Early Elk Rapids and the Elk River Historical

Early Elk Rapids and the Elk River Historical (HM1UN4)

Location: Elk Rapids, MI 49629 Antrim County
Country: United States of America

N 44° 53.803', W 85° 24.56'

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In this photo you are standing on the other side of the Elk River and to the left side of the photograph. This picture of Elk Rapids is from the 1890s and the view is from the top of the Elk Rapids Iron Company's Furnace. What is left of this furnace's foundation can be seen at the "historical site" on Ames Street, near the Harbor Watch condominiums.
The logs rafted in the center of the river were gradually released through the railroad trestle as they were needed at the sawmill, located by the burner (black tower - right side of photo). The first sawmill and dam were built in 1856. The dam was raised and the mill rebuilt in 1861 and again in 1881. The flooding partially covered the stumps in front of you and buried the rapids, which were on the opposite side of the river from where you stand. The power dam on Dexter Street is located where the sawmill used to be.
The railroad swing bridge at the right side of the photo let passenger, freight and work boats through to the lower river. (The swing bridge was where the U.S. 31 bridge is today.) Passenger and freight would arrive and depart at the dock by the three white buildings in the background. The tallest building was the flour mill which closed in 1908. The other building is the Company Store which closed in 1902.
In the right and left foreground of this picture
you can see a number of rafts. They were used to haul cordwood from around the inland lakes to the kilns of the iron company. The kilns baked the wood to make charcoal for the iron smelting process. The company's kiln and chemical works would have been across the river from where you are standing. The iron and chemical business discontinued operations in 1915. More photos of these early activities can be seen at the Elk Rapids Area Historical Society's Museum on River Street.
©2005 Elk Rapids Rotary Club
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HM NumberHM1UN4
Year Placed2005
Placed ByRotary Club of Elk Rapids
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 25th, 2016 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 625593 N 4972707
Decimal Degrees44.89671667, -85.40933333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 53.803', W 85° 24.56'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 53' 48.18" N, 85° 24' 33.6" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)231
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 305 US-31, Elk Rapids MI 49629, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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