James McMillan (left) and John S. Newberry (right) founded the Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Railroad (DM&M). After completing the railroad, the company sought ways to develop the properties that they owned along the route. On October 6, 1880 the DM&M created the Tahquamenon River Improvement Company.
Just upstream from where you now stand......
In 1883, the Tahquamenon River Improvement Company completed the removal of 16,000 cubic yards of sandstone, including a small waterfall from the bed of the river. The $41,000 project was done to make the river suitable for navigation, ready the river for log drives, and deepen the river to drain thirty square miles of swampland owned by the company.
Daniel Farrand Henry (below) surveyed the Tahquamenon River in 1880 for the Detroit, Mackinac, & Marquette Railroad Company. His report and map (left) detail the work necessary to "improve" the river.
The "Detail of Proposed Improvement" in the upper left corner of the map, states that "The improvement proposed is to cut away the crest of the "dam" at the upper rapids which would lower the water (table upstream from the big falls)......"