Onekama, MI (Portage Point Inn) (1940s)- contributed by Paul Petosky
Onekama is situated on Portage Lake, is a platted village, though but little has
been done here in the way of building as yet. Large property interests are owned here by Hon. A. W. Farr, of this place, and Hon.
A. H. Dunlap, of Manistee. A newspaper correspondent of Manistee visited Onekama recently, and from him we have the following
"Some two years ago Hon. A. W. Farr, whose extensive
grounds at Onekama border on Portage Lake—one of the finest
sheets of water to he found anywhere in the world — discovered
traces of mineral in a spring, near his residence, that bubbled out
from the foot of a hill, clear, cold, and sparkling, and sent some of
the water to Prof. G. A. Mariner, analytical chemist, at 81 South
Clark Street, Chicago. In due time Mr. Farr received from the
professor the following analysis upon the basis of one gallon of the
Bicarbonate of Lime 11.6969 grains
Bicarbonate of Magnesia 5.4502
Bicarbonate of Iron 1.4873
Bicarbonate of Soda 58.0090
Sulphate of Soda .0351
Chloride of Sodium a trace
TOTAL --72.5181 grains
"Upon comparing the analysis with those of the most famous
springs of the country, and corroborating his own opinion with
those who may have been said to be mineral spring experts, Mr.
Farr was exceedingly gratified at the showing. But he was aware
that a mineral spring without its cures was like a tree without
fruits—that something more satisfactory than an analysis would
be required by the indiscriminating public before they would come
readily to his way of thinking, and take any interest in the matter.
That additional testimony Mr. Farr has secured by the complete
cure of a young gentleman of a serious kidney and lung trouble by
the use of the water alone, and there are numerous others who have
used the water during the past two years, since the making of the
analysis, with the most beneficial results for serious affections. It
is known that the great virtues claimed for the famous Waukesha
Bethesda Water lie in three of its component parts, viz., the chlorides of soda, magnesia, and iron, which are found in the Bethesda
analysis to be—soda, 1.25 grains; iron, .04 grains, and magnesia,
12.883 grains. Now, if a comparison of these parts in the analysis
of the two springs be made, it will readily be seen that Mr. Farr's
has the greater number of grains of these medical agents per gallon
of water. Again we say, there is every reason to believe that a mineral
spring has been developed at Onekama that will prove to be the
equal of the most famous spring anywhere. If such should prove
to be the case, its location is extremely advantageous for a famous
Summer resort and watering place. A government dredge has been
sot to work deepening the channel, and before very long vessels of
the greatest draft, as well as steamers, will pass through into Portage
Lake with perfect ease."
It is the present intention of gentlemen interested at Onekama
to improve the place the coming year, and erect buildings of some
sort not yet determined upon.
In 1878 there were raised in the township 458 bushels of
wheat, 675 bushels of corn, 1,242 bushels of potatoes, 61 tons of
hay were cut, and 1,050 pounds of butter made.
The population in 1878 was 327. There were 10,270 acres of
taxable land, and 488 acres of improved land. During the Spring
of that year 400 pounds of maple sugar were made.
History of Manistee, Mason and Oceana counties, Michigan 1882 H.R. Page