Edwin Cookson – Pioneer Lumberman

1880s image of Edwin Cookson. Photo courtesy of Anthony Perkins

1880’s image of Edwin Cookson. Photo courtesy of Anthony Perkins

            Edwin Cookson was born in Greenfield, Maine, in May of 1854. He was the second oldest child in a family of six boys and 2 girls. His parents, Joseph and Maria Cookson owned a farm in Greenfield, but all of their sons worked as loggers and river drivers in Maine.

            During the early 1870’s Edwin Cookson migrated west to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There in 1878 he responded to a “Help Wanted” ad posted in the Oshkosh papers. Ebenezer James was seeking laborers to work at the James Brothers sawmill east of Manistique.

Read More...

The History of Kitchi-Tiki-Pi (Big Spring)

Thompson, MI -Passengers in-route to Big Springs by railroad.

Thompson, MI -Passengers in-route to Big Springs by railroad.

One of the most popular places for picnic and excursions was to go to the Big Spring at Indian Lake.  Initially, one crossed Indian Lake and then hiked to the Big Spring, but later, there was a narrow-gage railroad that took people from Thompson to the Big Spring.

In 1889, a Mr. Shaw of Manistique began regular trips from his yacht on Indian Lake three times a week with pickups at three different locations.  Big Spring is an oval pool area that measures 300 feet by 175 feet and has a depth of 40 feet. Initially, people built rafts so they could go out into the pond.

Read More...

Southtown & Jamestown – Timber Boom Towns That Once Was

The earliest reference to South Manistique or “South-town” is from the early 1880’s.  The town was developed around the Hall and Buell Lumber Company Mill.    The following description of Southtown is from Earnest Williams:  “Several houses in the town had four feet high fences around them to prevent the sand beach from blowing into the yards.  All the streets were sand and grass was basically nonexistent.”

Hall and Buell lad lumber rights around Southtown and on Indian Lake.  They cut the timber and floated it across Indian Lake to a “pull up” between Sunset and Harrison Beaches.  From there it was loaded onto their own railroad and brought to the Southtown mill (The railroad crossed old U.S. 2 near the current location of WTIQ and the gas pipeline).

Read More...