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Montmorency Co
Atlanta MI
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History of Montmorency

Montmorency county was originally named Cheonoquet for a Chippewa chief who was a party to the Indian treaties of 1807, 1815, 1825 and 1837, his name meaning Big Cloud. It is uncertain whom the name Montmorency was intended to commemorate, and there does not seem to be any one of that name of sufficient prominence in American or Michigan history to justify this action. It is possible some legislator of 1843 thought this a fine high sounding name, prefcruble to any Indian name, however melodious or full of meaning,

There was a Duke of Montmorency, High Admiral of France, who, in 1620, bought the Lieutenant-Generalship of Canada and a few years later sold it again without ever having set foot on this continent. There was also a de Laval-Montmorency, the first Roman Catholic Bishop, of Canada, an energetic, faithful churchman, who made great efforts to prevent the giving of ardent spirits to the Indians and who for many years during his bishopric, from 1658 to 1684, exerted a very powerful influence in New Prance. If a French name were to be chosen, it is unfortunate the name of some one of the early, active, energetic explorers, rulers or military men who came in personal contact with this lake region was not selected.

Title: A history of northern Michigan and its people / by Perry F. Powers ; assisted by H.G. Cutler.

Montmorency County

This is one of the interior counties of Northern Michigan whose settlement is of comparatively recent date. Its county seat. Atlanta, is almost in its geographical center, almost equidistant from its two nearest railroad points—Hillman in the northeast, the terminus of a branch of the Detroit & Mackinac railroad, and Lewiston in the extreme southwest, on the Twin Lakes branch of the Michigan Central. The population of the county is less than four thousand, it having increased only it few hundred within the past ten years.

Montmorency, however, is a beautiful county of lakes and streams, which are becoming favorite resorts of sportsmen and tourists, who are seeking for fishing and hunting grounds which are of almost primitive wildness and productiveness. The lakes are nearly all small and the streams are the headwaters of the Cheboygan and Thunder Bay rivers, which almost meet in the vicinity of Valentine, north of the center of the county.

Natural Advantages
Montmorency county has the making of a productive agricultural, horticultural, livestock and dairy district. The soil is of a diversified day, mostly of a sandy clay loam, with a clay subsoil that retains the moisture to a remarkable degree and admits of cultivation from one to two weeks earlier than the clay soil of other localities. The loamy soil is warm and rich, producing rapid vegetation, and it is so easily handled that to a man accustomed to heavy soils it hardly seems like work. The clay subsoil holds the moisture and with this loamy soil the combination is a guarantee to raise good crops of anything you undertake. It is adapted to the cultivation of wheat and com. rye. barley, oats, peas, grasses, potatoes, sugar beets, and the raising of live stock; admits of cultivation from April to November, and under no condition does it In-come hard as does strictly clay soil.

Any section that will grow large timber can be depended upon for agriculture and horticulture, provided the climate is favorable. People coming into this country accustomed to see timber short tranked with low brarittfies, are amazed when they notice the height maple and beech attain in this region, Ions bodied with solid timber, and as one rides along through thousands of acres of lands with heavy stamps showing the hardy growth of tree life, all past experience proves that such acres will produce abundantly the most valuable forms of vegetation. White clover and blue grabs seem to spring up spontaneously in tracts, for instance, which have been swept clear of the rankest of the forest growths. The region around Lewiston seems especially favored as a grain and clover district, the country near Hill man being more thickly wooded. The pea crop is also becoming a factor in the agricultural wealth of the county. Sheep and angora goats arc coming animals in the livestock industry. With time, Montmorency county will be a good producer along all the lines of agriculture and horticulture.

POPULATION AND VILLAGES
In the matter of population progress is shown in the United States census figures, as follows:

Civil Divisions 1910 1900 1890 Albert township ........................... 882 827 142 Avery township............................. 182 Briley township ........................... 563 417 338 Hillman township, inc. Hillman village......834 819 535 Hillman Village ........................... 411 253 Montmorency township .......................500 445 177 Rust township ............................. 470 371 203 Vienna township ........................... 324 355 Totals ................................ $3,755 3,234 1,487

Hillman, the largest center of population in Montmorency county, is a village which was incorporated in 1891, situated, as stated, on the Hillman branch of the Detroit & Mackinac railway, of which it is the present terminus. Its natural location is at the junction of Gilchrist and finish creeks with the main channel of Thunder Bay river. Hillman is sixteen miles northeast of Atlanta, the county seat, with which it is connected by daily stage lines. The village has its own electric light and power plant, by which several small mills are operated. A bank and several general stores, with a fair array of residences and four churches, constitute the main features of the village outlook.



