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.
Databases compiled by NEMGS