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Pierport Village
Onekama Township
Manistee County MI



Pierport MI - Birds Eye 1910 from Paul Petosky

Pierport Village is a thriving little village, charmingly situated on the shore of Lake Michigan, some sixteen miles north of Manistee. It is surrounded by an excellent agricultural country. There are already quite a number of large farms in the vicinity, the owners of which are in a sure way of becoming well-to-do, as the soil produces abundantly and an especially good market is offered for all they may choose to sell. The growth of timber is principally beech, maple, oak and ash, is particularly large and thrifty, and is being extensively manufactured at the steam sawmill owned and operated by Charles W. Perry, and the stave mill of Stillman & Calkins. The supply of these woods is practically inexhaustible, and the growth of Pierport, year by year, until it shall become a city of considerable size, is assured. The place was first called Turnersport, and the name was changed to Pierport in 1871. The pioneer business man of Pierport is

C. W. PERRY.
He first came here in 1868. The place then was called Turnersport. There was a pier that had beeu built by the Turnersport Pier Company in 1866, fur the purpose of getting out wood. The village consisted of three houses or shanties, one board, one slab, and one log.

Mr. Perry was born in Vermont, and went to Wisconsin when about nine years of age. In 1862 he enlisted in the army, and remained in the service until the close of the war. In 1871 he finally settled in Pierport, and took possession of the property of the Turnersport company. In 1873 he built a store. Before that he had kept a store in a log building at the pier. He went into the general merchandise and shipping business. In 1879 he built his grist mill. The sawmill was built by George Dwyer in 1870, and bought by Mr. Perry in 1877.

He was married in October, 1872, at Waukesha, Wis., to Miss Rilla C. Gough.

During the last year he has completed one of the finest residences in that part of the county. It is located upon an elevation commanding a fine view of the lake, and is in every respect an elegant home. Mr. Perry does a very large and successful business and is one of the enterprising men of the county. He assists all enterprises that will be of advantage to the place, and is well-known as an honorable and energetic business man.

The first postmaster at Pierport was Charles Eckel, and for the past twelve years, C. W. Perry.

The Bear Lake pier was built in 1879, and the school house in 1874.

The first blacksmith shop was built by Charles Conkling and is still owned by him. Another blacksmith shop was built in 1879, which was purchased by Mr. C. W. Perry last Spring.

There was a stave factory built in 1877 by Stevens A. Mise. It burned a year or two afterwards, and another was built last year by E. B. Stillman. It is now owned by Stillman & Calkins.

The Lake House was built in 1875 by Hiram Pratt, its present proprietor. Another hotel, the Commercial House, owned by C. W. Perry, is kept by Charles Fowler.

There is a Methodist class, organized in 1876, that holds religious service in the school house.

Lake Shore Lodge of Good Templars was organized in September, the present year, with fifty-five charter members. J. E. Bodwell is presiding officer.

A young peoples literary society of forty members is well sustained, and is one of the institutions of the place.

The citizen's of Pierport arc enterprising, and all moral and educational enterprises are liberally supported.

Skymour Calkins, of the firm of Stillman & Calkins, proprietors of the Pierport Stave Factory, is one of the early settlers of the county. He is a native of New York State, and came to Manistee County in 1867. He took up one hundred and sixty acres of land in Arcadia Township, and settled upon it. He came West, from Pennsylvania, and landed at Grand Haven. From there he came on foot, as was the custom of the pioneers. He lived on his farm until last Winter, when he purchased an interest in the stave factory of E. R. Stillman, and removed to Pierport. Mr. Calkins has been a successful farmer and a leading man in the township. He held the office of supervisor for six years, and was chairman of the board in 1881. He has held various other township offices, and has always been active in public affairs. His family consists of a wife and two children.

J. E. Bodwell, merchant at Pierport, is a native of Canada, and went to Bear Lake in 1878, in the mercantile business. In the Fall of 1881 he came to Pierport for the Bear Lake Pier Co., and in January of the present year went into the general merchandise business. He also buys wood, bark, and ties, which he ships to Milwaukee. Mr. Bodwell has a wife and six children. He is a careful and upright business man, and a most excellent citizen. He is at the head of the Good Templars' Lodge recently organized.

History of Manistee, Mason and Oceana counties, Michigan 1882 H.R. Page Pg 86