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HISTORY OF ALPENA COUNTY

BY WILLIAM BOULTON IN 1876

Alpena was certainly the best place for lumbering, but then a dam could be built at Devil river with considerably less money than it could at Alpena, and this was a very important consideration to the enterprising mill men. At last they determined to leave it to chance, so they stuck a stick in the ground and resolved to commence operations at the point towards which the stick fell. This stick fell towards Devil river, and the first mill in the county was built there. In 1840, Mr. J. W. Paxton landed on Thunder Bay island, and in 1842 Mr. O. S. Warner paid a visit to the Indians at the mouth of Thunder Bay river, for the purpose of trading with them. Mr. Paxton engaged extensively in gill-net fishing about the year 1856. Soon after he purchased Sugar island, and removed his fishing rig and buildings thereto in 1858. Mr. Paxton has remained a settler ever since, and was the first to make gill-net fishing a regular business. Fishing prior to that time had been carried on by means of six or eight nets in a gang, and small, sprit-sail boats. There was a lighthouse on Thunder Bay island at the time of Mr. Paxton's arrival, but it was not the present magnificent structure, built in 1857.
In 1853 the county of Alpena was attached to the county of Cheboygan, and remained so until 1857, when Alpena was organized as a separate county.
Mr. Daniel Carter arrived in Alpena November 26th, 1856. He was look ing after Mr. George N. Fletcher's interest, and when he had accomplished his mission, he started for Thunder Bay island, intending to take the first steam boat that passed that place and go below, as this was the only direct com munication between Alpena and the lower ports at the time. When* he arrived at the island, he found Mr. George N. Fletcher, Mr. J. S. Minor, Mr J K. Lockwood, Mr. E. A. Breckenridge, and another gentleman.

Michigan


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Alpena County is in 3 sections your are in section 1.
Section 2
Section 3
 


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