,000 young men out of work during the Great Depression.

          Camp Steuben in Schoolcraft County opened only 17 days later on May 4, 1933. The first recruits went through a two-week orientation at Camp Custer near Battle Creek, before heading north to the Upper Peninsula. One hundred and forty-one men from Custer were assigned to Camp Steuben and 212 others headed to Camp Kentucky in Alger County. Their journey was delayed five hours while waiting for a ferry to cross the Straits of Mackinac. Camp Steuben received additional recruits from Fort Sheridan in Illinois. Read More...

Sheriff John McCanna – (1882-1885)

John McCanna, Sheriff of Schoolcraft County (1882-1885).
Photo Courtesy of Sue Cucchiarella.

        The early history of law enforcement in Schoolcraft County is closely tied to the McCanna family. The family patriarch, Henry McCanna was born in 1822 in county Donegal, Ireland. McCanna immigrated first to Canada before settling in the Vermont/New York area in the mid 1840s.  Henry married Nancy (Anna) O’Kane in 1845 in Sandy Hill, New York. Ten children were born to this union, eight of whom survived into adulthood. Read More...