The Portage Lake Region Historical

The Portage Lake Region Historical (HM1U4D)

Location: Onekama, MI 49675 Manistee County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 21.811', W 86° 12.427'

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Historical Marker

Following the fur traders into this region came a few adventurous lumbermen looking for saw-mill sites. Interested by what he saw in 1840, Joseph Stronach built a dam and water mill on the swift, natural outlet of Portage Lake.
Soon homesteaders followed to clear surrounding land for farms. Frustrated by annual flooding on their land by water needed to run the mill and the slowness of court action against the mill owners, the determined settlers dug by hand a four foot wide cut between the two lakes. On May 14, 1871 the water of Portage Lake rushed out cutting a channel five hundred feet wide and carrying large trees far out into Lake Michigan. The leveling of the two lakes created a fine new harbor of refuge accessible through the new channel.
Later in 1879, available timber having been depleted, the mill and its holdings were moved to a more desirable location on the East end of the lake, to the site of this marker, thus establishing the village of ONEKAMA.
Many meanings have been offered for the Indian word O-NEK-AMA-ENGK: place of great beauty, place of contemplation, to carry on the shoulder, and to portage or carry across. The Indians had to portage their canoes around the narrow, swift, rapids of the natural outlet to get from Lake Michigan into Portage Lake.
[Map shows]
The Settlers' "CUT"
The natural
outlet and the original saw-mill site located here, were left some eight feet above Portage Lake after the cut was made.
HM NumberHM1U4D
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 4th, 2016 at 9:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 563179 N 4912554
Decimal Degrees44.36351667, -86.20711667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 21.811', W 86° 12.427'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 21' 48.66" N, 86° 12' 25.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)231
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4701-4799 M-22, Onekama MI 49675, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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