Beginning with this issue we will be highlighting the villages, communities and settlements that are, and have been, located throughout Charlevoix County. In addition to being an opportunity to discover your ancestorís names among these write-ups, we also hope that you will use this opportunity to learn and understand better the region in which your Charlevoix County ancestors resided. As a "kick off" to this series of articles, I can think of no better way to begin, than with this wonderful "tour of the county" as described by the editor of The Charlevoix Sentinel in 1877. Of particular note is the fact that this journey was apparently made on foot, and took more than two days to complete! What a wonderful insight into our county as it looked at that time.
A Cruise Among the Farms and Villages
We were gloriously happy in being able to lay aside the vexations of editorial and other duties and caper into the woods and suburban villages, but we were happier after getting there to find everybody else happy in the possession of a country fit for a King to live in, if natural beauty and fertility go to make up a royal realm. Desiring to reach the farthest point first and work homeward, we took the road for Boyne Falls, and under the over-arching trees we marched onward until thirst compelled us to turn in at the farm of Mr. H. Wright. Besides noticing a very pretty place, we found here one of the best laid out and finest flower yard we have seen in many years. It was verily cheering.
The only railroad settlement in the county, is by virtue of location, and the possession of an enterprising proprietor destined to become a lively little business mart. Mr. Powers is doing much to beautify the place and, if money and energy can make a beautiful village, the destiny of Boyne Falls is apparent. They have a hotel and three stores- A.D. Carpenter, W.A. Nelson and the furniture store of W.H. Barnes. Mr. Powers has a good saw mill on the Boyne River, which supplies the home market and furnishes a handsome surplus for shipment. We returned the same day to the
The ambition of the village-builders of this point seems divided between the mouth of the Boyne and the point opposite known as Spring Harbor. Both have natural advantages but both canít make large cities. At the mouth of the Boyne they have three stores, a kind of hotel, and several residences. The stores are kept by A.J. Beardsley & Co., C.C. Batchelor and J.H. Thompson. There are unmistakable evidences of all promising future for Boyne.
Boasts of one store and one dwelling. Mr. F.M. Abraham, the only dealer, has commenced the erection of a residence. We were the guests of "Uncle John" and "Aunt Harriet" Miller on Wednesday night, and right royally we were entertained. May the good old couple live yet many years.
Formerly known as "Porterís Mill," certainly takes the lead of all other Pine Lake points. The grist and sawmill of W.H. Porter make it a desirable place for farmers to trade and is conveniently accessible to a large tract of country. They have a store under the proprietorship of A.E. Hayes, and we understood there was another store somewhere in town. They have also a blacksmith shop and shoe shop. Mr. Porter has commences the erection of a cosy little residence, having sold his present one to Mr. Charles Hiller, who will convert it into a hotel. As at the other points we have mentioned, a considerable quantity of wood and bark is handled here. Mr. Porter has been persevering, public spirited and enterprising, and is reaping his reward.
We were fortunate in being able to visit the farm of Mr. Vogel, about a half mile from the head of Pine Lake. Mr. Vogel possesses a very fine place and most excellently located. Mr. Vogel is a savant in the culture of bees, having followed that business quite extensively in Switzerland. He has lately been unfortunate with his bees, but starts out again with a firm confidence in his ultimate success. We think Evangeline very fortunate in possessing a family of the intellectual and industrial qualities of the Vogels. We extend thanks for courtesies shown us by Messrs. Powers, Beardsley and Porter.
The obliging conduct of Captain Aldrich, and the speed, safety and regularity of the Sutton, gives the Pine Lake people advantages of travel and communication of which they should be gratefully proud. She is always to be relied upon and has excellent management renders it not a task but really a pleasure to travel by her.
We came home grateful that our lot has been cast "in pleasant places" and "beside the still waters." We are better satisfied than ever with our county, and more then ever convinced of its future importance as an agricultural region. Evidences are ample of the rising condition of the people, and a growing disposition among them of fixed and settled purposes.