Bell, Center of Logging
Information obtained from Carole Dunston

 Recalling days when Bell was Center of Lumbering The early history of Grand Lake probably could not be found in any written document on record but the keen
memory of George KAUFFMAN Sr. continues to preserve hundreds of interesting incidents which have
occurred in his domain for the past 71 years. � His parents were the first family to inhabit the vicinity of
Presque Isle harbor, settling in 1869. He went through all the hardships of the �trail-blazing� era at Grand Lake
and Presque Isle and has watched the steady development of the region for nearly three quarters of a century. �The first people, so far as I know at Presque Isle were THOMPSONS and BOLTON. These are the only
names I ever knew them by. Bolton was always known as �Uncle Bolty�. They came here in 1840. Both died
before my time. Mr. GARRITY came in 1861 and occupied the old light house until in 1870 when he moved to
the new one. Joe and John FISHER located at Bell in 1863. The people at that time were employed at getting
out cord wood for fuel for steamers. The FISHERS located at what is now Bell, then called False Presque Isle.
There was a party by the name of JOHNSON at Bell at that time, and the SHAVINAWS, an Indian family
which had been there a number of years. This Indian family had a dog that guided people through the woods to
BURNHAMS. In those days there were no roads, just a trail. He would send his dog with anyone who wished
to go to BURNHAMS. The dog would deliver his man and go back home. BOLTON died at BURNHAMS
home. From the time that BURNHAMS came in 1860, BOLTON made his home with them until his death in
the fall in 1871. The burial ground at Grand Lake was started by a man who was shot. He was the first one in the burial ground.
Two men and a woman lived in a camp and the husband of the wife shot the other fellow and killed him. This
happened before I was born. The first lighthouse keepers were THORRINGTONS. The second burial in the cemetery was a small boy
belonging to BURNHAMS. The next was little Annie GARRITY. There are a number of drowned men who
were picked up off the shore and buried in the cemetery. The old camps, as we call them now, were built in 1870 by Mr. BURNHAM and were occupied right on up
until 1908 at the time of the big fire. Mr. BURNHAM had all his wood roads named. He had the Michigan
Central and the Wabash. He would say, �Go up the Wabash to such a branch and turn to your left, and right in
there his morning�. BOLTON was a doctor and in addition did all the BURNHAM family doctoring, and made
everything Mr. BURNHAM wanted, sleighs, wagons, did all his blacksmith work and made combs for the girls�
hair. He also made all their shoes. The first school was built about 1872. The land where the school was erected had been built on previously by
BRADFORD. RABITEAU, DENNIS and KELLY came while FISHER was running the business at Bell.
NOD came about the same time. Nelse RABITEAU was a young man and located at Bell, and was a teamster
for FISHER. Joe VILLEBOURNE lived at Bell at that time and kept the men in the lumbering days. Jim Mac
ELROY was one of the first lumbermen. In 1876 I earned my first money shoring for him. He had a camp on
the west side of Grand Lake. That is how I earned the money, but never got it. I worked four months and was
supposed to receive $10 per month, but never got a red cent�. � The Alpena News 16 Sept. 1933.

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