Northeast Michigan Genealogical Society

Early History of Presque Isle County

Presque Isle County is so named for the narrow peninsula - presque isle - jutting out into Lake Huron toward the southern end of the county and which was a well-known feature to the early canoe travelers. Schoolcraft speaks of it in his Travels of 1820 as a place where by portaging 200 yards they saved a distance of six or eight miles. In April of 1840 this region of the state was set aside by legislature to become a glorious county. The early population of the county were seasonal fishermen, many from New York State who came to fish off the shoreline and stayed only for four or five months each year to harvest the many types of fish. The coopers among them remained on the coast utilizing the forest to build barrels for the fish which were shipped to New York and many Eastern States, but they too left with the fishermen each year. The lands were attached to Mackinaw at this time, natives hunted the area but the land remained undeveloped. Later the lands were attached to Cheboygan County for governmental purposes. About 1865 the Crawford family took up residence in a small bay on the shores of Lake Huron hoping to mine the rocks but soon their eyes were opened to the value of the timber of the forest surrounding them. They began to harvest the wood and sold it to steam boats passing by. In 1868 Wm. E. Rogers and Albert Moliter came north with a survey crew and discovered the forest and the lumber it would produce. They built a lumbering camp with all the out buildings and a camp store and developed a village now known as Rogers City. To Be continued.
 
 
 
Sitting on the arm of the chair is Henry Knopf of Rogers City.
He was in the Co. D 16 Regiment, 1st Division. In France August 1918 - Sept 1919.
 
Genealogical Tips for Presque Isle Co.
 
This week a few Society members stopped in Roger City to discover the resources available for genealogist. We happened upon the Presque Isle Museum. We were greeted by Mark Thompson, director, just coming back from lunch.  He took us on a little tour of the research materials. We stepped into this huge locked  room, where all four walls were filled with filing cabinets.  To us it looked like a gold mine for a genealogist, who family may have lived in Presque Isle. In another area were book, including the Roger City High School yearbooks, which began in 1945 with a few years missing here and there Other historical books including Eunice Pines Cemetery Books, the Limestone quarry Corp papers,  The Advance Newspaper, Millersburg and Onaway Outlook, all have been digitized.  These were weekly newspapers in the county, well known for their fabulous Obits It addition Gerald Micketti and Mark Thompson have recorded the history of the county in a list of books listed below, and for sale.   If you are seeking biographical information about your Presque Isle ancestors the Presque Isle Historical  Museum, 176 W Michigan Ave., Roger City 49779 is a goldmine.
 
Nina Ferdelman’s Virgin Forests to Modern Homes
 
The Baby Boomers Guide to Rogers City
 
Baby Boomers II
 
Before the Baby Boomers
 
The Metz Fire of 1908
 
Calcite and the Bradley Boats
 
Harry:  The Life and Times of Harry Grambau
 
Presque Isle County, published by Arcadia Press
 
 Almost An Island:  Early Histories of the Lakeshore Settlements in Presque Isle County (indexed)
 
 
Databases compiled by NEMGS