Montmorency Co, MI
Genealogy and History


Montmorency County lies east of Otsego County. The large morainic belt of northeastern Otsego runs southeastward across it, covering much of the central and southwestern parts. The southwest corner is on an elevated gravel plain. The northern and eastern parts of the county are large and sandy plains, in which there are small lakes and swampy area, some being of considerable extent. These plains extend south west ward into the high moraine in recesses comparable to the finger-lake tracts of the Lake Michigan slope in Antrim and Charlevoix counties, but have only a small part covered with lakes. The prominences between them are morainic and not shaped into drum-like form, as they are in Antrim and Charlevoix counties.  The entire drainage is tributary to Lake Huron, but drains in various directions. The northwestern part of the county is drained northward by Black river to the Cheboygan; the southwestern corner southward to the Au Sable, and the remainder and greater part eastward by various tributaries of Thunder Bay River to the lake at Alpena. Each steam is bordered by broad sandy tracts along much of its course. Most of the steams originate in springs, and there is a large amount of seepage into them from the bordering plains. A spring a few miles northeast of Atlanta is reported to discharge a large amount of inflammable gas, but it was not visited by the writer.

There are few settlers except in or near Vienna and Lewiston in the southwestern part, Atlanta (the county seat) in the central part, and Hillman in the eastern part of the county; the entire population in 1900 was only 3,234. The main farming settlements are within a few miles north and south of Hillman, where the soil carries a considerable amount of clay both on the moraines and plains. There are also a number of good farms in the southwestern fourth of the county, chiefly on the elevated moraine and the gravel plain outside of it. In this county, as in Otsego, wells generally need to penetrate to about the level of the base of the morainic ridges to find adequate supplies. At Lewiston, which is built on teh borders of Twin Lakes, the wells are shallow, although the altitude is high. At Vienna, and east from there in the moraine, the wells usually reach depths of 100 feet or more. Atlanta is in a plain near Thunder Bay River and has shallow wells, and Hillman (also on this plain) has wells of moderate depth. The neighboring farming districts, also being largely on ground but little above the river, have shallow wells. Lewiston has waterworks used chiefly for fire protection and supplied from Twin Lakes. Hillman has a plant for fire protection supplied from Thunder Bay River. Atlanta is planning for a plant for fire protection supplied by Thunder Bay River.

The principal data on wells in and near the villages are included in the following table:

Town Elevation Source Depth of Wells Depth to
Water bed
Head Springs
From To Common
  Feet Feet Feet Feet Feet Feet
Atlanta 900 Driven wells 14 24 22 22 15 Large
Big Rock 950 Driven wells, lakes 10 65 30 50 30 Do.
Hillman 800 Thunder Bay River
by waterworks, open and driven wells
25 150 50 75 30 Small
Lewiston 1,200 Lakes, by waterworks, driven wells 22 36 30 25 22  
Valentine Lake 950 Driven wells 30 217 45 45 ..... Large
Vienna 1,300 Driven wells 50 140 110 110 50 Small


Source: Flowing Wells and Municipal Water Supplies, by Frank Leverett and others, 1906









All data on this website is © Copyright  by Genealogy Trails with full rights reserved for original submitters.