During the early 1900’s, the month of November marked the beginning of the indoor baseball season. Fans flocked to the Star Opera House to watch an indoor version of the national pastime. Season tickets cost a dollar and a quarter. Indoor baseball was invented in the 1880’s and was the forerunner of modern fast-pitch softball. In Manistique, the fraternal societies organized a “city league” which included the Masons, Legionites, Maccabees, Woodmen of the World and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
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.
Manistique had a marvelous baseball team back in the early 1920s. During the summer of 1923 the team played a total of 31 games and finished with a record of 22 wins and 9 losses. Twenty-five games were played against Upper Peninsula teams and 6 games were played against traveling African American teams including the Illinois Giants from Chicago and the New York Royals. The Manistique club won 19 of 25 games played against the Upper Peninsula teams and went 3-3 versus the traveling teams from New York and Chicago.