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...

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...

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...