Atlanta, MI (1940s) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

Atlanta itself was incorporated in 1891, but owes its chief standing to the fact that it is the county seat. It is a quiet little place, its communication with the outside world being maintained through daily stages which run to Hillman, Lewiston, Flanders, Dafoe and Alpena.



Lewiston, MI (Main Street) (1940s) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

Lewiston, on the east shore of East Twin lake, fourteen miles southwest of Atlanta, is a thriving station on the Michigan Central's Twin Lakes branch, with a fine farming and livestock country around it. Its graded school, bank, electric light and water plant, well-stocked general stores and two churches, tell the story of an intelligent, prosperous, progressive community.

Title: A history of northern Michigan and its people / by Perry F. Powers ; assisted by H.G. Cutler.

History of Montmorency

This was laid off as Cheonequet county by act of the Legislature, approved April 1st, 1840. The name was changed to Montmorency by an act approved March 8th, 1843.

The county seat is at Hillman.

The eastern and southeastern portions of the county lie upon the head- waters of Thunder Bay river, while the northwestern portion gives rise to several of the affluents of the Cheboygan. Professor Winchells contour lines show elevations varying from three hundred to seven or eight hundred feet above the great lakes.

W. C. Cain, of Hillman, treasurer of the county, communicates the following:
The first permanent settler is believed to be Francis Holmes, who, in 1874 or ’75, settled in what is now the township of Hillman, and who still resides in the county. There had previously been lumber camps in the county, where a few potatoes had been grown, but none of these were permanent settlements. As nearly as can be learned, the first fruit trees set in orchard were planted by Thomas B. Johnson. Such plantings have in many cases failed; generally, it is believed, from lack of proper care, from the browsing of cattle, and other causes incident to a newly-settled region. Trees that have been well cared for are now bearing well, though not as yet enough for home consumption.

The variety of soils is sufficient to please a great variety of tastes, varying from huckleberry plains to heavy, rich clay, the latter particularly in the eastern part of the county. The western part is high, and in many parts rolling, and timbered with pine, hemlock, and, in some quite largo tracts, almost wholly with hard wood, with a loamy clay soil. The extreme western part of tho county is said to contain some of the highest land in the lower peninsula.

There are quite extensive plains in the county, timbered with small pine and oak, which are being tested for agricultural purposes.

There are many small lakes in the county, some of them very pretty. In most cases they are surrounded by high land, generally plains.

The census of 1884 shows this county to have had, of apple orchards, 10 acres, 16 bearing trees, yielding iu 1883 two bushels of fruit. Peach orchards, none.

Total value of orchard products of all kinds sold or consumed in 1883 was $4.00.

Vineyards, none.
Market garden products, none.

History of Michigan Horticulture: Being a Part of the Seventeenth Annual ...
By Theodatus Timothy Lyon 1887

History of Montmorency
Montmorency county was originally named Cheonoquet for a Chippewa chief who was a party to the Indian treaties of 1807, 1815, 1825 and 1837, his name meaning Big Cloud. It is uncertain whom the name Montmorency was intended to commemorate, and there does not seem to be any one of that name of sufficient prominence in American or Michigan history to justify this action. It is possible some legislator of 1843 thought this a fine high sounding name, preferable to any Indian name, however melodious or full of meaning.

There was a Duke of Montmorency, High Admiral of France, who, in 1620, bought the Lieutenant-Generalship of Canada and a few years later sold it again without ever having set foot on this continent. There was also a de Laval-Montmorency, the first Roman Catholic Bishop, of Canada, an energetic, faithful churchman, who made great efforts to prevent the giving of ardent spirits to the Indians and who for many years during his bishopric, from 1658 to 1684, exerted a very powerful influence in New France. If a French name were to be chosen, it is unfortunate the name of some one of the early, active, energetic explorers, rulers or military men who came in personal contact with this lake region was not selected.

A history of northern Michigan and its people
Powers, Perry Francis, 1857-1945., Cutler, H. G. (Harry Gardner) - 1912